Honoring Connections

"Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone's soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd." -RumiIn a strange confluence of events, our social calendar this week filled up to an unexpected degree. We’re mostly home-bodies, but when our friends reach out to us, we do everything we can to support their plans or need to connect. When someone calls out of the blue, it’s not uncommon for us to spend a few hours on the phone catching up. We recognize that our choice to focus on our home lifeour “sanctum sanctorum”gives us the base from which we can feed our connections the way they feed us.

So this week’s old quote from Rumi was an interesting restatement of one of the many conversations we had this week with friends: We’ve found it challenging over the years to find true friends who are interested in sharing the same breadth and depth of connection that we seek. When we do, we honor the connection by offering unstinting support. And when it’s a true friendship, we end up feeling that energy return to us, as if, in some round-about way, we were lifting ourselves up by lifting up our friends.

Which made this post from earlier this month outlining the difference between loneliness and solitude illuminating. We seek our retreat to fill our well, understanding that nurturing the quiet space within is what allows us to become the shepherd Rumi talks about.

In a tangential way, this article about losing the night sky reflects a different level of disconnect with self. Humans by and large are so focused on the convenience and safety created in lighting streets and homes all through the night that they’re losing sight of the mysticism and isolation that feeds the soul.

Despite the long days and connections honored, I somehow broke the word log-jam and pushed past 30K words this week. In total, that meant I added only just under 500 words, but something about that threshold had been intimidating me.

All of these things converge in an odd parallel to something Brain Pickings covered last week when they wrote about some of what motivated John Steinbeck. The most profound quote in that story for me was, “It isn’t that the evil thing wins — it never will — but that it doesn’t die.” And the only way, with all the terrible things reported in the daily news, to do our part to make sure evil things don’t win, is to spread the light in the way Rumi notes. For me, a lot of that work resides in my story-telling.

At some point soon, though, I’ll need to refill my introvert’s well requiring quiet time at home. Probably reading. Probably from some of the books on this list of the 23 best fantasy books for adults.

As for the wellness challenge, hubs and I finished the required 150K steps sometime last week. But the good habit of walking regularlydespite the heavy rains in the area in recent weekshave persisted. My Fitbit says I averaged 4,589 steps per day last week. This, despite the fact that my tech failed me yesterday: The battery died sometime the night previous, recording just barely 2 hours of sleep, and I didn’t realize it until after we got home from our long walk in the evening and I hadn’t yet gotten the flashing light celebration of meeting my daily goal. So my average was probably more in line with the previous week, when I averaged 6,281 steps per Fitbit tracking. I’m guesstimating that I averaged a little over 7 hours of sleep per night this week, too… but don’t really want to do the math to verify that.


Our Milwaukee house is still on the market, though our realtor reports that at his weekly open houses there continues to be some interest. Not enough yet to generate an offer, but enough to confirm our place would be a great deal for anyone looking for a sturdy starter home.

Since the ROW80 round ended last week and the official goals statement post isn’t due until next week, I won’t be sending you to see how everyone else did this round. For myself, I’m glad that I achieved the key goal of finding and starting a new job. Making that a reality, though, meant a significant reduction in my creative output. Now that I’m finding my feet there again, I hope I’m able to set better goals for the next round. Including one related to how hubs and I tend our inner selves. Until next week, I’ll ponder which specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals I’ll be including in my list, and wishing you the fortitude to walk out of your house like a shepherd.

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