No Slant of Light, but an Excellent Beginning to the Day

Breaking the Fast

Breaking the Fast

There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God.

Ecclesiastes 2:24

I retired to bed around 10:30 last night, after watching the St. Louis Blues prevail over the Chicago Blackhawks in an epic come-from-behind-three-times battle (I am a hockey fanatic).  I was surprised to wake up at 7:14 this morning, and further surprised that there was no slant of light coming through my bedroom window.  In fact, as I write this now at 11:47, there has been no sunlight at all in my space throughout the morning, just cold, overcast winter light.  We have a cold front approaching Arlington, Texas and temperatures are supposed to hit a hard-freeze tonight.

After breakfast, my thoughts shifted toward this New Year, and I began to scribble out resolutions in my journal (always a sacred moment for me).  And then, I settled in to read the Book of Ecclesiastes in its entirety.  I want to do this every year at this time, but seldom get it done.  But this morning, I read the entire text and am profoundly moved by the message.

Reading fron Ecclesiastes

Reading fron Ecclesiastes

Throughout the years, I have rarely found another who has read this great book, and the few who have read it seem to write it off as “too depressing.”  The book has never struck me that way.  In the text, I hear the tired voice of an aged ruler who had been successful in administration and the acquisition of wisdom and wealth.  In his closing years, he concludes that “all is vanity.”  In his tone, I hear that constant refrain: “What is the point?”  I am not depressed in hearing that. I am intrigued.  I love that honest question that cuts to the core of our souls.  If we’re going to die, then why do the things that we do matter?

I’ll probably pick this up again in the blog, but it is nearly noon, and I knew at bedtime last night what I wanted to paint today.  As Qohelet (the Preacher in Ecclesiastes) observed, we should experience good in our labor.  This is a gift.  I am grateful for that gift.  I love life.  It is too short.  Art is long.  And now, I wish to give myself back to making art.  The morning read has been very satisfying, my heart is lifted, and I have found a sense of calm and contentment, even without that slant of light.

More later.  Thanks so much for being there to read me.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

 

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4 Responses to “No Slant of Light, but an Excellent Beginning to the Day”

  1. ann Says:

    Hello, I concur about your comment on the book of Ecclesiastes. I read this book as a valuable insight and an instruction on life which we often take it for granted because how we live this life does matter. I so enjoy reading your blog and love that you post your latest art on it. Thank you and Happy New Year to you! Ann

    Like

    • davidtripp Says:

      Thank you so much for reading my blog and for looking at my work. Reading Ecclesiastes certainly set the tone for an excellent day and I am counting on for some clear thinking about the year stretching out before us.

      Like

  2. Bonnie Says:

    I love Ecclesiastes! Nice to know you enjoy the verses, too. I find much there that can apply to my life, as it’s different than most. The passages of “there is a time…” are beloved! I’ve mainly been resting…but hopefully I’ll have a time to draw…as I’ve been asked to do 8-10 illustrations for a book. (Pen and ink These can even be done while resting.) Enjoy your painting!

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    • davidtripp Says:

      Oh wow! Best of luck as you pursue your illustrations, and congratulations on your pending publication! I hope you recover as you take your rest. I think of your trials often. It’s great to hear of your love for Ecclesiastes. I have had his “there is a time” passage in my heart throughout this very day. What a difference it makes to feel confidence in the changing tides.

      Like

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