Adding some shape to my days

Now that I’ve gotten through the first week (well, workweek, not that I’ve been working, but still) after my surgery, I have another five or six weeks here at home stretching out in front of me. And I’d like to add more shape to my days, some discipline. For one thing, my doctor’s order yesterday was to go down to the pool every day, get in the water, let the water buoy my arm up, and then move it around gently. This sounds like real torture to me – spending part of every day in the summer in the swimming pool. πŸ™‚ Actually, getting the swimsuit on every day will be fun…

So that’s one little piece to add shape to my days. I’m thinking about getting serious about praying the daily office again – at least Morning Prayer, since I pray Compline every night. Beginning and ending the day with prayer (and psalms!) would really help give me form and shape. And I remember constantly being moved and inspired by the smallest little snippets of prayer or scripture when I was regularly praying the office. I miss the shape that the office gave my life during those years, but it’s funny how inertia takes over. Especially when one has to juggle prayer book and bible, and if one is as geeky as me, chant psalter and pitchpipe, too.

I want to spend some part of every day writing, as well. I’m actually not doing too badly at this right now, trying to keep up with posts on two blogs (have you seen The Taleswappers’ Porch yet?), but an intentional practice of daily writing is one I really want (probably: need) to sustain. Writing is how I process the world, process my life, come to terms with what is happening to me and around me. So even if it never becomes anything publishable (HA!), it’s important for me to keep writing.

Some years ago, when I was unemployed for almost a year, I started work on a book. It was to be personal reflections on a selection of psalms. I had several of them written, in draft form, and had planned out several more. I was learning about how nonfiction is published – which is very different from fiction or poetry – and eager to start getting a book proposal together to submit. And then, I got a job, and I no longer had the time or energy to work on my book any more. I pulled out those reflections a few months ago and was surprised to see that they’re actually pretty good. So maybe, after immersing myself in psalms and scripture again by praying the office, maybe I’ll be able to work on that book again someday. That would be good.

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6 thoughts on “Adding some shape to my days

  1. I’ve used that site many times – it is a good one. But you already know me well enough to know I’m a book slut. πŸ™‚ Morning prayer just isn’t the same without the book and the pages and everything. I’ll keep everything together at my desk or at my table, so that the books can lie flat for me.

    Thanks!
    Hedwyg

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  2. You can however get a copy of the Contemporary Daily Office Book, which contains only the Rite II versions but also includes the entire Psalter and all the readings for Morning and Evening prayer, for year One and year Two, in order. Well, actually the readings are in the back of the book, so you do need to flip from the Office to the readings to the Psalter and back – but the book also includes ribbons to mark the pages…so flipping is easy. I really love the book – and it means holding only one book. And, while I do not do the office every day (yikes, don’t tell anyone) I did do it every day while I was recovering from my illness. I really love the rhythm of the daily office (I just really don’t like many of the scripture readings appointed for the offices, I have a tough time starting my day with God killing people in wars)…But, I love the office, the psalms, the prayers. And I hope, if you choose to get it, you enjoy the Contemporary Daily Office Book…

    and, yes, swimming – or using the water to bouy your arm – great idea!

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  3. Interesting that mompriest writes that she doesn’t like many of the office readings–I am very uncomfortable with many of them as well, but I love that the daily office is so much more comprehensive in its Scripture than either the BCP Sunday lectionary or the RCL Sunday lectionary (which, hedwyg, we will start using at ODEC in Advent).

    One of my life goals is to reform the Sunday lectionary so that we read more Scripture in church, particularly Old Testament. The current daily office still leaves out many of my favorites (including cursing passages), but it does at least offer the OT in more depth than the Sunday lectionaries.

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  4. Oh yes, there are a whole host of readings I struggle with, many in the OT. And I do wish we had more of them on Sundays, but then, I don’t have to preach on them! πŸ™‚

    It is amazing to me how much harder those readings are when we hear them, and harder again when we speak them. One year my mom gave me a dramatized audio bible on CD, and I started listening straight through. (Okay, I skipped a few CDs there between Exodus and the end of Deuteronomy.) And while I’d read Joshua more than once before, I was completely taken aback to listen to that story again. Wow.

    I have a secret suspicion that the psalmist said the ancient equivalent of the F word a lot. πŸ™‚ I blogged about this on Good Friday, just nine days before I came to ODEC. (And, amusingly, the confessor mentioned in that post is a former rector of Old Do, and the conversation took place in B+’s office.)

    MP went well this morning. I’ll write about it a bit later.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. THANKS for directing me to that Good Friday post! It was great, and I agree wholeheartedly agree with that confessor that your prayer with the four letter words sounds authentic.

    As for the psalmist and translation…I think the NRSV waters down the psalms a lot (as well as much of the OT). I like the NASB, but it’s not as smooth. I splurged this past month and bought a parallel bible that is NASB (the translation I find to be most literal) and The Message, and I LOVE it, because I get something literal right next to something colorful. Very helpful as I prepare Wednesday night’s bible study on cursing psalms!

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