Posted in coronavirus, Fragments

Fragments on Fragments 29

For an introduction to this series, look here

Rest comes through change

It’s all about rhythm.

When I get a chance to go away on retreat, I go to stay with a community who live to the rule of St Benedict. Monks and nuns have a reputation for being a self-punishing bunch, but that’s certainly not what I perceive from the community I stay with. Of course they live simply, but they also seem to me to live a life which is very well balanced. The day has its times of prayer of course, and also times for recreation together, for solitude, for work. The rhythm of the day sits within the greater cycle of the year, as the church’s calendar marks it out, with its seasons of both abstinence and of celebration.

That is the sort of change which I at least find restful. Chaotic change is not! Change over which you have no control, or which you can’t at least predict, is exhausting – and it’s that sort of change we’re all living through at the moment. As the levels of virus rise and fall in different places, the rules of life change quickly. Keeping up with what’s allowed and what isn’t is hard work in itself.

Trying at least to keep to my own personal rhythm is one way in which deal with this. As much as I can, I make sure my life includes some things which are constant and regular, that I’m not spending the whole day at one sort of activity, that I’m aware of my own energy levels and take a break when I need one. But it’s not easy. If you’re not finding it easy either, join the club.

Detail from Heirloom, part of the Broken Beauty residency in Southwark cathedral, 2018. Photo credit: Alison Clark

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