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.

My Own Personal Sabbath #23

Every Sunday since mid-May 2020, 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.

12:10 AM: I don’t know about y’all, but I’m more than ready for a break from the news after this past week. Now that the presidential race has been called, I think I might be somewhat less distracted later today than I have been all week.

The only thing is that I’m not sure what I’m going to focus on today instead. I returned several books unread to our library and the Free Library of Philadelphia. I do have a few from the British Library Crime Classics series on my Kindle so maybe I’ll try one of them. I’ll keep you posted and let you know later today.

9:40 AM: In honor of Nonfiction November being celebrated this month, and even though I’m not participating in the event, I’m looking book at my nonfiction reads from this year. Altogether, I have read 32 books so far this year with eight of them being nonfiction. These are the eight:

  1. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, translated by Gregory Hays
  2. A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches by Martin Luther King Jr.
  3. How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
  4. Pauses for Lent: 40 Words for 40 Days by Trevor Hudson
  5. Every Living Thing by James Herriot
  6. Spiritual Practice for Crazy Times: Powerful Tools to Cultivate Calm, Clarity and Courage by Philip Goldberg
  7. Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn
  8. The Gethsemani Talks: A Simple Teaching on Meditation in the Christian Tradition by John Main

As you can tell, the common theme is meditation, right from my very book of the year. It wasn’t planned that way, but has fallen almost naturally into it with the way the year has gone into. Then at the beginning of last month, I was invited by Deb Nance of the blog, Readerbuzz, and host of the weekly Sunday Salon to an online six-week introductory course for Christian Meditation hosted by a group in Houston, Texas. The group is part of The World Community for Christian Meditation started by followers of the late Benedictine monk John Main.

5:30 PM: I just got home about half an hour ago after being out most of the afternoon. I went to a local lake and then a local park where I started reading Castle Skull by John Dickson Carr, a part of the British Library Crime Classics series I mentioned earlier.