“God calls the caterpillar to the cocoon.” That sentence came to me with the force of a revelation of special meaning. To most people it sounds odd, banal or silly, to others obvious. But to me it was a thunderbolt, a pronouncement that explained what was happening to me . . .
When my kids were little, they were big fans of Richard Scary’s Best Word Book Ever, which we called simply, “The Big Book.” Weighing in at 1.5 pounds and 70 pages (an incredible size for a book written for 3- to 7-year-olds), the detailed illustrations in this hefty tome would keep them occupied for, well, if not literally hours, long periods for preschoolers! But today I want to talk about a different Big Book. . .
I had not been studying spiritual direction long when my new spiritual director asked me what seemed to me a strange question. “What do you do for fun?” she asked. “Not much,” I responded. Even when I was a kid, at least from about middle school age, I was all about productivity. I used to get exasperated with schoolmates who sauntered leisurely down the hall between classes with their friends. My pace was always a brisk speedwalk, usually with an open book in my hands, trying to eek out a paragraph while searching for a narrow passage to get past the living speedbumps in my way. . .
A tree is not solitary organism — far from it! In addition to its connection to other trees through its root system, as described in a previous blog post, it provides homes and shelter to birds and animals, to insects, moss and lichen. It “lives intimately” with all kinds of other creatures and living things. . .
As a recovering perfectionist, I understand something known in the study of human dysfunction as “unrelenting standards.” Someone with this schema, or deeply held belief or outlook, tends to see things as black or white, good or bad, the right way or the wrong way . . .