“There is a lovely Talmudic story that when the the Children of Israel reached the Red Sea, and Moses struck his staff on the shore, the waters of the sea did not part to let them through. The Israelites stood there at the edge of the water and nothing happened until one of the men plunged in. Then the waters rolled back.” - from A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L’Engle
Many, many years ago I went to a Quaker Meeting. I followed the directions to a remote home in the dripping cedary woods of Roberts Creek. There were only two other people in the house. She was named Hillary. He was named Clinton. I did not catch the irony of that combo until I got home to tell Kevin and Cory about my first, and so far, last, Quaker meeting. I had been hoping for a little more annonymity, a way of absorbing silence and energy while being lost in a group. Yes, well…another time perhaps.
I’m sure most people would describe me as an extrovert. This might even be true. But I also crave silence. More and more I am drawn to cave time, meditation, time alone with my thoughts, quietude where I can reflect and ponder.
Which, rather ironically, brings me to MeetUp groups. I just came back from my second Friday MeetUp at The Grind. We meet in the back of the coffee shop near Main Street and King Edward. I don’t remember many of the names…maybe a Linda, perhaps a Jean or Jan?
But here’s what I love:
We meet at 9:30. We sit with our laptops, our notes, our pens and our coffees and write. There is no chatter. There is nothing but the steady buzz of the other conversations from the front of the cafe, the background of classical music, the smell of coffee and the ting of the occasional fork against a plate. At 11:30, it’s over. I say thank you and leave.
Best of all, I am there in a blocked out space of time. I have finally plunged into that frothing sea of avoidance that had seemed impassable. It has parted. I am writing again.
It is divine.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” - Lao Tzu