Friday, January 16, 2009

If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for the Creator, there is no poverty.

Rainer Maria Rilke

My husband is home today because of the cold. The wind-chill in Portland is reported to be 20 below and his boss decided it was not necessary to spend the day on a roof, exposed to the icy wind. Instead we slept late and are now passing the time in bookshops and warm cafes.

In the bookshop, I discovered a new book by Kathleen Norris, Acedia & me, I would like to spend more time with. She has such a taking style. I remember reading Dakota in eastern Pennsylvania and for months attempting to recreate her easy rhythms. I'm fascinated too, because of the theme, acedia, the "noonday demon" of listless dissatisfation I think so many people fall prey too, especially when our lives strive toward the beautiful and ordered; when they are not defined by an addiction to new experiences.

The whole book reminds me of someone's (I wish I knew who's) advice to build "a monastery of the heart" in which we might lift up all our rituals to Christ who knows that there is worship in laundry as well as liturgy.


  1. EM! I'm so glad to see more posts by you! I look quite frequently! This one was a delight! I remember Dakota! It was in our bathroom in Bloomsburg! She is a very lovely writer, though I disagree with a lot of her perceptions of North Dakota as I love that land and feel that openness allows you to trust more fully in God and His greatness! Isn't lovely how landscapes remind one of God and different aspects. My mom used to say build a monastery of the heart but I think she was quoting Terese of Avila. By the way, I highly recommend the Interior Castle. Maybe I'll call you today.
    I miss home. I miss you! loretta

  2. She made Dakota sound so beautiful though, and so frighteningly wild! I miss you as well. Are you back in Montana then?

  3. yeah. I'm back in Montana. it's cold but no snow.