Sacred Time and the Spice of Life

A blogalectic with Masha and Mr. Pond.

Last week, Masha talked about her spaces-set-apart, and as it turns out, we share a love for making home sacred. As for Mr. Pond, he was apparently too busy publishing a tale called Bradie Law and the Grumpenmire to post; since I got a fair bit of amusement out of Bradie Law, I'll let that slide. On with the blogalectic, and the next concept involved in sacred time: rite.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: if spontaneity is the spice of life, routine and ritual are the meat and potatoes. Some people like more spice than others, of course, and whether we're talking about spontaneity or food, I tend to have the tastes of a nervous old Englishwoman. I prefer things a bit bland, thanks very much.

Reading other writers' rituals always interests me, though my own may not prove interesting. Inspiration can certainly hit anytime (and has a penchant for choosing the most inopportune times), but for the daily grind, I treat writing like work. That is, I get up with my hardworking husband, breakfast with him, pray Lauds, shower, dress, and get makeup and hair done. Then I check my email and Facebook to get rid of the immediate possible distractions, open up Blogger or Scrivener or Word, and set to.

Granted, this doesn't always turn into great productivity. But I generally work better when I feel neat and organized and together and—well, pretty.

It doesn't feel properly authorial, though. Surely I ought to be incapable of creative thought without a cigar handy, or some very specific type of tea. Or some elaborate process involving taking twelve steps toward the west, turning a cartwheel, drinking half a bottle of merlot and possibly tying my feet to the desk. None of it does much for me. I need quiet, a neat house, comfortable but not sloppy clothes, my hair out of my face, and plenty of eye shadow. And my little Dell.

It makes for a simple routine, if a time-consuming one—good eye shadow is itself a work of art—but it orders my days.

And if it's un-authorial to jump up at twelve o'clock sharp and say the Angelus, mid-sentence if necessary, well—I'll just say that such rituals are part of making time sacred.


  1. Ugh, I wish I could get Sweet Baby into a routine! I never know what the day will hold with him, and it makes me feel unmoored. Your daily routine sounds almost monastic, well, maybe minus the eye shadow, of which I could also use a dose from time to time. :) Lately I've been so burned out by the labora part that when it comes time for ora I just feel crabby and resentful and in no mood to pray even though that is what I need most (aside from five hours of uninterrupted sleep and two minutes to myself once a day!). But this stage can't last forever, I guess.

    In the meantime, it might help me to start praying the Angelus regularly again! I love that prayer. It's such a packed meditation on the mystery of the Incarnation, which really, is the meaning and purpose of our life and the only true source of happiness: to become a vessel so open, so obedient, and so pure that Christ may take on flesh within us.


    P.S. This is incredibly off-topic, but did I miss your review of Breaking Dawn?

  2. Maria, that phase of trying to get baby to eat and sleep at reasonably regular intervals sounds terrifying. I am not a nice person after a few days' lack of sleep. :S Prayers for you!

    I love the Angelus, too. At first I had to set the alarm on my cell phone to go off at noon, but now I usually catch it... at least, within a few minutes.

    You haven't missed my review; I haven't seen the movie. To be very honest, I'm sort of afraid to. :P

  3. Hmmm, I notice you failed to mention anything about the sacred routines of cats. ;)

  4. Haha, George. Their ways are too mysterious for the likes of us. :P


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