For a Lenten practice this year, I’ve decided to do nothing.
That’s a little misleading. In order to nothing, I’ll first enter my prayer room, wrap myself in a prayer shawl, and sit in a favorite chair. But then I will simply wait, allowing myself to do nothing for fifteen or twenty minutes. I will not journal or do lectio divina or pray the psalms or do centering prayer or read one of the interesting books on my shelf, good as all those are. I will simply make space, watch and wait.
I imagine it will be a bit like when I head out on a camera walk. For the first ten or fifteen minutes, my mind chatters away. Then it gradually stills, and I can see what is around me, and receive the gifts of the day.
Or perhaps it will be like this story from The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, by Sister Benedicta Ward:
A brother came to Scetis to visit Abba Moses and asked him for a word. The old man said to him, "Go, sit in your cell, and your cell will teach you everything."
Since the snow keeps on snowing, and I'm not getting out for camera walks, I will go into my cell and see what comes.
Today, it is the memory of a pebbly stream catching the light in a Japanese garden, and a sunflower full of bright summer sunshine, and a porch dusted with January snowfall.
My approach to contemplative photography --
Tell about it."
Mary Oliver in "Sometimes"