This week we had our first (and probably last) real "cold snap" of winter. It's been particularly mild this year, with barely even a handful of freezes including the last two nights. We do live literally in a fish bowl though -a fact for which I give thanks daily because who doesn't need to simply look out over water every day all day long? Walls just impede the view. The last few nights I have pulled all the blinds down to help trap warmer air inside. It felt a bit constricting and even when it was dark and I knew I couldn't see the lake anyway, I missed the possibility of seeing it when the sun was up.
This morning the cold snap is over - Farewell winter-that-never-got-started! - and the blinds are open once again. I can enjoy the rolling morning mist, the grazing geese, the receding frost, the jumping fish and the wheeling sea gulls all while sipping my coffee from any room of the house. Life is as it should be.
This week, people began asking me when I was coming back online. It has caused me to really think about that time, now only two weeks away. It seemed odd to realize this: I don't really miss it very much. I miss the practice of filling time with "Activity" - because if you're searching and pinning useful things online, you really are being productive, right? I didn't know Whitney Houston had died until well into yesterday morning. I do feel sorrow for her family, and for her obviously tortured soul and body. But I don't miss the one thousand eulogies and judgmental statements about her choices. I don't miss a hundred video montages in her honor. It's all just noise that I don't want or need, or miss. I absolutely don't miss all the political clap trap filling every form of media, which is equally tiring from each and every political party from the big-wigs to the grass roots. I don't miss endless bickering over a political system from which no forerunner actively pursues the heart of God over his or her own glory. I actually prefer not being distracted by the possibility that someone could conform the laws of the land to support my faith-in-a-box and instead prefer to place my hope in the One who transforms the world starting with me.
In this way, I prefer living with the blinds down.
I read this yesterday:
"...being nothing has a glorious tradition. When we are nothing, we are in a fine position to receive everything from God...The desert is where we are voluntarily understimulated. No feedback. No new data. That's why he (Jesus) says to go into the closet. That's where we stop living out of other people's response to us. We can then say, I am not who you think I am. Nor am I who you need me to be. I'm not even who I need myself to be. I must be nothing in order to be open to all reality and new reality"
--Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs
Though I didn't go into a technology fast with this thought at all in mind, I can see now, in a way I wouldn't have agreed to or with before, that what he is saying is quite true. Perhaps the most interesting thing of all is this: when I closed the blinds to my home, I missed the view. I saw less. But when I close the blinds to my soul, my view is increased a thousand-fold. In fact I feel very much like the blind man who approached Jesus and begged to receive sight, If you want you can heal me, he cried, If you want you can open my eyes to see.
I want to. Receive your sight.