Mainly as an act of self-preservation, I’ve been trying to spend more time with Tux, my cat. I’ve decided to play with him when I get home so that I can choose the game. All the games he chooses seem to involve claws and teeth, so he always wins. Also on the program is giving him some lap time in the evening when he’s constitutionally available for lap time, as opposed to those times when he’s constitutionally available for running back and forth between the bedrooms. And I’m trying to do it more regularly, as part of my ordinary.
Liturgically, the ordinary consists of those things that happen the same way at the same time during each mass or each day or each year. Which could make something ordinary in the sense of everyday or boring or in the sense of unexceptional due to a lack of care or thought. On the other hand, a routine can help us pay attention to where we are.
I was sitting on my office floor the other day and noticed my copy of The Little Prince. At one point in the story, the fox asks the little prince to tame him, an act that requires the little prince to visit the fox at the same time every day. “If you come at just any time, I never know at what hour my heart is to be ready to greet you,” the fox says.
If we sit down to write or meditate or eat dinner with our family at the same time each day, our hearts will be ready for whatever the activity is, and according to the fox, we’ll be able to enter more deeply into whatever it is we’re doing: “One only understands the things one tames,” he says.
I think I’ll try to make 2014 a little more ordinary.