I caught a cold or somesuch. Even though it’s gone, I’m left exhausted and physically back where I was months ago. It’s frustrating. I had been making such progress! Who knows how long it will take to get back to where I was just a few weeks ago.
So I’m lying on the bed typing, cuddling a very cheeky little guinea pig and listening to audiobooks from Audible. Audiobooks are wonderful for people like me, people who tire on reading, people whose lives are (or can be) somewhat limited. Audible allows me to continue learning. I’m listening to a series of lectures on the development of language and another series of lectures on the Ignatian practice of discernment. In my years of Audible membership I have learnt about History, Economics, Linguistics, Theology, Physics, Neurology, Psychology… You name it. I’ve been able to begin to decipher Italian, French and Mandarin and I have revisited some of my childhood favourites, such as Enid Blyton and Joan Aiken. Of course, my forays into the world of adult fiction are also fairly constant. I am a fiction junkie. Through Audible I have fallen in love with the words of Lisa Gardner (supreme queen of crime thrillers), Liane Moriarty (and the narration of Caroline Lee), and have recently discovered the work of Amanda Prowse (who reads her own work). Audible also produce their own content, and the series of new audio plays (or ‘movies-in-the-mind’ as I call them) based on the Alien novels and films are brilliant – science fiction being my literary alma mater ❤ Thank you, Audible!
In another essential way Audible is a lifeline, too. I am listening to a dramatised version of the Old Testament, the New Testament read by David Suchet, Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love, Brother Lawrence’s The Practice of the Presence of God and Ann Voskamp reading her One Thousand Gifts Devotional. I listen to a chapter of each every day and it allows me to keep up with my spiritual learning, too (which is the most important). When I reach the end of the OT or the NT, I just begin again. Same for The Practice of the Presence of God. It is so very simple, yet so easy to forget, that I reckon I need to keep revisiting all the ideas until I can actually do them.
In listening to educational and spiritual material, Audible allows me to be disciplined even in the middle of what feels like chaos or exhaustion. My life seems to swing between chaos and exhaustion and doesn’t stop for very long in ‘order’ and ‘wellness’ – at least, that’s how it feels. Que sera sera. God is eternal. The eternal is now. Right now. ‘Now’ is all we ever have. Yet –
‘All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well’ ~ Julian of Norwich
‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life… or about your body… Is not life more…?Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value [to God] than they?And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? …Therefore do not worry… indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.‘
Extract from Matthew 6:25-33 (NRSVA)
In summary: you gotta do what you gotta do – and that’s all you gotta do.