Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Barbara Mahany: Slowing Time

Barbara Mahany, Slowing Time: Seeing the Sacred Outside Your Kitchen Door on Amazon

Slowing Time book coverIn this juncture of my own journey in faith, I don't need another creed, another confession, another article of faith, but I do need techniques and suggestions to bring those convictions into my every days. Like almost everyone, I need to learn to slow time, or at very least, to savor, appreciate, and fully live into every moment, rather than looking backwards or forewords―as important as those perspectives are.

Barbara Mahany's Slowing Time is a lovely, love-filled journal of seasonal nature and spirituality; she emphasizes how the church's liturgical year of grace and the Jewish festivals both have deep roots in earth and sky. Reflecting upon astronomical and meteorological seasons, she opens each new seasonal section with a lilting description of the literal nature of sun, shadows, light and dark at each solstice or equinox. Subtitle, "Seeing the Sacred Outside Your Kitchen Door" hints at Mahany's emphasis on perceiving with all your senses, not solely with the one of our five senses most engaged in a particular activity. A special recipe for each season, as well! I'm not majorly a meat-eater, but I'd love to try Beef Stew with Pomegranate Seeds Nestled beside Aromatic Rice; I've made something similar to Christmas Eve Elves' French Toast in the oven, and when I live with a working oven again, it will be time to bake that specialty again. Need I even mention summertime Blueberry Slump?! You know I'm a pushover for berries and for serving any dessert with vanilla ice cream! I like Rolled Cut-Out Cookies' ingredients, but definitely prefer chewy, soft, bar-type cookies to crispy ones.

Probably because it's mid-November, I love how Slowing Time begins with Winter as a "Season of Deepening" and ends with Winter as "Season of Stillness." Note: Amazon Vine sent me an uncorrected Advance Reader's Copy, and I'm going by the index, rather than by the actual section titles, both of which list Winter as "Deepening."

I've enjoyed peaking into the author's days and seasons along with her anecdotal reports. She gives us a "Count Your Blessings Calendar" for each season, and I've already started trying to blog blessings each week with my "week of grace" posts. Although I intend to keep Slowing Time the book, to reread it, and possibly loan it out (and hope to get it back), for me it's best as a model for journaling or blogging. As computer-intensive as my days have become, and despite my aversion to journaling in anything but a basic 70-page lined spiral bound notebook, in order to Slow Time I easily can imagine writing and drawing in one of those lovely journal books, maybe even making "field notes" along the the bottom of each page like a stream of news ticker, just as Barbara has done. Although the author lives in Wilmette, Illinois, I find it fascinating that reading Slowing Time gives little indication of a rural, urban, or suburban setting. In other words, these activities and observations can happen anywhere, so go chronicle your own experiences Slowing Time! Please? I'm going to do just that!

my amazon review: living into each moment

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