Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Holy Wandering

Reading a book by Rabbi Rami Shipiro on Ecclesiastes as a lesson in impermanence and how to live wisely in the flow of ever changing life where nothing stands still and nothing is guaranteed.  The title of this post is a quote from her book and challenges us to make of our lives "a holy wandering". I am reminded of my difficulty hiking with friends who plunge up hill and down at a great pace, never lingering to see what is beside the trail or wandering off to explore what is hidden. My damaged lungs from years of cigarettes force me to pause and breathe. I consequently tend to meander, stopping and starting.. noticing, wondering and wandering off track. Hiking with a group, I pretty quickly feel guilty for holding others up, lagging behind and being a burden. In my life I try to honor that pause and notice what is around me. "Try" is the operative word as it is so hard to do in our Calvinistic culture. The travelers ahead do not have to be flesh and blood folks.  I can conjure voices that tell me to hurry, to get-it-done, to accomplish everything on my list and then make a new list..and no one is really here at all. That urgency to get life under control, to get where I am going, so futile.  I am not going anywhere really except to the end of my life in this particular costume. I really want to wander, to loiter, to observe and explore each rich moment that I am allotted. That, I think, is what is meant by "practice".  

2 comments:

  1. Lynn,
    As you know all who wander are not lost. I think you may enjoy the book, "St. George and the Dragon and the Quest for the Holy Grail" long title, short pilgrimage. the author is Ed Hays. Fun little book. Ed is a Jesuit Zen type . James Taylor song "secret of life" is a reminder of the practice....

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  2. This blog entry reminded me of Mary Oliver's poem that ends with the question, "What will you do with your one wild and precious life?" I have been walking along the riverbanks, hiking, healing for three years now, and I feel a pull to imbue life with a new meaning, devoting my days to ending child abuse in three generations, as Victor Vieth has explored in "Unto the Third Generation." Even so, I think it is true, as the Builders of the Adytum assert, that if you increase your own happiness, you have increased the sum total of joy in the world -- and done a very important thing for everyone.

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