Everything that Moves

If the sky wasn’t so hazy, and likely being from all those California and Russian fires, I would’ve considered it a near-perfect end of summer day. I was a little late getting to the office this morning which put me behind on getting my Sunday morning contemplative prayer session completed. As soon as I was settled, I went to my quiet little darkened corner and began my spiritual work-out which I very much needed after having numerous impure thoughts this past week due to some of the most negative of happenings with clients and customers. Oh well, I think I once again got myself back to norm which was a blessing because I don’t like having such dark thoughts poking me.

A number of years ago, I more than once paid visits to New Melleray Abbey which is located in rural Peosta, Iowa which is not far from Dubuque. From the very first time I visited that beautiful monastery, I was convinced there was something extra special about those monks who lived there, because I could sense a great goodness within their walls which was likely due to the generations of monks who’d arrived, lived, worked, and died there.

If you’re thinking of somewhere to go that’s off the beaten path, do pay them a visit, and I assure you, your experiences will have instilled within you, the fondest of memories. One thing you must keep in mind, they belong to the Cistercian Order of Strict Observance which means they don’t speak much, and when they do, it’s necessary. It’s now been over twenty years since I was there, so I’m sure things have become a little more modernized, yet still adhering to their strict prayer and work routines. If I’m not mistaken, I think their abbey is situated on around 600 acres of land which they use as a means to keep their expenses paid.

If you like gothic architecture, you’ll be on an overload when trying to take it all in during one visit. To think they built that complex all by themselves is remarkable in itself. My favorite building is the abbey church which underwent a huge change of design which took over two years and finally completed in 1976. The most impressive about it, is the feeling of actually stepping back into a Middle Age Irish Gothic monastery church. Very moving. If you have even the least bit of curiosity regarding New Melleray Abbey, an easy search for it online will give you the rest of their story.

After I finished my prayer session, I changed my clothes and went back to work on another project which is now getting to the point of being manageable. When suddenly having memories of previous projects, I ask myself, “How in the world did you manage to get it done?” Oh well, I believe it’s because I don’t like being non-productive even on Sundays. Yes, we all need our down-times, but a whole day of doing nothing would likely cause me to start climbing the walls, and for sure I’ll never be the likes of those I notice driving up and down streets and alleys on Sunday mornings while rubber-necking everything that moves. Just this morning, there was an old gent slowly driving down the back alley just to get a good look at what I was doing. I think there’s a whole lot of people out there who need to get a life.

The offer I’ve had going since Friday went down in flames today, and likely because the seller was being too demanding of my buyers to the point of being near-impossible to fulfill such questionable requests. Oh well, at least my buyers are getting all the more up to speed on what’s “normal” in the negotiating process. As I’ve said for years, a fully informed buyer is a good buyer.

After saying, “Enough!” at my morning work-out, I went back to my office, had a light lunch, returned some emails, and then headed over to my new little/big project. Oh by the way, I did finally get my previous “little/big” project finished and glad for it because that took far more months to complete than I would’ve ever expected. Oh well, it’s finished, it’s beautiful, and now looking better than the day it was built.

This afternoon’s session, was my working at getting paint off some hard to reach areas which was almost like being a professional acrobat to reach. I was sweating like a butcher all the while, and when I was at a point of being two-thirds finished and ready to throw in the towel, that little overly-demanding voice in me said, “You’re almost finished, so get it done today!”, and that’s exactly what I did. I’m glad it’s over because I’d been sub-consciously putting it off for weeks by finding something easier to do.

After I finished up, I went over to check on my little garden of tomatoes and peppers which I’ve now turned from being exceptionally angry with those demonic deer, into an even greater disappointment vegetable gardener. After giving all those plants a good looking over, I’d say I’ll be lucky if I get enough peppers and tomatoes to save their seeds over for next year. Yes, that’s how decimated that garden is right now. You can be sure my lesson is fully learned and now ready for next year’s iron-clad defense.

Just now when checking the evening sky, there’s no doubt our atmosphere is being hazed by those burning forests, and what concerns me even more, are the fires in Siberia which is about 15 times larger than Great Britain. All the climate experts are now saying our world’s climate change is going to get noticeably worse if Russia’s permafrost continues at its rate of thawing because there’s going to be a dangerous amount of methane gas released into our atmosphere. If it’s not the Chinese fishing fleets killing-off our marine life, it’s the Russian forest fires. What’s next?

On a happy note. What do you think of the above pink Hydrangea photo I took today?

Tonight’s one-liner is: We should often feel ashamed of our best actions if the world could see all the motives which produced them.

Joe Chodur

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