All is quiet.... somewhere
Except that because I don't have an office anywhere, as I am sort of a freelance priest at the moment, and I am working at home, and there are constant distractions. My sons are downstairs, for one thing, playing music, chatting, watching TV, doing laundry; but more importantly, my neighbor is again engaged in an outdoor project that includes the employment of loud equipment - hydraulic drills and shouting men and clanging things. My neighbor, who is a wonderful person, likes to do outdoor projects like this, particularly on weekends and during holiday times. He has a lovely home and yard and he likes to build and redo fences and walkways and walls and other things that depend on lots of noise to accomplish.
I ought to be able to focus, to tune noises out, in order to read and write and study and meditate. And occasionally I can, but generally I can't. And particularly when attempting to write a sermon for Christmas Eve as a guest preacher and I have all kinds of things swirling in my head already, waiting to organize themselves into coherent thought.
Jesus was, of course, born in the middle of all kinds of hubbub right there in the thick of the Roman Empire and all its doings. And hardly anyone noticed, because they were busy with other things. So I know that somewhere the Spirit will reach me, even among the bangs and clangs. But not for nothing do our Christmas carols and traditions say that he was born at night, at midnight even, when all was quiet and calm.
So I shall take a deep breath and perhaps go to the local coffee shop where it will be busy but maybe there won't be any jackhammering.
(Update: I found the loudest Starbucks in town. Back home. Finding headphones and remembering my new wordprocessing program called Ommwriter. It is sort of like being plugged into Buddhist music in a forlorn Russian white landscape ..... Let's see if this works.)