a little something extra

Monday, January 15, 2007

Sabbath 9, and checking in

The project that has intermittently populated this blog over the past couple of months started when Tripp and I started reading Wayne Muller's book Sabbath "together," reading the same chapter every week and blogging about it on Sundays. Cristopher shortly joined the project, so now it's a three-way co-reading among San Antonio, Chicago and L.A.

Gentlemen, the holidays did a number on this practice, so I'm checking in with you this week about how to go forward. Tripp, are you still in? Cristopher, where are you in the reading? [Ed. note -- after publishing this post, I went to Cristopher's blog and found his posts on chapters 8 and 9, so it looks like we're in synch with the reading.] Are there any adjustments either of you would like to make to this practice? The simultaneity of reading the same chapter every week was a big part of the charm for me, so I'd like to continue that if we can.

Meanwhile, this week I read the chapter called "Inner Music." Great! I thought. Tripp and Cristopher are both musicians, as am I; this is bound to be juicy.

Well, Muller then didn't mention music once in the chapter. Psych!

Instead he continued discussing the way that organisms cling to circadian rhythms, even when the external signals are being manipulated by researchers, commercial growers, or anybody else. As soon as the manipulation goes away, the organism reorients itself to a roughly 24-hour circadian rhythm of activity and rest. Okay, Wayne, we get it!

One thing that did spark me in this chapter was Muller's mention of the garden Linnaeus planted, including plants that would open and close their flowers in succeeding hours of the day. By glancing at the garden, he could always tell what time it was.

I haven't heard of anybody duplicating Linnaeus' feat, but there are two other kinds of gardens that stick in my memory. One is a "Shakespeare garden," that includes plants and flowers mentioned in Shakespeare's plays and poetry. The one linked in this paragraph is near the outdoor Delacorte Theatre in Central Park, where the Public Theater does its famous Shakespeare in the Park productions during the summer.

The other is the Garden for the Blind at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. I didn't know about it until a friend took me there while I was still in grad school, more than ten years ago now. We had gone to the Botanical Gardens, and after much wandering around, my friend suddenly said to me, "Wait here." He headed off across a footbridge, then shortly came back, took my hand and said "Close your eyes." We went back across that bridge and came into a garden that is designed to be experienced by touch, scent and sound, which thanks to his foresight and guidance was exactly the way I experienced it. Pretty amazing.

Muller's exercise associated with this chapter is classic Zen meditation, focused on the breath.


At 4:16 AM , Blogger Tripp Hudgins said...

I am in!

It seems that duing the holidays my book was put away...and we are not entirely sure where. So, I am picking up a spare copy from the church library this morning to get cought up.

Fear not, fellow readers. I am with thee!!!

At 9:35 AM , Blogger meeegan said...

Great! I'm glad to hear it. And, I hope your strep is all gone.

At 9:17 PM , Blogger Cristopher said...

I'm liking the way it's going so far... thanks again for letting me join you. I occasionally want to continue conversation threads, but I think referring to previous posts will do the trick.

I remember that garden walk! (I also remember letting you prick your finger on a cactus, which made me feel terrible.) :-)

At 9:39 AM , Blogger meeegan said...

I survived. :)

I hope you and your family get a chance to visit the gardens, now that you're back in the area.


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