Some keep the Sabbath going to Church. I keep it, staying at Home.

peace,rest,calm,still,quiet

Pico Iyer, Chapter 5: “A Secular Sabbath” from “The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere.”:

The need for an empty space, a pause, is something we have all felt in our bones; it’s the rest in a piece of music that gives it resonance and shape…the reason a certain kind of writer will include a lot of blank space on a page, so his sentences have room to breathe (and his readers, too). The one word for which the adjective “holy” is used in the Ten Commandments is Sabbath…

These days, in the age of movement and connection, space, as Marx had it in another context, has been annihilated by time; we feel as though we can make contact with almost anywhere at any moment. But as fast as geography is coming under our control, the clock is exerting more and more tyranny over us. And the more we can contact others, the more, it sometimes seems, we lose contact with ourselves…

This is what the principle of the Sabbath enshrines…the one day a week we take off becomes a vast empty space through which we can wander, without agenda, as through the light-filled passageways of Notre Dame. Of course, for a religious person, it’s also very much about community and ritual and refreshing one’s relationship with God and ages past. But even for the rest of us, it’s like a retreat house that ensures we’ll have something bright and purposeful to carry back into the other six days…

The Sabbath recalls to us that, in the end, all our journeys have to bring us home. And we do not have to travel far to get away from our less considered habits. The places that move us most deeply, as I found in the monastery, are often the ones we recognize like long-lost friends; we come to them with a piercing sense of familiarity, as if returning to some source we already know. “Some keep the Sabbath going to Church—” Emily Dickinson wrote. “I keep it, staying at Home.”


Notes:

Comments

  1. i agree , stay home sometimes is best

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  2. Great analogy with Emily Dickinson

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yum, yes! Perhaps in days of old, when contact with others was much less frequent for lack of the tools we have today, communing with others on Sabbath had a quality we are no longer drawn to.

    This is a lovely piece David which helps me understand my instinct to leave space for quiet days in which life slows down, no plans, except to do what the heart calls me to do.

    But, with family far away and no children, I am fortunate to have such a luxury!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes. Yes. And, especially yes to this:

    “…the places that move us most deeply, as I found in the monastery, are often the ones we recognize like long-lost friends; we come to them with a piercing sense of familiarity, as if returning to some source we already know…”

    To find and be in the Sabbath in a place of home…whether that is our literal home or a place we know with that piercing sense of familiarity… yes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes. Agree. Full stop.

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  6. Splendid, as always♥

    Liked by 1 person

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