Welcome 2019! In the dim, flickering lamplight of Midwinter we’ve been talking over our little family’s shifting focus. We’re longing to step farther outside the wide-world to build a stronger domestic monastery among the trees. We’re longing to become more radical, more gentle, and more intentional in our daily life and this longing is beginning to take shape.
With my word for 2019, Renewal, as a guide and our beloved Infant of Prague as patron, we’re looking at stepping up into new intentions for our woodland life, and as we do, I find myself turning back toward the concept of ‘The Benedict Option’.
We’ve noticed the slow intrusion of distractions creeping in recently. Some necessary to this new, home-based life we’re building; some good and beautiful; but others neither necessary nor good. Labels, ideas, habits, engagements cluttering up the quiet. And so we’re purging the diminishing distractions so that the good and necessary ones have room to grow.
Essentially, that just means we’re taking this season to drive down deep into a slow, seasonal, Catholic style intentionality. Think hygge – but extra bohemian.
I’m reclaiming my sense of cyganeria, something I feel I’ve allowed to diminish in the past two years. Nurturing the artistic and the monastic and finding smaller, unconventional ways to share our joy with our community.
In his Benedict Option, Dreher breaks down the essentials as he sees them for building up communities. My essentials are different, but, I think they come from the same intention: to build communities that shape strong, healthy, sacramental imaginations.
In my essentials – the areas of intention I believe will help us strengthen this domestic monastery – I try to focus on the heart of cyganeria (and of Catholicism itself):
- Cultural Renewal
What do you think?
My intention is to work through this list here, and in my own journal to help me understand what it is I’m building as I renew my own, bohemian Benedict Option in my wild little hermitage. Come join me!
This post is an edited version of one I originally posted on a now defunct blog.