Ben // 4/6/2008

Today I drove to Somerville in the rain. It was no use looking for parking spots in the metered lot near Davis Square. No room, I thought, Never mind. I only have five quarters with me anyway. I drove down Willow Street where there is free parking along the side of the road and found a place beside the great trunk of a water-stained willow. With my leather bag swung across my shoulder, I began the journey through the drizzling rain.

There is a paved jogging path that runs between Willow Street and my work. When I take this path I always see people walking quickly to and fro from the city to their homes and back again. I also see people leisurely walking their dogs. Last week I saw a man come out of the bushes with a little Scottish Terrier on a leash and a chocolate Labrador romping ahead. The chocolate Lab was a city dog no doubt. It was holding a handsome tennis racket in its mouth just as though the racket was a stick! Today I only saw three women walking together, two of them were elderly and the third must have been about my own age. They had their umbrellas up and were chatting about the health benefits of red wine.

As I crossed the threshold and entered the office, I suddenly realized how long the week had been. This week I spent 6 hours making photocopies at Staples (a story in itself), 18.5 hours working at the Web development firm where I am a contractor, and 10 hours driving. I did my taxes, both for Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Twice I cleaned the fish tank because of algae. I watched two episodes of BBC’s The Pallisers (inspired by Anthony Trollope novels) with my mother and sisters and then, by myself, I watched a sad documentary about a graphic designer who drew bunnies. This week I also saved apricotpie from utter doom after I almost wrecked the site because I hadn’t paid the bills on time. And furthermore, this is not half of everything I did and experienced.

How could I be expected to do more? My soul had reached the point of saturation; it could take no more. Now I was ready to meditate on the events of the week in peace.

I stood up from the computer and made myself a cup of Earl Gray tea in the office kitchen. Then I grabbed half a dozen donut holes, which I almost swallowed whole in my haste to wake myself up out of this trance. After lunch I walked over to Dunkin’ Donuts and ordered a small French Vanilla coffee (no cream or sugar). The coffee really helped me work through the day.

The hands of my inner clock said Much has happened. It is time to rest, but the outer clock said It is only 10 a.m. on Friday. This conflict between inner and outer time reminds me of a conversation I read in C.S. Lewis’ science-fiction novel Perelandra. It is a conversation between a human hero and a woman much like Eve who lives on another planet. She says to him:

"Yesterday I was young. Now I have come to understand that your laws are different from our laws."

Ransom, the earthly hero sent to Perelandra, replies:

"You say you were young--but only one day has passed. How could you be young yesterday and not be still young today?"

Baffled by this, she pauses to think. Then, she says:

"I see now that you measure time by the rising and setting of the sun, and that for you only a little time may pass from one rising to the next. But tell me: Is it not more true that time is like the waves of the sea that sometimes rise very high and fast and other times only ripple? When I said that yesterday I was young I meant that I did not understand so much as I do now. Only a few hours of your time passed, but for me it has been a long time because now I understand much more than I did."

I think this lady can teach us. Why do we not study the inner hours tolled by our inner clocks? Wondrous time, so different from our own conception of time!



Wow. Gives you food for thought.

Anna | Mon, 04/07/2008

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief


And that was a good book, too - I recently did a book report on it for an ethics and literature class.

Ezra | Tue, 04/15/2008

"There are no great men of God. There are only pitiful, sorry men whose God is great beyond measure." - Paul Washer [originally Jonathan Edwards]

Your writing is always so

Your writing is always so delightfully descriptive, it makes me wish I was in the Boston area :) . I was just having one of those never-ending days (on a Monday - of course!) and I thought of your letter so I thought I'd comment.

Christa | Mon, 04/21/2008

Thanks Christa, Anna, Ezra.

Thanks Christa, Anna, Ezra. I appreciate your comments!

Ben | Sun, 04/27/2008

Thank you.

Thank you Ben, that was an excellent post and I really appreciate it, considering how busy I am and how time seems to be flying by right now!

That's also an excellent book...I think I'll have to go read it again.

Raine | Thu, 05/08/2008


That was very intersting!

My momther would be all over this. She is big on Inner states of mind! like she say's that every thing has energy! Negitive and....( oh I forget the name for the good...)...And...ohh... Ah ha! Constructive! ( I'm sorry my spelling is terrable!) I think it's so cool! She also says something about... trying to focus on that energy and... I have forgoten!!! which is a bummer! it was such a cool thing she had said!

She loved how you orginized the subjects into... Oh...whats the word... Ah! Temperments! she loved studying that! I thought it was amazing, how people know all this! I forgot what I am?

You have have such a hard work life! you are very busy!

Thanks so much, for saving AP from disaster! Me and my friend Homeschool love it SOOOO MUCH!!!



p.s. What is Editor day???

Kassady | Sat, 07/03/2010

"Here's looking at you, Kid"
Write On!


Thank you so much, Ben, for sharing this. :) I loved the last quote from Perelandra. So true!

Mairead | Sat, 07/03/2010


"Sweet is the love that never knew a wound, but deeper that which died and rose again." - Mother Mary Francis


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