Sabbath in Slices

I can’t remember the last time i had so much table space, so many empty hours.

Summer is always painted a shade of allure: no readings to finish, sweet treats all the sweeter in the Carolinian heat. I graduated. I finished my Bachelor’s Degree, and with finishing came the flurry of packing and cleaning and thesis defending and family hosting and saying goodbye to beloved Mount Holyoke.

I’ve been so lazy since then. There are so many summer plans i’d made, and even after only a few days of crafting and working part-time i still find my 9 AM cup of coffee listless, quiet. I am trying to enjoy the quiet but the anxious tick of the academic in me won’t shut up. Won’t let me think i really can just breathe. Like i’m coming uncoiled, but there’s a catch in the spring that keeps reeling me back in.

That’s the funny thing about taking sabbath, with me at least. Carving out those hours, fat with nothingness, are daunting. Too quiet. I can be still in pieces, in the extra hour i give myself sometimes after i wake up and before i crack open the laptop. Or really, the more frequent five minutes i take still buckled in, the car in the parking space earlier than expected.

I can take my sabbath in slices.

But learning to really seep into it, seep into the rest and the quiet so much that my anxious heart keels out for something wider and calmer? No thanks. I’ll spread my seventh day evenly over the other six.

One of my favorite religion professors often said the way we conceive of God, write about God, is how we ultimately conceive of ourselves. In the broad sense, like society; in the narcissistic sense, like the best of who we want to be; and in the longing sense, the presence we need when nothing else is enough. So maybe my struggle with Sabbath is my struggle to look cleanly in the mirror.

Maybe too much quiet means listening more than talking.

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