The Inner Life

granma luskI have been thinking about my maternal grandmother. Arada Lusk (1895-1983) was a tiny woman with a huge presence in my childhood. I grew up in the house my mother was born in, and my grandparents lived next door, in a house built by their sons and sons-in-laws. The winter after my grandfather died, when I was 17, I often slept at my grandmother’s house to keep her company. I woke each morning to the sound of Elk Creek rushing by (only a few feet from the lower level), and found her sitting in her chair in the living room, reading her Bible and praying. Or dozing in her chair. She set out Corn Pops and half-n-half for me on the gray formica kitchen table. I caught the school bus with my cousins.

I view my own contemplative practices each morning in the same light as my Grandmother’s Bible and prayer. Joseph Campbell said, more or less, that a person who doesn’t have an hour each morning before television or radio or newspaper or social interactions, can’t have much of an inner life.

I read a little; I write in my journal. What do you do to stay in touch with your inner life?


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