14
May
17

5.14.17 … enough said …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2017 Labyrinth Walks, Morning Star Lutheran Chapel, Mathews NC:

I had a few minutes for a walk with Albert. He actually tried to stay on the path.

Enough said.

5.14.17

14
Sep
19

9.14.19 … “Just as at the center of a hurricane there is stillness, and above the clouds a clear sky, so it is possible to make a little clearing in the jungle of our human will for a rendezvous with God.”- Malcolm Muggeridge

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, Unity Center – Mills River NC, 2019 Labyrinth Walks:

I got up early this morning so that I could take Albert with me on my errands before it got too hot. Yesterday, it was 87° in Asheville. I may have mentioned this before, but Albert does not travel well, especially on short trips with lots of stopping and starting. So, since for the past 30 minutes he had done nothing but whine, whine, whine, I decided that it would be a nice break for both Albert and me.

Since I was in the general vicinity of The Unity Center, I headed there. This labyrinth is a lovely Labyrinth where I can easily tether Albert in a shady area. It is very beautifully landscaped.

For the first time as I walked, I noticed through the evergreens a window and it’s house. I thought: what a lovely place to watch the world wake up and peek at the labyrinth below.

This is the labyrinth with the memorial stone bricks. I tried not to look down as I walked in to the center, but I couldn’t. It was impossible for me, so I looked sporadically.

As I entered the center, I smiled at the collection of rocks and stones and hearts that have been left there. I didn’t bring my collection of things to leave today, but I enjoyed the collection that was left there.

And then I remembered a post by a fellow labyrinth lover just the other day. He had found a handwritten anonymous poem at the center of the labyrinth that I recently walked in Rome GA. He posted a picture of it and has since referred to it as the poem by “The Lady of the Labyrinth.” Here it is:

“Love lead me on a journey today.

I met peace along the way and was

greeted by patience & understanding.

I stopped to take in mother earth’s

beauty, as I exhaled, a breeze of

humility and forgiveness welcomed me.

I reached the center and was

overwhelmed with gratitude. I gently

whispered, THANK YOU!”

I have had some very serious conversations with some very special friends recently. It is time for me to make some big decisions in my life. And I guess that is one of the reasons I came here today.

As I walked out, I tried to find a memorial stone that fit my day, and this is it…

“Do everything with a mind that lets go” – Achann Chah

As I rewound Albert’s tether, I noticed that there was wasp nest on the underside of the bench. And dammit, one of boogers got me. I haven’t been stung in quite a while, and I had forgotten how much it hurts…

And a good quote for today:

”In the turmoil of life without, and black despair within, it is always possible to turn aside and wait on God. Just as at the center of a hurricane there is stillness, and above the clouds a clear sky, so it is possible to make a little clearing in the jungle of our human will for a rendezvous with God. He will always turn up, though in what guise and in what circumstances cannot be foreseen – perhaps trailing clouds of glory, perhaps as a beggar; in the purity of the desert or in the squalor of London’s Soho or New York’s Times Square.”- Malcolm Muggeridge

Source: Confessions of a Twentieth Century Pilgrim

9.14.18

And here’s a recommendation for Curate … never been, but I’ve heard it’s good.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/09/dining /appalachian-food.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

11
Sep
19

9.11.19 … “The labyrinth journey is open to many meanings in our life with God. It is one prayer path with and to God.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, The Oratory – Rock Hill SC:

I went to Rock Hill to drop off some needlepoint ornaments that my daughter had completed and needed finishing. I just like the shop down there so I made a little trip of it.

And I actually asked in the shop if they could paint a needlepoint canvas of the Chartres labyrinth, something I would very much like to do. And I introduced two people two labyrinths.

And then I drove to The Oratory. I did a little research … very interesting:

“The Rock Hill Oratory, founded in 1934, is a part of a worldwide federation of 60 independent houses. It is the oldest and largest house in the United States. Founded by St. Philip Neri in Rome, members of the Oratory are bound not by vows, but by bonds of love. The community remains deliberately small to encourage interpersonal relationships. Governed democratically, the entire community shares in making major decisions with all members having equal rights and responsibilities.”

