Friday, April 07, 2006

I've been considering a different title for this blog, but I'm stumped. Ms. Sippi came from hearing Chris Matthews show off his new understanding of how we Southerners pronounce Mississippi, after having attended a meeting of Sou. Republ. Leaders in Memphis. I think it was Trent Lott that set him straight on using only 3 syllables instead of 4.

As it relates to me, I am a Mississippian who sips, one who drinks slowly in small amounts from the punch bowl, the river of life, whatever. Scott Peck had this to say in A World Waiting to be Born:

Contemplative prayer may be looked at as a life-style. If so, it is a life-style dedicated to maximum awareness. Those who adopt it - contemplatives - desire to become as conscious as they can possibly be. To this end, they set aside vast amounts of time for quiet and solitude. After a while this requires little discipline; they need and yearn for such time.

They do not see this as time-wasting. To the contrary, they feel it is the most efficient and cost-effective way to live. For them, as Plato put it in the Dialogues, "the unexamined life is not worth living." What we contemplatives do during our precious quiet times is to examine our lives. We enjoy experience but only in relatively small doses. What we do is take a little bit of experience and, by contemplating it, milk it for all it's worth. We believe that in this way we can ultimately learn more - become more conscious - than those who lead more frenetic lives crammed with far greater amounts of unreflective experience.

One of the things I am continually doing during my prayer time is checking out my life with my Ideal Observer. "Tell me, God," I am asking, "What I just did or what I am thinking of doing - how does it look through your eyes? Does it look civil?"

So I guess Ms. Sippi is a good pseudonym for me.

I've collected snippets like this for the past 15 years in a journal that is almost full. Everything in it resonated at the deepest level with me at the time I copied it. I wish I had recorded the date with each of them, then I could look back and remember more about what was happening when it spoke to me. Most of them still affect me deeply, and I use this journal to ground myself when I'm at loose ends. It's my own personal prayer book, one of the things I would have to grab if the house were on fire.

I thought about opening another blog and putting just these words of wisdom in it. But typed out, they don't have the same affect on me as the handwritten pages. They do say a great deal about who I am, so after I'm gone, maybe one of my children or grandchildren will treasure it. I would love to have had something like that from a parent or grandparent. And maybe if I typed it all out and posted it, someone else could draw strength from them.

But what would its title be? Something about Pondering - She kept these sayings and pondered them in her heart. (Luke 2:19) Would I be presumptuous to use The Pondering Heart? I really don't think Eudora Welty would be offended.

No comments: