When I was talking to my husband about how distracted I've been for the last week or so, he said that my daughter had told him that St. John of the Cross or St. Augustine, or someone like that said that distraction was like having a monkey loose in the house. That pretty much describes the situation inside my head lately. I cannot have two thoughts together before one of them goes zooming off in another direction. When I sit down to read the Office or any spiritual reading, I get to the bottom of the page and realize I don't have a clue what I read. I start over again--same thing. I cannot get through a short morning offering without going off on a tangent in the middle of it. This is making me crazy, and making me do some crazy things.
This morning, I had an appointment to have some blood drawn in preparation for my physical on Friday. When I was about halfway to the doctors office, in other words when I had gone about 20 miles, I realized that I had planned on getting there at 8:00, which was the time for Friday's appointment and not 7:10, which was the time for today's appointment. So, with another 20 miles ahead of me, I was already two minutes late. Thankfully, they were very nice about it.
Then, I lost my glasses at work. I kept looking in the three places that I had been and the glasses had just disappeared. Other people were looking. I sent an email to the entire staff asking them to keep an eye out for my glasses. Unfortunately, this was attached to another email that said that I had found the toaster that I had lost earlier, but that's another story. At least I provided everyone with some amusement. Well, I finally found them in the restroom where I had already looked three times. I can't recall that I ever took my glasses off in the restroom before.
My run-away thoughts haven't kept me awake at night, but I've been having very involved and intense dreams. They aren't bad dreams for the most part. Some of them are really nice. Most mornings I wake up remembering some pleasant things. But they are very busy. Apparently my brain is still working overtime even when I'm asleep.
Well, my daughter just called and said that she doesn't remember that conversation, but that it sounded like Teresa of Avila, so I did a Google search and came up with a passage from a book called Don't Trust the Abbot:Musings from a Monastery by Jerome Kodell, which says that Hindu tradition says:
When I sit down to pray it is if I am under a tree full of monkeys As soon as I begin my prayer, the monkeys begin to chatter and swing back and forth to get my attention. Suddenly, I find myself in the tree with the monkeys as soon as I realized this, I descend to sit under the tree again.It reminds me of one of my favorite books that I think I've mentioned before.
I don't seem to be able to descend. Further on he says that St. Teresa of Avila said that distractions were like having a crazy woman in the house. Well, that's for sure, but I don't seem to be able to rid myself of myself.
So, I'm just trying to offer it all up. Maybe the Lord has decided that it's a good Lenten exercise. Should you happen to be having a nice little quiet time of prayer, you might offer one up for me.