Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another…(Romans 13:8 NIV)
The last couple days, I have been contemplating a conversation I read in Fahrenheit 451, as related from Faber to Montag.
Montag thinks books must be the answer to happiness because they have been banned, and people who get caught with books are required to relinquish the books or die with them by fire.
Faber suggests that it’s not just books, but quality of information that is missing. He summarizes his three points this way:
“Number one, as I said: quality of information. Number two: leisure to digest it. And number three: the right to carry out actions based on what we learn from the interaction of the first two.” (Bradbury)
A trip like this affords us the leisure to digest quality information. And our actions follow from the interaction of the two.
Each stop and each movement forward depends on our surroundings and our provisions, with lots of time in between to observe and absorb the nature around and within.
Over the past couple days, we’ve had the leisure to digest the texture and quality of the natural world. We traveled from Kentucky Dam State Park to the Grand Harbor Marina on Pickwick Lake. We’ve been in three states over the past few days and put another 196 miles in our logbook.
Cruising the waterways of Kentucky lake, or any waterway for that matter, offers us a chance to observe nature in a closer way than usual. The perspective from the water differs from the vantage point of the shore.
In the same way, the quietude and solitary moments of boat travel grant plenty of time for introspection. At this slower pace, I arrive at conclusions about the emotional texture of my innerscape. There are mounds of grief, high peaks of joy and calm rivers of contentment with deep currents of desire mixed with rapids of ideas churning to become intentions.
While taking in the vistas of my emotions, even allowing some to surge over me, my nature invites me to an eye level with my soul, and it’s deeper caverns of need.
In this contemplative state my awareness of life heightens. I notice changes. I am surprised by an idea that I need to burn some bridges. Bridges that beckon me to self-doubt and sometimes despair.
I resolve to burn the bridge of deprivation, which tells me: do not touch, do not taste and do not use.
To me deprivation differs from self-denial. Self-denial often leads to a choice for higher good. Deprivation is a mean-spirited way to punish myself for wrongs never committed. Deprivation lacks love and ruins me for loving others.
To live with no interstices, no gaps of doubt or despair would be ideal, but in reality little lapses occur. Yet, my soul reminds me that fullness of life is mine. And at this pace it is abundantly clear.
My desire to keep this clarity close whether at leisure or at work, whether in want or in contentment, whether through lament or through rejoicement is keen.
I live in the rich, natural world. I have an abundance of quality, textured information at hand. I receive and give love. Abundance of nature, text and relationship overflows. All is well with my soul.
How is your soul today?