Source: History – The Rock Hill Oratory,

History

As I walked, as soon as I put my foot on the labyrinth, I heard the crunch, crunch crunch… I had forgotten that this was a crunchy one. I got over it. It was very hot, and I was very inappropriately dressed in my black “uniform.” I have been craving fall, and so, when I dressed this morning, I threw it on forgetting that it would probably be 95° today in North and South Carolina.

I also had forgotten that this labyrinth had installed stations of the cross. There are 14? It makes for an interesting distraction as I walk. I also loved that I saw the backside of Jesus as I walked.

And there was a worker weed eating as I walked. I now know that just part of it.

And I though about 9/11 …

I found this info on The Oratory’s website: this labyrinth:

“In some cultures, the circling pathway simulates the movement of planets in the solar system. The spiritual journey is the main focus of the Labyrinth experience. Walking and resting simulate the believer’s movement through life. In Medieval times, Christians who wanted to journey to the Holy Land would approximate that pilgrimage in a local labyrinth walk and with Bible stories as a guide. Some believers pray the labyrinth journey to become clear on the direction for life and walk with a prayer phrase such as the mantra, “Show me the way, I will follow.” This may lead to surrendering and allowing the Spirit to lead the way. Many labyrinth instructors recommend the traditional three-step method of the early Middle Ages: purgation, illumination, and union. Purgation is the journey to the center in which we let go of tensions, barriers, and spiritual blocks. At the center, meditiation, full communication with the divine, brings illumination and insight. Finally, union is the application and the living of the spiritual light as we return to everyday life. The labyrinth journey is open to many meanings in our life with God. It is one prayer path with and to God.”

And this is a great general resource:

“Our bodies are a key part of our traditional Anglican prayer and worship – we kneel, stand or walk in procession. We also often use spiritual tools to aid our prayer, worship and meditation, such as icons, religious paintings and vigils. Praying whilst walking a labyrinth is just another spiritual tool to quieten our minds and open our hearts to the divine. The labyrinth provides a safe path, a time away from the ‘busy-ness’ of our daily lives to renew our connectedness with God. Walking the labyrinth is a metaphor of our own spiritual pilgrimage and life journey. The one path winds its way towards the centre – walking with and towards the Divine – a pilgrimage in miniature reflecting the twists and turns in life’s journey.”

Vanessa Gamack, Anglican Schools Commission’s Education and Mission Advisor, elaborates on the spiritual benefits of labyrinth mediation and how this unique ministry can be used to help connect people who are not ‘churched’:

“I love promoting labyrinth spirituality – particularly within our schools. Within the Church, and within our schools, we sometimes struggle to find common ground with those who are not regular worshippers. We often can’t seem to find something that is non-threatening, attractive to seekers yet meets everyone ‘where they are’. Yet, labyrinths do just this…everyone is seeking for a little more space in their lives away from all the rush and hustle and bustle. You don’t need to sign onto any doctrine nor make any commitment ‘upfront’…simply just provide the opportunity and let them walk and take time to be alone with God. The Holy Spirit does the ‘heavy lifting’. I see the labyrinth as a ‘bridge’ for our Diocese to engage with those seekers outside the church…and provide a welcoming, hospitable and safe place for all to explore, go deeper and grow closer to Jesus.”

Source: Labyrinths: ancient practice, Anglican renaissance,

Labyrinths: ancient practice, Anglican renaissance

9.11.19

05
Sep
19

9.6.19 … “make us people always attentive to the winds that are blowing in other people’s lives. amen.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC, 2019 Labyrinth Walks:

A storm is brewing … Dorian is on her way. The world has been watching her for over a week.

And here in Charlotte today there was a weather change. It was gusty and balmy. The chimes were clanging. The wind and the birds were chirping.

Although it’s still summer, today felt like fall. The colors were muted and brown. Weeds were making one last push for dominance.

As I walked, I talked with my son … allergies this year … Denver … the mountains … lots of construction …

Back to Dorian … Maren always fashions words I appreciate:

God, you speak from the siren

of first responders

and not the whirlwind.

You comfort mourners in the Bahamas

and those who sift through loss

of home and business

after the storm stayed and stayed

over the islands

and you have waited

on the worried mainland

through the vigil of trajectories.

Give to the stranded — patience,

to caregivers – stamina,

to those who choose to stay

with their small animals,

common sense

and bars on their phones.

Along the seaboard storm path,

give wisdom to governors,

energy to emergency room workers,

guidance to school superintendents,

judgment to those

who deploy line workers.

And turn neighbors

into good watchers and kind friends,

while strong bands and eye-walls

are passing by,

and, having learned

to notice and to care in these days,

make us people always attentive

to the winds that are blowing

in other people’s lives.

amen.

Source: In the Days of Hurricane Dorian | Gifts in Open Hands,

https://giftsinopenhands.wordpress.com/2019/09/04/in-the-days-of-hurricane-dorian/

Yes, make us people always attentive to the winds that are blowing in other people’s lives. amen.

9.6.19

04
Sep
19

9.4.19 … “gratitude transforms the torment of memory into silent joy”

Today would have been my father’s 92nd birthday.

I am grateful for him everyday.

“Furthermore, the more beautiful and full the remembrances, the more difficult the separation. But gratitude transforms the torment of memory into silent joy. One bears what was lovely in the past not as a thorn, but as a precious gift deep within, a hidden treasure of which one can always be certain.” ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

9.4.19

04
Sep
19

9.4.19 … “Everything about the labyrinth folds back upon itself. That is the secret.” – Tom Schulz

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, Almetto Howey Alexander Labyrinth @ McCrorey YMCA – Charlotte NC, Tom Schulz, John Schulz:

I met Tom’s brother John in Rome several weeks ago and began following him on social media. Today John posted about his brother’s work in Charlotte:

September 4, 2019

Labyrinth painting by Tom Schulz

“The labyrinth journey begins in the center…..not at the entry.

The center is not the goal, it is the point of beginning.”—Tom Schulz, Artist

I guess Tom knows more about labyrinths than anyone I ever met. He has studied the concept for many years. Tom has constructed a number of labyrinths using stained concrete as his medium. His designs are based on that of the famous labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral in France. Walking the labyrinth is a meditational experience.

Tom says, “Everything about the labyrinth folds back upon itself.

That is the secret.”

The painting of Tom’s hangs in our living room. The living room folds back on itself as the experiences and memories grow and intertwine.

“Do you remember when Uncle Herman (Bless his soul) told the story about the Alabama boys and the watermelon truck?”

And here’s is a bit more about the labyrinth pictured:

In 2009, Artist Tom Schulz prepared a proposal for the labyrinth. He designed a specific labyrinth that, while based on the conventional eleven-circuit pattern, speaks to the ancient African origins of the labyrinth. His studies and to-scale painting interpret aspects of Almetto Howey Alexander’s life journey through personalized symbolism, imagery and color.

Source: The Labyrinth — Almetto Howey Alexander Labyrinth, 
https://www.almetto.org/the-labyrinth

9.4.19

28
Aug
19

8.28.19 … “The ‘paradox of hospitality’ is that it wants to create emptiness … a friendly emptiness where strangers can enter and discover themselves as created free …”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, Lake Junaluska Conference Center/Memorial Chapel-Lake Junaluska NC:

There are two people who will almost always go with me on a labyrinth excursion: my sister and Ruth Ann.

Although I had just traveled here on Monday, RA was up to do it again today. So we headed out and had a delightful walk.

Lake Junaluska is named for Chief Jualuska.

“Junaluska, Cherokee warrior and hero of Andrew Jackson‘s victory over the Creeks at Horseshoe Bend in 1814, was born near the head of the Little Tennessee River in either Macon County, N.C., or Rabun County, Ga. Although the date of his birth is uncertain, he signed four federal affidavits in 1849 indicating his age as “about seventy” and he was listed as seventy-two in the 1851 Cherokee census. The names of his parents are not known.

“Junaluska” is a corruption of the warrior’s second Cherokee name. According to folk tradition, when he was born, his parents had great difficulty in finding an appropriate name for him. One day when his carrying frame was placed against a tree while his parents worked, the frame fell over. He was then named Gul-ka-la-ski or “one falling from a leaning position.” He was so-called until 1814. In that year he vowed to exterminate every Creek in battle, but, despite an overwhelming victory, did not achieve his goal. As a result, he called himself Tsu-na-la-hun-ski or “one who tries, but fails.” Over the last four decades of his life, the name was gradually Anglicized into its present form.”

