Friday, September 26, 2008

Tidbits to Share: Retreats, Getting Hooked, Sacred Art, and Acedia

I just wanted to share some things with you tonight:

1. Are you looking for a spiritual retreat? Look at this resource, called Find the Divine. It includes retreat properties for sale, plus many other features. Talk about a dream---running a retreat center---I think that many of us would probably like to do that---I know I would.

2. Two posts about "getting hooked" into fear and panic, especially with the economic, cultural, and spiritual climate today. One is Christine Kane's. I found it through Lori-Lyn's blog and Lori-Lyn's story that was written so beautifully called "Apples. Stars". If you have to pick, read Lori-Lyn's.

3. Another is a blog that I've recently rediscovered called "Dragonfly Reflections" by Kelley. She is doing 100 Days of Sacred Art. Kelley was a part of Sacred Life Sundays but I lost track of her blog and was thrilled to find it again.

4. Kathleen Norris' new book "Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life". I can SO relate to this book. Acedia is a topic that is difficult to understand---this is one reason that the author has taken an entire book to write an appropriately rambling and profound meditation on it. Acedia is sort of like depression in some ways, except that it's primarily a spiritual condition (unlike depression), but many people suffer from both (like me).

Don't let the four star ratings from many Amazon reviewers discourage you; this is a five star book. Unfortunately, it was put through Amazon's Vine Program early on, a process which tends to distort book ratings. I am a Vine member, and so I know that when people get something for free (which we do), the reviewing audience is different than those that would actually pony up good money for a hardback book. I see the audience for this book as intelligent, thoughtful, and creative people who struggle with depression and melancholy, who have a strong spiritual and psychological approach to life, and who are fascinated by the idea that wisdom from desert monastics could provide interesting insights that would help them to overcome a difficult orientation to life. This is a very personal book, with much autobiographical material as well.

I have been swimming in this book for days, and postponed finishing it because I just don't want to leave behind the insights I get from reading it and the empathy I feel with the author.

5. Tonight I am having a fantastic Friday evening listening to the frogs chirping outside in the forest. Nothing like it.

~Photos from my rose garden, taken by LoveHubbie Mark


Journey Through Life said...

It's all sounds fascinating! So lovely to you are having a fantastic Friday night.

thailandchani said...

Oh. My. Gosh! That book sounds frighteningly like me. :) I'll have to pick up a copy. It's strange to think about - but that probably is at the root of the feeling most people call "depression".

It was never a feeling of "depression" in the traditional sense. It's more like "and why am I supposed to care about this" in relation to what I see around me.

Since my path seems to be one of a cultural dissident, I've touched on that weariness more often than I care to admit.


patti said...

I already read Christine Kane's blog and have added the other two you mention to my roll, they're great - thanks!

Acedia - a new word! :) It's great that this book speaks to you. I love it when it is difficult to leave a book because you connect with it so deeply.

Frogs - how beautiful!

Olivia said...

Thanks, Annie! And I like your new picture :) xxoo, O

Olivia said...

Chani, Chani, Chani---YES! It is you who I most thought of as I read this book. I kept thinking "have to tell Chani" as I highlighted...this is one to buy, even though it's hardback. If you want mine, let me know and I'll gladly lend it to you (send it to you) with my highlights and notes in it. Everything in it would resonate with you, I'm thinking. It puts a name on something that I didn't even know existed. I think you would find great excitement in reading it. Let me know, Peace, O

Olivia said...

HI, Patti,

Yes, I'm glad you could relate to the blogs I mentioned.

I do indeed feel that way about certain books. Sigh! So many books, so little time...

The frogs are amazing and are nightly here in the woods during this season. They keep some people up at night, but not me. I love them!

Love and joy,