Intentional Observation: Love the place you’re in

Damaris over at the Internet Monk posted a wonderful little entry earlier this week about place after realizing that the monastic vows of Saint Benedict included not just poverty, chastity, and obedience, but also stability.

As I’ve mentioned numerous times here before, this kind of stability is something we Americans mostly don’t understand. In the past century or so we’ve been given the opportunity to be geographically mobile and a lot of us jump on that every chance we get. A few excerpts from Damaris’ post:

There is a virtue to staying where you are. There is a virtue to being where you are. Too many of us are never where we are. We live with our windows closed, shades drawn, televisions on. Our feet never feel the ground, and our skin never feels the air. While our bodies occupy a vague, in-between world, our minds are editing the past or worrying about the future . . .

This place where we are now is the only place we can meet God. God will never be in the imaginary places, the greener grass springing from our discontent, and neither will we.

The author then implores us to take a hard look at the place we’re in now. Be it high or low, noble or ignoble, and find beauty in it. There is beauty in it. “This place where we are now is the only place we can meet God. God will never be in the imaginary places, the greener grass springing from our discontent, and neither will we.”

Read the brief entry and contribute to the conversation via this link.

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About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at pcNielsen.com.

4 Responses to Intentional Observation: Love the place you’re in

  1. Julie says:

    That’s a wonderful poem at the end, too. Have we been through this before; have you read Kathleen Norris?

  2. Tim J. says:

    Wonderful subject for contemplation. This is one reason I think I have been inspired lately to paint small, local details – a leaf, some mushrooms, a glass of beer – rather than traveling great distances to paint grand vistas. Those have their place, and I very much admire the work of the Luminists and the Hudson River School, who did just that sort of thing. It’s just not what I am drawn to.

    I am pulling for the little things, as you pull for the little guy.

  3. Julie says:

    Reminds me, I saw this a couple days ago:

    Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what clearly lies at hand.
    – Thomas Carlye

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