The Calm

The white cups were placed in front of us. I took a sip. The black blend cut off the top of my head.

Natalie Goldberg, The Great Spring

I always laugh out loud, reading this. I’m finally out in the rural east Texas countryside, alongside a dirt road, in my favorite retreat, an old country store/residence I’ve christened Heidegger’s Hut. The German philosopher preferred his cabin in the Black Woods of Todtnauberg over his university residence in Freiburg. It was in that remote retreat that he thought deeply and wrote his most influential works. And it us here, in east Texas, rather than suburban Arlington that I can feel a Buddhist calm.

Arriving at the store at 1:30 a.m. after an excellent day and evening at the Gallery at Redlands, I laughed to realize that it was exactly that time of morning, 48 hours before, that I woke up and began my Friday. Now I was retiring to bed, and managed to sleep clear till 10:30. I don’t regret missing the early morning this time.

Natalie Goldberg doesn’t like coffee, but I can conceive of no greater taste than my first sip of French-pressed coffee today on the veranda with the cool Gulf winds sweeping over me. I plan to spend the entire day and night at this sacred space. It’s been a long week, and a richly rewarding one, but it feels good to retreat for awhile.

Thanks for reading.

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