Down Time

It’s late afternoon on New Year’s Day and nearing the end of a two-day retreat of reflection — my vow of silence broken only by a Happy New Year voice mail for my sister and futile suggestions to my deaf cat.

The slow unfolding of these days has been welcome abstinence from the richness of the holidays and the summons of the year ahead.

The lack of Things to Do allowed a more freelance approach to puttering, punctuated by a compelling urge to nap. Frequently.

I was determined to finish the book I’ve been reading, no matter how much I groaned at its pretense. It irritated me more than inspired, and I was happy to put it down and start a new one to cleanse my palate.

Its saving grace were the final lines of the Epilogue, which reminded me that no matter what, there is always truth and gratitude:

“The turn of the year is a return to normalcy. I look to the future, grateful for the new colleagues I have encountered — grateful, too, for the graceful dance of old friends who offer both support and guidance. May I do the same.”

The Creative Life, Julia Cameron

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Photo, Clocks, © Pauline Franque, used with permission. For more of her stunning work, see:

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