26 November

Peaceful Week Has One More Day. “Risk All For Love.” Jesus Said That. The Spirituality Of Contraction

by Jon Katz

My self-titled “Peaceful Week” was peaceful and quiet, with plenty of time to think and organize the disconnected and distracting parts of my life and myself. I’m not a monk, too much solitude unnerves me; too little scrambles my brain.

Friday and Saturday, I picked up the head cold that was sweeping my town. Last night was the worst; it’s much better today. I’ve mostly stayed inside and alternated reading with some streaming. I can’t get over how much Maria and I enjoy one another’s company; I don’t quite understand how this miracle happened.

This week, she once again almost immediately sold out of her new frog and bee potholders. I can’t help but remember the day when she was sure she couldn’t sell one. We were talking today about how much the two of us have changed since we married in 2010. I’m celebrating that this holiday season.

I need space to think these days; the spiritual work has been very good for me. Meister Eckhard, the medical mystic, coined the phrase “spirituality of subtraction. He meant that the spiritual life and work have much more to do with subtraction than it does with addition.

As usual, my country and I seem to be headed in different directions, which is okay by me. The capitalist view of the world, the only view most people know, is all about addition and expansion. It feels soul-killing to me, the corporate takeover of the nation.

The work of the Army Of Good has saved me from myself and kept me on the path I want to be on. We have done and are still doing a lot of good. I keep the creative spark lit inside of me; should it go out, I would be lost. I am happy to say it is burning brighter than ever. We must constantly acquire things and advance ourselves to keep up with the capitalist mind.

Few of us really even think about it any longer. Subtraction is good for me; the smaller, simpler life fits me as a glove.

I’m learning that the less I want, the more I have.

I feel there is purpose and meaning to my life, even as I approach an age when people assume they are supposed to do nothing and are often treated in that way. I am not going down that path. I’m just getting started.

We have one more day left in our Peaceable Week. We’ve decided to plan nothing but breakfast out, as is our Sunday custom. The rest of the day will be devoted to the Farmer’s Market, Reading, limited blogging and photo taking (as if), and more reading, resting and exploring the streaming libraries.

I could use a good British mystery.

I’m back on my feet; another nasty cold vanquished, my sleep apnea mask almost had a nervous breakdown, and I was sneezing and coughing so much. Maria walked the dogs; she was ready for it.

Risk all for love, no less a prophet than Jesus tells us, even our own life.


Photo Up Top: Soft Landscape -Sunlight On A Hill, November 26, 2022.


  1. Faithful Place, Broken Harbor, The Searcher and In The Wood by Tana French take place in Ireland and are all wonderfully written.

  2. If you’re looking for a good British mystery, give the book “Exit” by Belinda Bauer a try. It’s about an older man who is part of a group of people who give support to terminally ill people as they commit suicide. Of course, something goes wrong. It’s been a while since I’ve read it but I remember there being quite a bit of humor along with the mystery.

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