Friday Five

Friday Five: Life is a Verb

As posted by Jan at RevGalBlogPals:

Digh, Patti. Life is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful,
and Live Intentionally.
Guilford, CT: Skirt!, 2008.

Jennifer recommended this book, which I got because I always value Jennifer's reading suggestions. The author of Life is a Verb, Patti Digh worked her book around these topics concerning life as a verb:

  • Say yes.
  • Be generous.
  • Speak up.
  • Love more.
  • Trust yourself.
  • Slow down.

As I read and pondered about living more intentionally, I also have wondered what this Friday Five should be. This book has been the jumping off point for this Friday.

1. What awakens you to the present moment?

I tend to be drifty and dreamy, but sights and sounds in nature bring me back to the present moment: the sound of birds, the movement of leaves in trees, the purple of the lupines on the side of the highway, the fragrance (now gone by) of the lilacs in my backyard, the crunch of leaves underfoot when we are in that season, and the slippery path through the snow.

2. What are 5 things you see out your window right now?

It's a pretty grim picture this morning. I see rain, a stump grinder at the neighbor's (arrived at 7 a.m.!), the young flowering crabapple in my backyard that will have a better chance at life because my neighbors had a butternut tree removed (see stump grinder), the treehouse we built on the huge stump of a giant silver maple 12 years ago, and grass and ground cover Pure Luck will have to mow when he gets home, if it ever stops raining.

3. Which verbs describe your experience of God?

Embrace, beckon, sing, shine, concuss.

4. From the book on p. 197:
Who were you when you were 13? Where did that kid go?

I was 13 when I asked to be baptized, in the summer of 1974. I was pious beyond belief for about two weeks and then came down to earth again, mostly. I judged others harshly. I loved boys a lot, but I doubted anyone really loved me.

Some of that is still true. I ricochet from places of spiritual intention and depth to times of shallow hilarity. I like to think I'm less judgmental, but every now and then I hear the shocked voice of that 13-year-old in my head. I still love boys, one old boy in particular. And I think I will always grapple with existential doubts about my loveability, despite ample evidence to the contrary.

5. From the book on p. 88:
If your work were the answer to a question, what would the question be?

Can we get there from here? (Answer: Maybe, but it's a long and winding road.)

Bonus idea for you here or on your own–from the book on p. 149:
"Go outside. Walk slowly forward. Open your hand and let something fall into it from the sky. It might be an idea, it might be an object. Name it. Set it aside. Walk forward. Open your hand and let something fall into it from the sky. Name it. Set it aside. Repeat. . . ."

Given the weather, I'll pass this exercise for today, but I thank Jan for this Friday Five!

19 thoughts on “Friday Five: Life is a Verb”

  1. Nature – yes! Concuss – I like it. Good way to describe that whack in the side of the head God occasionally give us. At least that’s what came to mind when I read it.

  2. I like that you have lupines, as they always remind me of the Lupine Lady in “Miss Rumphius.” How I love that book.
    “Concuss” is a very interesting word for God–evocative.
    I can identify with “being pious beyond belief” though I think I was older than 13. That’s such a good description. Glad you still that 13 year old and didn’t abandon her.

  3. I love “Miss Rumphius” too by the way!
    Anyway, I would agree with it being a ‘long and winding road’!

  4. Concuss is a great verb. I might have to steal it. Great play.

  5. Yes, where concuss is concerned, I was definitely thinking “whack with the clue-stick.”

  6. I love this: “I ricochet from places of spiritual intention and depth to times of shallow hilarity.” That sounds a lot like my own experience.
    Great play.

  7. “Water.”
    “More water.”
    “Still more water.”
    I don’t see what’s so hard about doing that… 😉

  8. Not that I know you well, but drifty and dreamy are not adjectives I’d use to describe how I know you. Intelligent, witty, verbal in the best of ways, thoughtful and thought provoking. Ok….but then I how we see and know ourselves is often not the way others see and know and us.
    I think I will try to use the word concuss several times today and maybe add it to my sermon on Sunday….then it will become a part of my vocabulary! Certainly is a good one.

  9. Isn’t it interesting how when you interact with someone, even if “only” through a blog, you become connected to them. About two weeks ago, I bought the book you are writing about and have been using it’s ideas for meditation (since I am doing so much writing for my grad school classes). You might also want to look at Taking Flight: Inspiration And Techniques To Give Your Creative Spirit Wings by Kelly Rae Roberts. I’m heading to Borders later to look at it since I received a 40% off coupon. What book lover can resist that temptation?!

  10. Thanks for this great post- I’m going to find out about butternut trees

  11. Great post and now I’m going to have to go and find out what a butternut tree is

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