Day 82_Book of Hours FULL


Today I woke up excited to get going on my morning ritual here in Venice Beach.  It was a grey overcast morning. No sunrise today. I had the beach pretty much all to myself while my husband hurried off to work. I was in a hurry when I packed everything in my bag.  I wanted to get out and spend some time doing my morning pages before the crowds showed up.

As I was setting up my beach blanket, a voice told me to “Stop and look.”  I waved it off saying “Yes, yes, I will once I get set up and get going on writing my pages.”  I really just wanted to get my pages over with so that I could get going with the day. I can’t skip this step of my morning ritual.

As I sat in the middle of my beach blanket, the centre of a mandala, I heard the voice again, “Stop and look, damn it.” Instead I rolled my eyes and grabbed my bag to look for my morning pages.  I took out my pages, never looking up, and searched for a pen.

I didn’t have one.

I swear I packed a pen.  After feeling around in the bag for about 5 minutes, I gave up.  There was not a pen to be found.

I started laughing.  Of course.  Ok, now I’m listening.  I will stop and look.

At first, I just saw the waves and the sand and an almost empty beach.  Then my gaze rested on a trio of surfers floating just to the left of my view.  They seemed to be waiting.  I watched them as they passed up some waves I thought would be good ones.  One started paddling to an area of calm.  I couldn’t understand why he would paddle to that spot.  But then, to my surprise, a swell came out of nowhere and he caught it just in time.

This rhythm of feeling the ocean was amazing to watch.  As I sat there, I thought of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book Wherever You Go, There You Are where he describes a poster of a seventy-ish yogi, Swami Satchiananda, in full white beard and flowing robes atop a surfboard with the caption: “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

I an learn to go with the flow as long as I remember to see what’s in front of me.

So sometimes it’s ok to break ritual to stop and look around.

At that moment, I looked down at my bag and I saw my box of pastels.  I had brought those but no pen.  I don’t remember packing them.  In my morning pages, I decided to draw what was right in front of me, the Pacific Ocean, underneath the little picture I drew of the view of the Rockies from the airplane window:

Morning_Pages_no pen

And so I went back to the beach in the afternoon, wanting to draw the beach again but this time in my Book of Hours.  Of course, I didn’t end up packing my Book of Hours in my bag to the beach.  But I did bring the pastels. After spending a moment breathing, touching, smelling, and listening, I found a piece of scrap paper in my bag.  I stopped and looked and began to draw what I saw, feeling as expansive as the vista before me.


100 scribbles…hurriedly writing the here and now.








2 responses to “82.”

  1. Amy Avatar

    Simply breathtaking! Reading your post took me right back to Venice Beach. I felt as though I was there with you.

    1. rozanne Avatar


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