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".