Good Night, God!
And it is night here in Honolulu. I just finished reading the article “Night Owls” in the current Atlantic. It was sent to me by a friend who is a bit of a Night Owl herself.
It’s a brief look at Evening’s Empire: A History of the Night in Early Modern Europe by Craig Koslofsky. I knew that the rich and privileged in the 1800s “danced” the night away. But, that was a fact imbedded in novels. I didn’t see it in its historical context.
I thought that the extension of the Day far into the Night began with Edison and the electric light bulb! Electricity did make night-time available to the lower end of the economic and social spectrum. But the transformation was well under way much earlier. Then, In the 1600’s, coffee, tea and chocolate came along to help turn people into Night Creatures.
Koslofsky talks about the intellectual and societal changes that came about with well lit public places — like cafes and coffee shops — which were open to ordinary folk. It was a revolution. More to the point it was a revolution that opened the doors to all kinds of Revolutions. People gathering together to talk and think can have a “tinder-like” quality.
Now we have added the iPhone connector and the Facebook connector. I think of the revolutions were in Egypt and Libya, where these connectors played pivotal roles.
But, what about Connecting to You? And to our inner self? That takes Time. Time alone. This week, up at St. Anthony’s Retreat Center, people are gathered to be Alone with You. Alone Together. They are at a Centering Prayer Retreat.
Centering with others, in Silence, is for me the best way to Hear You. It is a sort of “tinder.” And the time of day doesn’t matter.
Thank You, God, for opportunities like these.
I can’t get through my day without centering in silence for a bit at the beginning of the morning…