The Vacation

“The Vacation” by Anthony deMello
(from the book Wellsprings: A Book of Spiritual Exercises)

I imagine I retire to a lonely place
to give myself the gift of solitude,
for solitude is a time when I see things as they are.

What are the little things in life
that lack of solitude has magnified unduly?

What are the really big things
that I find too little time for?

Solitude is the time to make decisions.
What decisions do I need to make
or reconsider
at this juncture of my life?

I now make a decision
about the kind of day today shall be.

Will it be a day of doing?
I list the things I really want to do today.

Will it also be a day of being?
–no effort to achieve,
to get things done,
to gather or possess,
but just to be?
My life will not bear fruit
unless I learn the art of lying fallow,
the art of “wasting” time creatively.

So I decide what time to give to play,
to purposeless and unproductive interests,
to silence, intimacy, rest.
And I ask myself what I shall taste today.
and touch
and smell
and listen to
and see

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