Woke at 6:45am with a nasty headache, but took some Tylenol and made my cup of Welsh Morning tea.
7 am arrived while the tea was brewing. In order to get started on time, I read the introduction to The soul of a new cuisine : a discovery of the foods and flavors of Africa by Marcus Samuelsson. In talking about community and food rituals he describes the custom of leaving a little bit on your plate at the end of a meal, to indicate that you had enough to eat. So opposite to the Western “eat every morsel on your plate or the cook will be offended” notion.
7:10 am – 8:40 am Sat in my “Field of Dreams” reading lounge with my cat Marvel on my lap (see pics below). Read Morning Prayer from the Daily Office and then worked my way through a large part of Uncommon Prayer: A Book of Psalms by Daniel Berrigan. These poems are reflections on and interpretations of the Psalms, written in the 1970s and viewed through the eyes of a man in prison for protesting an unjust war. They require slow and prayerful reading (and an occasional break to go read the original Psalm). It took about an hour to read about 30 pages. I had been reading them one poem/psalm at a time, but this more concentrated reading really lets the message sink in. It’s amazing how relevant they still are today, over 30 years later.
This reading break is also time for a brief breakfast. Oatmeal is sitting on the stove waiting for me, so time to go. After oatmeal I’ll be reading Part 20 of The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins. Published by Charles Dickens 150 years ago, it is being re-released in the same weekly installments as the original. You can learn more about the project at: www.womaninwhite.co.uk