saving my life.

I am celebrating Candletime this year, a made-up period between Halloween and Thanksgiving in which you light candles, dim your lights, and be cozy. I hope you will all be joining me. As we head towards the darkest night of the year, we could all do with a little bit more light.

For the first night of Candletime, I was not actually at home, but there were candles and fondue and good friends. It was cozy, even if there were not pajama pants. (Pajama pants are the essence of coziness just like moisture is the essence of wetness.) We have been lighting candles at dinner, and when I wrote about that a few weeks ago, my friend Katie pointed out a quote from Lauren Winner’s Mudhouse Sabbath: “You don’t find candles lit in frenetic houses; you find them lit in houses where people are trying to pay attention.”

Atticus demands attention, either because he wants us to play with him or because we need to make sure he’s not doing something like coloring on the wall. He gets us to pay attention, too, because the world is new to him. Sometimes I see him figure something out – how to blow out a candle, what trick-or-treating actually means, how to catch a ball – and I am overcome by what an honor it is to watch him learn.

This week has been fun and hectic, but what has saved my life is the quiet calm of being mindful. We are lighting candles and we are learning and we are trying to pay attention. What is saving your life this week?

In other news, I have a post that went up at Art House America yesterday. They teach me about mindfulness every week.

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2 Comments

  1. Nancy

    I am often not sure what is saving my life at the moment, but this week it is the fact that the two presentations at state conferences that I had agreed to do back last spring are done. I don’t know what I was thinking since they were only a week apart, but they are done now and seemed to go well in each case. So now I have a weekend that can be a real weekend. Maybe I’ll rake leaves. I’ll certainly do laundry. Maybe I’ll cook some things to have on hand next week. Maybe I’ll get in touch with some friends. The point being that I can choose what I do instead of having to work on a presentation. And then Monday and Tuesday are parent conference days at school and since I don’t do parent conferences, I have those days to make a dent in the organization I need to do there. I won’t be “presenting” on those days either. In a nutshell, I guess what is saving my life is the absence of looming heavy responsibilities outside of the ordinary ones, so that I can attend to the ordinary ones with more mindfulness.

    Posted 11/2/2012 at | Permalink
  2. Cassandra stafford

    Kari, I feel so swamped by the busy-ness that final portion in this teacher education program requires. I feel completely overwhelmed and feel fear (like real fear) an anxiety as I see teachers cry and stress over their busy schedules and responsibilities and I think “is this how it’s destined to turn out??” I don’t want to lose my ability to reflect and I don’t like losing my time to read. Your blog helps inspire me to keep balance. To not sacrifice my spiritual and mental health as I begin my career. You may not realize you do that, but you do. Knowing you are surrounded by all the ins and outs of the educational school world and yet you find a few minutes in your day to type what I’m sure you carried on your heart and mind for hours or days–but it means so much to me. It feeds me. The post at the other site today was amazing as well. I left a comment there too. Thank you for writing. I’m going to round up candles today and take time, amid all the school work and stuff, to nurture my family with coziness.

    Posted 11/3/2012 at | Permalink

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