Saturday, July 21, 2007

Adding some shape to my days

Now that I've gotten through the first week (well, workweek, not that I've been working, but still) after my surgery, I have another five or six weeks here at home stretching out in front of me. And I'd like to add more shape to my days, some discipline. For one thing, my doctor's order yesterday was to go down to the pool every day, get in the water, let the water buoy my arm up, and then move it around gently. This sounds like real torture to me - spending part of every day in the summer in the swimming pool. :-) Actually, getting the swimsuit on every day will be fun...

So that's one little piece to add shape to my days. I'm thinking about getting serious about praying the daily office again - at least Morning Prayer, since I pray Compline every night. Beginning and ending the day with prayer (and psalms!) would really help give me form and shape. And I remember constantly being moved and inspired by the smallest little snippets of prayer or scripture when I was regularly praying the office. I miss the shape that the office gave my life during those years, but it's funny how inertia takes over. Especially when one has to juggle prayer book and bible, and if one is as geeky as me, chant psalter and pitchpipe, too.

I want to spend some part of every day writing, as well. I'm actually not doing too badly at this right now, trying to keep up with posts on two blogs (have you seen The Taleswappers' Porch yet?), but an intentional practice of daily writing is one I really want (probably: need) to sustain. Writing is how I process the world, process my life, come to terms with what is happening to me and around me. So even if it never becomes anything publishable (HA!), it's important for me to keep writing.

Some years ago, when I was unemployed for almost a year, I started work on a book. It was to be personal reflections on a selection of psalms. I had several of them written, in draft form, and had planned out several more. I was learning about how nonfiction is published - which is very different from fiction or poetry - and eager to start getting a book proposal together to submit. And then, I got a job, and I no longer had the time or energy to work on my book any more. I pulled out those reflections a few months ago and was surprised to see that they're actually pretty good. So maybe, after immersing myself in psalms and scripture again by praying the office, maybe I'll be able to work on that book again someday. That would be good.