In the past few weeks, I've had a few listening companions. They've made a lovely soundtrack for writing on the mystics:
Among other things, the 11th century mystic was a composer of religious music. Here is one of many recordings of her work.
A beautiful movie about the mystery and magic of the sea, and the love between a brother and sister, this movie had my children and me crying by the end. The music is gorgeous.
My writing has felt like it's back on track in the last few weeks. The doubts will come and go, I imagine. But I'm grateful that they aren't sticking too closely right now.
As I move closer to a first draft of my opening section, it's interesting to be revisiting the first few years of our time in community from the perspective of seven years. I see my enthusiasm and idealism with a measure of grief. I sometimes wish I was still as eager and wide-eyed as I was then. But what I witness, as I look back on those first years, is a journey through idealism to bitterness and then to a more stable and faithful resolve. There is, I hope, a measure of wisdom that comes with perspective, time, and the challenges of loving your neighbors. Such challenges have made me more aware of my own failings.
This week, I took an even farther look back (before my time in community) to the moon over the North Sea in Scotland when I lived there 15 years ago. You can read that piece at Good Letters--an Image Journal blog.
I also wrote a review of a book about another mystic, Catherine of Siena. As the grief of the world feels close, the writings of the mystics give me some perspective. Many of them lived in turbulent times of injustice, violence, and death. And yet, they continued to fight bravely (and imperfectly) against the pressing darkness. My review is up at Englewood Review of Books.
As always, I welcome your thoughts on writing, on the mystics, on community, and on your own journey through idealism to a faithful resolve.
*The painting above was done for me by my friend and artist, Matt "Redbeard" Adams. Check out his new website. He's very talented.