Reflections from the Reservoir - Elaine's Blog

Elaine's Blog

Reflections from the Reservoir

Elaine Fletcher Chapman

September 14, 2016

Yesterday I cleaned and reorganized my study to begin a new season of writing. So today I begin:

A full moon on Friday and I feel the fullness of this time of year.
The leaves in the backyard began falling last week and every morning
since the temperature dropped we have taken Mr. Dozer to the field
to play ball. It's how we begin our day, at the field. We notice the sun
arriving later each morning. Often geese fly over the field. Sometimes
the mowers arrive before us. Sometimes we see other dog friends:
Henry or Bentley and their owners. We review our day. Wet grass
sticks to our shoes. Dew. Some days we are quiet especially when
a busy day is before us. It is a meditative time. A new day, beginning.
Most days we feel extremely grateful.
For me, I love to see my dog without a leash, running free.


July 10, 2016

Earliest known prayer to Theotokos, that is to the Virgin Mary, was found on a fragment of papyrus that is dated to 250 AD:

Beneath thy compassion, we take refuge, O Mother of God:
do not despise our petitions in time of trouble,
but rescue us from dangers, only pure one, only Blessed one. 

In this hour, on this day I take comfort in this prayer.

Several months ago Becky Stewart approached me about writing a blog for the Chestnut Memorial United Methodist website. I thought, really?   What I can possibly write that people will find interesting? I am not a biblical scholar like Chappy. I don’t have a great deal of experience with church communities. I don’t teach Sunday school. I don’t sing in the choir or praise band. I do attend services. I do live in the parsonage. I witness the comings and goings. I have a view: Harpersville Road, the Reservoir, and the church parking lot. So I agreed to write whenever I felt moved to do so. No regularity. Nothing specific.

July 4, 2016

This morning we opened the kitchen window to hear the rain and birdsong in the backyard. A gentle rain. The wind hardly stirring. Monday holiday, so we are at home. No rushing. A slow beginning with waffles, maple syrup. Tea and coffee. Sliced cantaloupe and strawberries.

The dog has settled down and I am at my desk, facing Harpersville. Still raining. I resist turning on the light. Open the blinds. I’m tempted to open one of the books stacked on the right side of my desk: The Darkening Trapeze by Larry Levis, Citizen by Claudia Rankine, Incoming: Veteran Writers On Returning Home, The Gate of Tears: Sadness & the Spiritual Path by Jay Michaelson. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates and always my companion, Writing and the Spiritual Life by Patrice Vecchionne.

I am defined by what I read. I read for solace, for inspiration, for comfort, for company.

Reading and writing. Writing has long been my devotion. My spiritual practice. A Year with Thomas Merton, Poetry as Prayer: The Psalms, Glimpse After Glimpse. I read then write in my notebook. Perhaps a poem appears, if I am lucky.

So I am wondering, do you keep a notebook, a journal? Where does reading fit into your life? Do you have a stack of books beside your bed, on the kitchen table, or a desk? Write me with answers or questions@