My Own Personal Sabbath #31

Almost every Sunday since mid-May 2020 with a few exceptions, I have been taking my own personal Sabbath, where I tune out of the news and social media and turn off my ringer and all notifications on my phone. Throughout the day and/or sometimes the next day, I share what I am reading, listening to or watching during my Sabbath.

Tomorrow, the plan is simple: recharge, read, and rest.

Recharge after energy depletion from doomscrolling and what Kim and I call “our daily five minutes of anger” after looking at the news usually at the end of the day. Unfortunately, sometimes it is longer than five minutes and even if only is five minutes, it sours the rest of the night. What has helped, though, is we have been watching a show on Netflix with meditation exercises.

So I plan to start tomorrow with meditation as modeled by the late John Main, reciting the word “Maranatha” for 20 minutes.

Read after not taking the time out to read all week. Instead, we watched lots of episodes of The Simpsons and Hamilton since we subscribed to Disney Plus. We finally caved when we saw the five seasons of the original The Muppet Show is coming to the channel later this month.

I’ll be continuing with the Inspector Montalbano mysteries that I started last month. So far, I have read the sixth, seventh, and eighth in the series, The Smell of the Night, Rounding the Mark, and The Patience of the Spider. I already the ninth and 10th in the series, The Paper Moon and August Heat checked out on ebook from the Free Library of Philadelphia.

Rest after, at times, a mentally stressful week. My mother had to get a test for covid, which turned out to be negative (but she’s still not feeling well). At work, I’m navigating through miscommunication, sometimes perceived vs. real, with coworkers. And then there’s the aforementioned doomscrolling. Rest will involve most likely a nap…and music…and TV or movie watching.

I’ll check in later tomorrow to let you know how it went.

Sunday Update:

9 a.m. I’ve been up for about an hour and didn’t start the day with meditation, but I’ll be getting to that this morning. After eating first breakfast, I started reading The Paper Moon and appropriately it began with a passage about waking up that fit the day. The passage is too long to quote here, but the gist of it is like in the movie Dead Poets Society: Carpe diem (in a whisper). So I’m going to seize the day and do what I want right now, which is reading this book.

Noon: So…I’ve read one chapter so far of The Paper Moon. Most of the morning, I’ve been on the phone: checking in with my mom and dad (twice, actually, after seeing a blog post that reminded me of something I wanted to tell my dad) and our landlord about a few minor issues at our house. Now it’s after noon here and I still haven’t “meditated.” So I guess that’s next. Update on my mom: She’s still not feeling great, but maybe slightly better. If it doesn’t clear up by mid-week, she’ll get a doctor’s appointment.

4 p.m.: So…I’ve read one chapter so far of The Paper Moon. Pete and Repete were sitting on a wall. Pete fell off. Who was left?…But it’s true. I ended up meditating finally, then after falling asleep in my recliner, I took a short nap. Now here I am.

9 p.m.: So…I’ve now read three chapters in the book. Kim goes to work at 7:30 for a 12-hour shift, so before then, we had dinner and watched a few of The Simpsons. Now I’m ending the night with trying WandaVision. So far, I’m not sold on the laugh track, but I’m soldiering through with the assistance of wine and cheese.

What are you up to this weekend? Reading, watching, listening to anything good this weekend? Share in the comments.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this film from deejay My Friend Dario to which I was introduced during last weekend’s edition of The Chill Out Tent:


My Own Personal Sabbath #26

Almost every Sunday since mid-May 2020 with a few exceptions, I have been taking my own personal Sabbath, where I tune out of the news and social media and turn off my ringer and all notifications on my phone. Throughout the day or the next day, I share what I am reading, listening to or watching during my Sabbath day.

I am starting the day with quiet music as I often do on Sundays, many times with Sleepy Hollow on WXPN from Philadelphia. Today’s selection, though, is inspired by music I heard on this morning’s show. It was gentle acoustic guitar music, a little on the ambient side, and then in a review on Pitchfork this morning, I rediscovered the artist Nathan Salsburg, who just released two albums of instrumental acoustic music, Landwerk and Landwerk No. 2, made up of eight pieces.

Later today, I plan on dipping into the Inspector Montalbano series by Andrea Camilleri, with the fifth in the series, Excursion to Tindari. Last week I learned the Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP) added the series to its ebook collection and it was, and is, like Christmas for me, since the series is on my bucket list of series I want to read. I’ll leave you with one of Salsburg’s pieces from his latest album:


It’s a little after 2 p.m. now and after a short nap, I’m reading again. I started late this morning with Excursion to Tindari as planned. This afternoon, after about 50 pages in, I realized that while I had not read this one, I had watched it. For a short time, we had MHz Choice, which had the show Inspector Montalbano on it. I saw the episode based on the book, so I knew where the story was going.

