D and Monk left a little while ago to go to Monk's hockey practice. D is officially one of the Assistant Coaches for this next round--last time I think he was just skating with the kids and helping out to be nice. But the organizers of the league have turned it into a more official role. It's a neat thing, really--he's great with the kids and able to help the ones who seem the most uncertain with the whole thing. And I think Monk loves having him out there.
I'm taking the opportunity to have some quiet time on my own at home. Living in such a teeny-tiny apartment makes it quite difficult to ever really be alone and home at the same time! I love my guys dearly. But sometimes it's also nice to be alone, too.
I hope to get some reading done for Tuesday night's class. I can't believe we only have about four sessions left! This semester has flown by and been truly wonderful. And I can't believe that I'll get to do this now for the rest of my life. How I love teaching!
But before I do the reading, I think I'm going to spend some time cleaning up around the apartment. I just wrote to a friend of mine that my least favorite rhythm in life is the Neat-to-Messy-to-Neat rhythm. There seems like there's got to be a way to end the vicious cycle! It is a daily rhythm (messy by the end of the day), the weekly rhythm (a mess by Saturday), the monthly rhythm (too much junk mail and other papers on every surface), and for us a semester rhythm (the later in the semester it is, the more of a wreck the house is in)!
Over the years I have become increasingly convinced that being able to create a comfortable, neat, and beautiful space inside our apartment lends to a sense of peacefulness and creativity that is otherwise squelched in a messy home. In fact, a messy home I think is one of those, as I call them, white-noise stress inducers--like white-noise, below the surface but keeping a low-grade level of stress constantly present.
Lately I have been considering painting one of our walls in the apartment a rich, dark color--something other than the glaring white of apartment living that has been our constant environment for, well, most of our adult lives! I'm tired of white walls! Technically we're not permitted to paint the walls, but I think as long as we're willing to repaint it white again when we move out then we could get away with it. Any advice?
Yesterday I met with my spiritual director and talked about a growing desire to deepen my spiritual "disciplines"--such a strict word for such a gentle practice! As we talked about it, I became aware that I think of four tiers of spiritual practices that seem to be intertwined: daily prayer, spiritual reading (non-academic, inspirational reading such as writings of the mystics, for instance), writing, and making retreats. As I prepare to begin my teaching position this July, I'd like to have all four of these in place--so that I begin in balance. Patterns started early tend to carry through. So it's best to begin the patterns intentionally.
So I suppose I am working on interior spaces right now: the one I live in and the ones within me. I guess that makes sense at a time of major transition such as this. Like "nesting" as a pregnancy nears it's birthing.