Day Off

This weekend was like most of my weekends. Busy. Clemency and I were on the road before 8 am on Saturday, opened some new flats at the Parata home in Gore, spoke at a Dinner in Gladstone, took part in a service on Sunday morning and then drove back to a service and dinner at All Saints Dunedin. In between events, time was filled by pastoral visits and by driving. I got home a little after 10 pm on Sunday, fell into bed and didn't wake until nearly 9 am which was the first great thing about today.

The second was Paul Dyer ringing soon after I woke up to see if I wanted to go sailing. The sky was blue, the breeze was steady and the sea was calm. Did I want to go sailing? Is the Pope a conservative German? There is something meditative about sailing. There is the whole ritual of preparing the boat and then launching it, and at the end of the day, the ritual of taking it from the water and washing and derigging it. In between is a journey that is, essentially, pointless: we sailed up the harbour and across it and back, traveling a few kilometers to arrive back where we started from. The whole journey is conducted at a less than leisurely pace, except for those few moments of rush and tumble to rectify some error or other. There is a slow, measured, conversation conducted as a subsidiary activity to the main business of the day: watching the wind and the sea and the sail and the angle of the boat, keeping all in a harmonious balance. It is an exercise in awareness. Like motorcycling, to do it well requires being present in the now, accepting and embracing what is going on and avoiding the impulse to struggle and impose oneself upon it.

I got home in the middle of the afternoon, and set about making a meditation stool. I've made three in the past week, and I keep thinking of ways to improve my design. This one is a folding one legged model, designed so that it can be carried in a suitcase. I made it from some of the old cedar weatherboards removed from the house when my new study was built. The cedar is 20 years old, so is dry, light and strong and, once it was planed and sanded, a beautiful light golden colour. I have made it so that the height and angle of the seat are adjustable. The first of its several coats of varnish is drying as I write this, but when it is is finished and assembled, I'll put a picture on here. Who knows? You might like to make one yourself, or, if you ask nicely I might even give you one.

Today has been, like the weekend, measured in Kairos, not Chronos; that is, felt time rather than objectively measured time. With lots fitted in the days seem longer and they are deeply satisfying. The sun is sinking behind the trees and the harbor and the hills. I think I'm ready to face tomorrow.

-Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Elaine Dent said…
It's impressive that you could sink into awareness of the moment after such a long weekend. Just got back from a 2 week quiet camping vacation. It took me 3 days before I could stop having chatting conversations in my head and a week before I could stop thinking about work. You remind me to consider more seriously the quality of my day off. Is it renewing with space for silence...or is it catching up on errands?
Simon Marsh said…
What a stunningly beautiful photo ... and reflection on your day, too.

Thanks, too, for your recent Charge. It has a usefulness and a significance on the other side of the world from your own present vineyard. Would that it were a little more convenient to hop across for a visit!

All the more thanks, then, from one of your fellow-blogging 'disciples'. As ever, Simon