So…now I’m on the sixth one in the series, The Smell of the Night. I’ll report back later on how it’s going.


It is a little after 4 p.m. and I am halfway through The Smell of the Night. Neither have I seen this episode of Montalbano nor do I think I have seen any others after the Excursion to Tindari so I should be good, which also this book is thus far, from here on out.


Last report of the day here at 8:30 p.m.: I finished my first book of the year, The Smell of the Night, by Andrea Camilleri. It was good, as I expected that it would be, and I have the next one, Rounding the Mark, already checked out from FLP. I’m ending the day with the end of Season 12 of Criminal Minds, to which I recently returned. I had been watching a few years ago on Netflix but then stopped when they were didn’t have any seasons past 12. This weekend, I learned Hulu now has later seasons and so I’m finishing 12 on Netflix, then going to 13 on Hulu.

How did you spend your Sunday? Read, watch, listen to anything good?

My Own Personal Sabbath #25

My view late this morning. Cloudy. Listening to chill music. Only other things on agenda are meditation and reading.

Almost every Sunday since mid-May 2020 with a few exceptions, I have been taking my own personal Sabbath, where I tune out of the news and social media and turn off my ringer and all notifications on my phone.

I didn’t get up as early as wanted today, thanks to taking three magnesium last night. It is 9:30 a.m. and I have had a bowl of cereal and coffee. I am listening to chill music via Mixcloud, a site that collects the works of DJs from around the world, and getting ready to meditate shortly. I plan on some “holy” reading later this morning.

I did start reading a little and realize that my obsession with prayer is coupled with an obsession to be perfect, always in unceasing prayer.

“Once the vices of the inner person have been conquered and the mind has been established in tranquility, it will be possible to enjoy unceasing prayer.”

Boniface Ramsey in the translator’s introduction to The Ninth Conference by John Cassian, ascetic, monk and theologian from the First Century

It is a place I am attempting to get to by meditating for 20 in the morning and meditating 20 minutes at night, with the “unceasing prayer” during the day in between. I make my life a prayer to you, as Christian contemporary musician Keith Green once sang –  something I got a glimpse of when I spent a month living with monks in a monastery in upstate New York more than 25 years ago. That every action in daily life can be/is a prayer offered up every day.

I offer this day up to you, O Lord.


It is now noon and after a lot of procrastination, I finally meditated for 20 minutes, well, at least 15 minutes, as I was distracted throughout. Like St. Paul in Romans 7, I know I am.

For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

Romans 7: 15

The plan for this afternoon is simple: to read. I picked up a copy of The Eagle Catcher, the first in the Wind River Reservation series, by Margaret Coel and am starting there. I keep trying series new to me in the hopes that I can find a good one. Maybe this will be one. If not, I have other choices of reading material. I’ll let you know later today what I think.


It is now about 7 p.m. and I am watching Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Because. Things.

I got about halfway through The Eagle Catcher and it’s okay so far. I probably won’t read any more tonight. Because. TV.

I’ll leave you with this that I was reminded of while watching T2:

My Own Personal Sabbath #24

Almost every Sunday since mid-May 2020 with a few exceptions, I have been taking my own personal Sabbath, where I tune out of the news and social media and turn off my ringer and all notifications on my phone.

I am starting today by reading and commenting on blogs and listening to Sleepy Hollow on XPN, a public radio station out of Philadelphia. Right now they’re just finishing up is “My Favorite Things” by John Coltrane, which I like when it starts, but then he gets a little “reedy” for me which is not one of my favorite things. Later, I plan on dipping into the second Ruth Galloway mystery, The Janus Stone, by Elly Griffith.

I’ll check in later to let you know how things are going. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with the Coltrane song, which you might enjoy, even though I don’t toward the end of the song:

I don’t think I realized Coltrane was playing a soprano saxophone here (I Googled). No wonder it’s too “reedy” for me. Ugh.

It is now about 2 p.m. and I’ve been reading The Janus Stone. I almost abandoned it after I learned Ruth is pregnant by the detective from the first book and also italicized asides in the first person from the killer, which Griffiths did in the first one too. I don’t know why, but I’ve never liked italics. Flashbacks are even worse, I usually want to flash out. Ha. However, I am continuing on because the story is still interesting (enough). In the background I’ve been listening to a musician new to me, Theo Parrish, whose music I’m really enjoying. Here’s a song from his latest album Wuddaji:


I got about halfway through The Janus Stone earlier today and then decided that I couldn’t read any more. Mostly, it was for the reasons I mentioned above. I then took a nap. When I got up, I had dinner with Kim before she left for work and I’m now watching binge-watching CSI, Season 11, to end the night.