Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Cave of Quiet

There is no doubt in my mind that I am not called to the life of a hermit but I am looking for a cave of quiet. The little collage above I created for an on-line class that I signed up for in a moment of holy insanity. It depicts my desire to return to the monk and the artist in me. I need only gaze upoon it, to experience a quieting within.

Why it is so difficult to get my deepest desires to hold hands with my distractions is somewhat of an enigma. I suffer from and am blessed with creative distraction, often known as ADHD.

People seem surprised to learn that even with my ADHD nature I am so drawn to the prayer of quiet. "Are you able to sit still when you meditate?" they ask me. My answer to that question is, "Yes, I am able to be very still.!" Once I arrive at my place of prayer I actually feel at home. But you see, my difficulty is not sitting still; my struggle is with what happens "on the way to the cushion." On the way to the cushion can be anguish. Still, I choose to call it creative distraction because in those moments of disruption some very exciting and beautiful things occur. Things that were not on my schedule or my "to do" list suddenly become little miracles of grace. New ideas arrive.

Truly, it is both a suffering and a blessing. For years I beat myself up because there were no stop signs on the way to the cushion and yet I stopped. Now I am trying to be more gentle with the stops along the way because you see my goal is not really getting to the cushion. My goal, if there is such a creature, is being present to all that IS. My desire is to rest in the Holy Mystery and sometimes that happens before I arrive at the cushion. What I want is to be utterly present to every moment. What I want is to be Christ!

It is true that on the days I actually arrive at the cushion I often weep. But I am not sad! When I look at the picture above I weep. But I am not sad. My tears know more than I do. That's why I listen .


  1. Hi Macrina!
    I hope you had a good writing/editing day today. I just came from my Artist's way class. My basement is my cave. It is suppose to be my refuge but more often I just see unfinished projects and cleaning to do. I think I'm OCD. I'm trying to be gentle with myself these days and just take things as they come.

  2. Beautiful. Thanks for your sharing.

  3. Beautiful reflection, thanks. Good reminder to be present to every moment as we journey to the cushion.

  4. Macrina: Yes, thanks for sharing. I found your website after my 17 year old son was diagnosed with ADHD. That journey also led me to take a Mindfulness course. I love your post with the two topics melded together. I eagerly await each new post.

  5. I understand your distraction problem...I have it too! Distraction seems to keep me not just from quiet time, but from time creating art.
    Today, I am alone in a clean, cool space and I have my paints, so this is a good moment in my creative life.
    I approve of your insanity in signing up for the on-line collage class!

  6. I struggle with keeping my focus, maybe I have ADD...You are giving me hope knowing of your ADHD and that you are still managing to get the inner quiet. I think often of how powerful it is to hold one word as you suggest in "Tree Full of Angels", holding on to the breadcrumb. It is really plenty of food for the whole day...This is good for ADD people. Well, I like your collage. I find doing it on my own or with friends a focusing activity.

  7. Listening to my tears is something I am trying on for size. Thank you for this reinforcement.

  8. Awe to be an artist to take this into a mural of peace. Lovely thoughts.