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 Top 10 Albums of 2020

Starting this weekend, and for the next three weekends, I’m reviewing my year in books, TV shows and music. This weekend/today I’m posting my top 10 albums from this year; next weekend, my top 5 TV shows from this year; and the last weekend of the year, my favorite books read this year. My last blog post of the year will be Dec. 31 and will be my one word of the year.

Initially I had a list of 25 albums, but then I decided that would be too much so I narrowed it down to 10. A few albums aren’t listed either because I just discovered them, for example, Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers and græ by Moses Sumney or because even though they were released this year, they were made in the 1960s and 1970s: Palo Alto by Thelonious Monk from a live concert at Pal Alto High School in 1968 and Homegrown by Neil Young from sessions in 1974 and 1975.

From left to right, top to bottom, my top 10 albums of 2020 are (with album titles and artists in captions where titles/artists are not visible) :

And here is one song from each album on a Spotify playlist I created:

What did you listen to new this year that was among your favorite albums? What did you listen to, period, this year musically? Share in the comments.

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 End of Year Bookish Plans

This month I’m joining Kim and Tanya of for their annual event A Month of Faves, at least for a few topics. The first one I’m doing is “End of Year Bookish Plans,” which fell naturally into what I was planning to write about today anyway. To learn more about the event, visit Kim’s Instagram post:

The first one I’m doing is “End of Year Bookish Plans,” which fell naturally into what I was planning to write about today anyway.

When I last left you, I just had finished participated in the Thankfully Reading Weekend. I read The Big Bamboo, the eighth in the Serge Storms series, by Tim Dorsey and started The Crossing Places, the first in the Ruth Galloway series, by Elly Griffiths. I have been making my way slowly through the Serge Storm series over the last few years. I dipped into the Ruth Galloway series once before but it didn’t grab me, but based on lavish praise from Amanda of the blog The Zen Leaf, I decided to give it another try.

I enjoyed the first one enough that I’m hoping to finish the next two, The Janus Stone and The House at Sea’s End, which I own in a collection of the first three books, by the end of the year. I also want to finish the ninth and 10th in the Serge Storms series, Hurricane Punch and Atomic Lobster, respectively. If I finish all four of them, I will be at 39 books read for the year. I might add one more, still to be decided, to make it an even 40.

I might make that goal, considering that I have a dozen days I’m off work for weekends, holidays and vacation. That includes a three-day weekend this weekend with my taking Monday as a vacation day because the carpet on the main floor of the library is being cleaned and I can’t do much on the other two floors, the basement and upstairs.

Besides bookish posts this month, I have two other end of year posts planned, my annual reviews of my favorite albums of the year and my favorite TV shows and movies watched during the year. I mostly have the list of albums solidified, but haven’t started on the list of TV shows and movies yet. I’ll leave you with something from one of the albums that was among my favorites from this year.

So do you have bookish plans for the end of the year? If so, share in the comments or write your own post and link up with A Month of Faves.