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Blog

Living in the Hours

Michelle Metcalf

Good Morning. It is 5:45am, still dark. I have been up since 4:15. I woke up cold, restless, a little hungry.  In the past hour and a half I’ve done what I can to satisfy myself: I’m now wrapped in a huge quilt sitting on top of the furnace vent on the floor in my living room; my dog is under the covers on my lap. I have been packing boxes in the kitchen—we’re moving to our first house in under a week and a half. I packed dishes quietly in the kitchen as my husband slept upstairs. I wrapped glasses in newspaper and towels. All of this while bread baked in the oven and too hungry to wait for it, I ate a bowl full of cut watermelon squares.

I wish all days started like today—with purpose and darkness and quiet and productivity. Just today, I feel somewhat akin to the monastic life; I feel connected to all the others awake right now in the world—working in quiet—its not just about waking up early—its about getting to work, about the ritual of living in these divine early hours.

Today, I will pray the hours, connected with the monks and restless morning pilgrims. Today I will not just intend it, I will do it. I will remember. I will stop. I will allow moments to be holy.

Today I will write. I will pray for inspiration. I will ask God for help. Today I will let it come. I will not be in a hurry. I will move through this work as if my life depends on it, and it does. Today I will not be afraid. Today I will believe for myself what I believe for others. Today I will show up and do the work.  Today I will be a professional writer, even if I have to pretend. Today I will turn off my phone, today I will listen to silence. Today I will light candles. I will burn Fir Balsam incense and smell the air. Today I will look at what has been left undone and leave it undone. Today I will not be lost in distraction, in necessity that does not involve words. Today, I will listen to words; I will listen inside of my head. Today I will not use my ears, today I will not use my eyes. Today I will live in my spirit. I will condition my mind. Today I will work until the moon rises. I will pray the hours before I sleep.

An invitation to pray the hours during Lent, and maybe not during Lent too: 

http://www.explorefaith.org/prayer/fixed/

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Michelle Metcalf feels inspired today because the sun has finally started to shine in Cincinnati, OH, where she lives with her husband and dog. She lead a writer's group this morning, just like she does every Friday. That's her favorite part of the week.