what is

Caspar David Friedrich, <em>Moonrise by the Sea</em>, 1822

Caspar David Friedrich, Moonrise by the Sea, 1822

Writing on my balcony the other night under the moon and shadows, I felt anxious and wanted from the night something the night doesn’t usually bring. I sat there in the cricket filled evening for a while but nothing happened. I started to write about the spiritual practice of just being there with what is–and how I often find myself rocked like a boat between two sides of myself: on one side is a sincere wish for being, and on the other I am taken by the demands and worries each day brings. In the process of writing, I discovered that often in my life there seems to be no room for the other, and I often meet these demands with this most horrible of attitudes, like the world owes me something. Now, both stances are undeniable realities. This is how I am. I need to recognize and bridge this tremendous gulf that hangs in-between. This is the spiritual struggle.

With each day buried by yet another day, we all wander lost. Sure, many of us have tasted a transcendence of the ordinary way of perceiving things–that there is another life of promise and possibility, but we don’t just explode into it and become holy whiteness forever. We ascend and descend on ladders, and unfortunately when we descend, we usually forget. If we are passive, our days take us wherever they wish to like a raging river and the current is stronger than we imagine.  But there is something within us that remembers. It knows what is required. Through an active silent watchfulness we can open to this moment as it is. From that effort, a quality of seeing can appear that expands. It is inclusive, and it does not take sides, either for, or against.


  1. So beautifully said and so true; it takes such effort to remember sometimes, but so rewarding when we do. Thank you–this made my wandering feel a little less lonely.

  2. … I often find myself rocked like a boat between two sides of myself…
    That difficult place of determining, a poignant image. Similar to meeting a cross road with no signs.
    Who doesn’t want to sit on a rock and watch the moon rise?

  3. Luke, I adore your blog. It never fails to encourage me and adorn my day with a taste of “transcendence of the ordinary way of perceiving things”.

    So, in keeping with my admiration for your words, I have nominated Intense City for a Lovely Blog Award. Read all about it: http://wp.me/p1ro3Q-kF.

    Tess Wixted

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *