Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Week Two

Again, nothing remarkable.

08 FEB 2008 - 0 miles
09 FEB 2008 - 0 miles
10 FEB 2008 - 2 miles
11 FEB 2008 - 0.75miles
12 FEB 2008 - 0 miles
13 FEB 2008 - 0 miles
14 FEB 2008 - 0 miles

2.75 miles Total this week
6 miles Total to date (994 to go)

I'm disappointed (and frankly embarrassed) to have walked fewer miles than last week. So I had the idea that I would just walk spontaneously, and that I'd walk more, and more as time went on... Well it worked with saying daily rosary. I'm getting the feeling that this won't work quite that way. In my defense - I did do a fair amount of meditative walking - just not with both of my walking partners.... One or the other, but not both!

Plan B. I've plotted out some distances in my neighborhood, totaling 2.5 miles. If I walk to these locations 6 days each week, that's 15 miles - not the 25 that I'm shooting for - but it's a good start, and they are places I really like going. 1 mile of it is to and from daily Mass, and the other mile and a half is to and from my favorite park.

My meditative time led me to reflect about a certain arrogance in the peace/non-violence community. We have this idea that we just need to change our paradigm to non-violence, and away from the use of military force. So I started to think: has anybody done this? And I mean really done it - no fighting in any wars ever.

The Amish. The Amish, and the historic Peace Churches all practice radical non-violence. What is their experience? Are they realizing a peaceful new world order? After a small bit of research, I discovered that there are significant differences in these faith communities, especially the Amish, and Mennonites who tend to live apart from modern society; however - they haven't been able to avoid the violence bug, simply by embracing a starting paradigm of non-violence. The Amish have experienced some high-profile difficulties with incest, and are completely comfortable with corporal punishment. Former president Nixon was a Quaker.... There is more than the paradigm. I suspect that there has to be a daily and ongoing conversatio morum - conversion of life. You cannot assume the paradigm will make it right - you as an individual have to reflect on your values and align with them constantly. This peacemaking stuff looks like hard work.

In personal peacemaking news, I was triumphant this week. I was meeting my teenager at school to help him with a project he had neglected until it was a crisis... And he wasn't at the meeting spot. Now mind you, I have a lot of tolerance for people being late, because I'm usually late - I have to lie to myself to get to doctor appointments on time. But he was half an hour late for an errand we had an hour to run. To go inside and get him would involve wandering around the school with an infant and a toddler until we got to the office, where I didn't expect to get much in the way of assistance. So I waited. And waited. And I started fuming. I was ready to let into to my son like nobody's business when I saw him next. Then I got an idea. I decided to call a dear friend to chat instead of sitting in the parking lot fuming. So we chatted, and I felt better. Before I knew it, my son arrived; and he was for the first time I can remember in a while, contrite, forthcoming with his mistake (he had forgotten), and truly sorry for the error. This was nothing short of miraculous. So momentous was the experience, I had to buy everybody a round of cocoa and hammenstachen at Zingerman's.

Lessons learned: don't waste time feeding anger (it can find sustenance on it's own). Find positive and constructive ways to spend time. Even if it's a small bit of time, spend it well. Make yourself ready to receive spontaneous acts of contrition :o) Here's a shout out to my Christian fellows: try a little reflection time with Matthew 25.


Amy said...

I think you would really enjoy the book Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy. I got a lot from it and it fits your theme very well. Amy

Grace Potts said...

Hey Amy-

I think you're my reader! I've heard of this book... I should probably go ahead and get it. Thanks :o)