The Desert

So, I’ve been thinking. Which isn’t unusual for me, though even I’ve been doing it more than usual lately. What I’m wondering is, is LA a true desert, as in, one that offers growth and peace and centeredness and all of that, if you enter it correctly (a desert for the soul, not in terms of annual rainfall, for all of you literalists out there).

A desert is a place of deprivation, a place where you lack something (or things) essential or desirable for your survival.

Coming back from my retreat, I find myself wanting…no, craving…silence and solitude. And I don’t have it, or at least, I don’t have it very much. And I can survive without it, or with the little that I have. For most people, silence and solitude is the desert, is the place of renunciation, of lacking something. For me, at least right now, that’s the place of fullness. And I live in LA. Ye gods!!! So right now, for me, the place of deprivation is here, in the fullness of ways to avoid myself that is LA. But is this a desert? My desert? A desert for me? I find myself deprived here, but not in a usual way. Can I find a way to enter this that isn’t somehow destructive? I don’t know, but I find myself musing here a lot lately.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “The Desert

  1. Anonymous

    Ok … at the risk of bursting a bubble that may be trying to find a good thing about living in LA (and I know how difficult that can be), I don’t think living in LA constitutes desert time. I think “desert” spiritually speaking is not just deprivation in general, but deprivation of all the kinds of things LA seems to have in spades – the things that give us short attention spans and fill us up. So I don’t think living in LA will bring the kinds of promises that other “desert times” would … it will actually do the opposite. I think the “desert” is still the place of silence and solitude, it just has to be carved out when you live in the city. –K

  2. Anonymous

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  3. K–I’m not sure…I go back and forth between what I said here and what you said. There’s something in being here that’s deprivation in abundance. I guess I’m wondering what that is.

    Oh, and I can’t see the website. Maybe it needs a re-post?

  4. Anonymous

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  5. Anonymous

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  6. Joi

    Hi! (I feel bad, I haven’t read your blog in ages. 😦 )

    I got back from the parish retreat last weekend, and I’m still amazed at the sheer amount of noise I spend my life surrounded by. I finally, on Sunday, began to get the hang on inner silence, only to go back into my own world of noise. *sigh*

    🙂

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