Deep into October


It’s been a damp week and the gray only serves to highlight how much less daylight there is than a few weeks ago. Here we are deep into October and I’m sinking softly into the darkness after careening down the steep slide of September, the momentum of change finally easing. I feel ready to embrace a slower pace for this season, ready to do less.

I read a collection of letters between Gary Snyder and Wendell Berry several months back and jotted a few lines that spoke to me in the back of my journal, as I am wont to do. One of those lines from Snyder came back to me this week:  “I begin to see it as a kind of very culpable spiritual pride that I keep thinking I can do so much. The effort becomes graceless after awhile.”

Culpable pride, the graceless effort – it feels true in a way that I can feel my whole body quiet when I read that.

Because this was on my mind, I tried this morning to make a list of the things that I could do less of or let go of. It was a shamefully short list. In fact, before I got to writing down my second entry I started thinking of the things that I should start doing more of if I was going to have some free time. Ugh.

So it seems that it might not come naturally, but also a worthwhile intention: to practice gracefully doing less.