At first, attending to the anxiety of existence can seem like a zero-sum game. Any attention turned toward spiritual truth is attention turned away from all we have come to think of as "life." Thus we parcel out our moments of devotion -- a church service here and there, a walk in the woods, a couple of hours of meditation a week -- all the while maintaining the frenzy of our usual existence outside of those moments. This is inevitable, for the initial demands of any coherent spiritual life are intense, but it is not sustainable, for the soul is not piecemeal. We are left with this paradox: only by hearing the farthest call of consciousness can we hear the call of ordinary life, but only by claiming the most mundane and jangling details of our lives can that rare and ulterior music of the soul merge with what Seamus Heaney calls "the music of what happens."