Thoughts from the Winery

Our conversations at the Winery last night with Ron Martoia focused on presence.

Ron asked if we knew people who had a sense of presence. Alan mentioned his grandfather who was a Colonel. Magical David spoke of his mentor. And I remembered being at a reception once and feeling compelled to turn and look at a person out of my line of sight because his presence was so strong. (It was the conductor.)

Ron asked what it takes to be people of presence.

Our conversations turned to how much of our life we live on auto-pilot. I remember one morning driving to Chase's school during spring break on my way to work when he wasn't even in the car. So much of our lives are lived planning the future or revisiting the past that we miss the beauty and purpose of the now.

Ron asked if we are living a life that others would want to be invited into.

He asked if we weren't here, would something be missing?

And then, he spoke a great deal about interior silence. Fr. Thomas Keating is an amazing man. I know this not because I've met him, but because I've read his book, Open Heart, Open Mind and have listened to people who have studied under him. Keating's whole live has been about the exercise of contemplative prayer. Sitting in the presence of God without talking, but simply being and listening. If you've ever attempted this, you know that it is really, really difficult to quiet your thoughts for a full 20 minutes to simply focus on God's powerful, loving presence.

Ron actually has met Keating. And he spoke about Keating being one of those people of presence.

As I sit here and type this, I'm about to start my very busy day--one without a lot of space for interior silence. My commitment to myself when I come home tonight is to take a walk. Time simply to be quiet. To feel sun on my face and wind in my hair and to know God. And if I'm really lucky, I'll have time to sit in silence at the end of the day and simply be aware that God is. And that He's love. And that He's enough.
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall