A Healing Table: Tending the Castle

Things have been difficult lately healthwise, and friday night was spent in the emergency room. Have some follow ups coming up to find out more, something's really going on with the throat or stomach it seems... and the chemical sensitivity has been in overdrive lately too. Added to that have been some major noise issues....constant truck traffic of the highway right outside my window, neighbor noise on both sides (machines that vibrate, yelling, a child riding his very noisy motorcycle all the time and the like). So much for the quiet little town i was hoping this would be when i'd moved here. I cant even see how my sanity is going to last here another week....and yet with my health the way it is i wonder if i'd be able to go through a move right now either. I'm really at a loss. And between it all, theres noise not only during the day but also at night too, and even my dreams have gotten all chaotic, i never seem to wake up rested anymore, go around in a stressed daze. Been feeling in overdrive on so many levels really, like i'm about to lose it lately. Prayers would be gratefully cherished for sure.

Stressful times like this, it can amp up that inner longing for our castle-ness i find, that yearning for a deeper fairy tale life. Castles evoke something deep in so many of us...safety is there, but a beautiful kind of safety. A real richness of life. A remembering that we really were created for a fairy tale life really when it comes down to it, because we are are beloved of God. I've needed a reminder there.

A few "castle tending" qoutes that've been standing out:

Tending the Castle Courtyard (the Outer Life):

Instead of rushing through our lives to get somewhere - instead of saving up real living for later - I think it's important to remember that each single day is all we have. Single days experienced fully add up to a lifetime lived deeply and well. Today is your life - not yesterday and tomorrow. If we have tomorrow, it will be a gift, but what we do today, right now, will have an accumulated effect on all our tomorrows. If we make short-shrift of our day-to-day lives, even if we live to experience "later," I don't believe we weill know fully how to appreciate what we have. Living well is a habit, and rituals improve and reinforce good life habits....

(For example, ) I've learned to make a project mine by setting it up so it will be pleasurable to me. The more senses I can involve, the better. I know that by heightening sense awareness in the acts I perform I can enrich the activity and make the time i spend doing it more enjoyable. And so I deliberately try to awaken the five sense in whatever it is I'm doing.

I have a friend who has made bill paying into a ritual. She puts Brahms on her stereo, she places an arrangement of flowers on her desk, she dresses in a fresh blouse and skirt so she is actually ready to mail her bills as soon as she is finished. She has elevated a necessary task - bill paying - into a ritual through the details surrounding how she does it --from Alexandra Stoddard's Living a Beautiful Life (hat tip to
Study in Brown)

Tending the Castle Rooms (the Home)

I WILL arise and go now, and go to (the lake isle of) Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evenings full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear the lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.--William Butler Yeats
(hat tip to
Tea at Trianon)

Tending Soul Castle (the Inner Life):

...We know we have souls. But we seldom consider the precious things that can be found in this soul, or Who dwells within it, or it's high value. Consequently, little effort is made to preserve its beauty. All our attention is taken up with the plainness of the diamond's setting or the outer wall of the castle, that is, with these bodies of ours.--from St Teresa Avila's The Interior Castle (hap tip to Sanctuary Moment)

Castle Crossroads (Pilgrimage and Learning)

“The Lord will either calm your storm…or allow it to rage while He calms you.”–anonymous

This morning I was down to just enough grocery money to take care of the weekend’s needs...We’ve been waiting over 3 weeks for a customer of my husband’s to pay a deposit. No amount of coaxing worked and we just had to wait. And wait. And wait. This morning I went to the post office box and there it was. Relief. The grocery list could expand to include some extra items and I’ll have the funds to buy more gas too.

It’s too bad that money issues can be so frustrating. But paired with faith, the lessons can be long-lasting. I’m getting better about not becoming so desperate when tough times linger. I don’t get as aggravated and allow myself to be distracted by other things so I’m not preoccupied by financial worries.

Now for those of you who rejoice in a regular paycheck, I realize you’re not immune to money issues. We’ve all got ‘em, just in different degrees. The faith still applies, though. Practice it and allow it to grow. He simply wants us to believe in Him. (hat tip to The Mother's Hour)

Now, to apply this to health and noise worries as well.

Something about all this really boils down to presentness i think. Thats where the magic is, where the faith grows, where we feel Him near. Thats where the fairy tale is, our "castles". Now how to be more present even when there is mega stress though, thats what i struggle with.

Though even there He does eventually reach us i think, if we'll stop fighting Him. I've been at a real breaking point the last few days and it was coming to a head today... trust me it wasnt pretty. But later in the day, it rained. And somehow something happened inside, something softened. My health hasnt changed, and neither has the noise, but i do feel calmer somehow. And i'm so grateful, that He knew i needed this. It seems things only push so far (even if its farther than we'd like) and then there's a bit of releif somehow.....and that just seems to make all the difference in the world. It always seems to happen somehow, eventually. Slowly, slowly, am learning to notice this... to trust it.

When it was raining and was feeling the calming, i heard "notice this" (notice how the rain had made such a difference). Immediately made me think of the "not a desert but an ocean" image that keeps coming up a lot. Blazing our way forward is one way to advance in our spiritual lfe, but so is the softenss of rain. Fire changes things, but so does water. At any rate, these water images, and castle images, are just really beckoning right now. Perhaps they hold a healing balm...

(Image from here)

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