Source: Junaluska | NCpedia,

https://www.ncpedia.org/biography/junaluska

Afterwards we took a long meandering drive around the lake and then a long meandering drive back to the cabin.

And I found this recently on a friend’s fab page:

“’Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place.’

The ‘paradox of hospitality is that it wants to create emptiness … a friendly emptiness where strangers can enter and discover themselves as created free; free to sing their own songs, speak their own languages, dance their own dances; free also to leave and follow their own vocations.’” – Henri Nouwen

Since we love the mountains, history and labyrinths, we’ll go back!

8.28.19

27
Aug
19

8.26.19 … seven books in seven days …

I actually enjoy these social media challenges, and I’ve done this one before. Here was this year’s challenge:

Ok, _—–, I accept the challenge – ask one friend each day to post the cover of 7 books they love, with no reason or explanation. Just the cover. ——, – you’re 1 0f 7!

And these were my choices. but here I get to explain them. 🙂

1. Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice” – this book links me to high school and my mother and my sister and my daughter. It is great literature, chick lit at its best and a case study in film literature adaptions … all aspects of literature I enjoy. And each time I read the book, I discover new things. When I posted it this year, one friend noted that it was from Mrs. Lauderdale’s English class. And I retold the story of how I had rediscovered my copy … Twenty+ years ago, I was visiting my parents and found this copy in my mom’s bedside reading library. Since it was clearly mine, I confiscated it. Shortly thereafter, my mom called me and asked me if I had taken HER P&P. I said that I had, and she responded, “You didn’t even ask?” She noted that it had been her copy for 20 or so years at that point. I sent her a new copy.

And of corse this article about the library at Jane’s brother’s home and to which she had access fascinated me …

 “I am now alone in the Library, Mistress of all I survey.”


Source: Rebuilding Jane Austen’s Library | Lapham’s Quarterly, 
https://www.laphamsquarterly.org/roundtable/rebuilding-jane-austens-library

2. A.A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh”: A friend posted this on 8.21, the birthday of the “real” Christopher Robin:

“’You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.’

Today is the birthday of the real life Christopher Robin Milne, son of A.A. Milne, author of the Pooh stories. He was a bookshop owner in Dartmouth, England and was wounded in WWII. He never wanted any royalties from his father’s work, and gave his original stuffed animals to his father’s editor who, in turn, donated them to the NY Public Library.”

And that of course reminded me of the fact that my father’s nickname for me as a child was “Pooh.” He said I was soft and round. He was kind to his rather rotund child. And of course my favorite gift as a child was my 1964 stuffed Disney version Winnie-the-Pooh. It has sat faithfully on or near my bed my entire life.

And since I was at my sister’s I asked her if she had our family’s Pooh books. And of course she did …

3. J.K Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”: This book and the others in the Harry Potter series connect me to my children. I loved reading them to my kids, listening to the audio versions as we traveled, waiting in line for their release at midnight and anticipating and then seeing each of the movies. It was a favorite part of being a parent!

4. Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express”: My mother must have read each Agatha Christie book a million times. I see her with the paperback books in her hands in a favorite chair, curled up in her bed or sunbathing at the beach, and always with a cozy mystery in her hands. Her eyes have failed in the last few years (she’s 92), and she repeatedly has said, “If only I could see, I could read.” Where I have found pleasure in taking her to ride, my sister has found pleasure and given her pleasure in reading to her. And their current book is ” Murder on the Orient Express.” I have enjoyed listening to my sister read to her and have taken on a chapter or two, as well. It is a very intimate thing to share a book in this way.

5. Madeleine L’Engle’s “And It Was Good: Reflections on Beginnings, ” with forward by Rachel Held Evans: I found this book because I was researching Rachel Held Evans who died this spring at 37 and was a well-known Christian author. When I saw that she had done a new forward to this book that I did not know existed by Madeline L’Engle, I thought that would be a nice introduction. I found that Rachel’s forward expressed many of my thoughts about “St. Madeleine.” In addition, I loved this book and thought it would be a great gift for anybody that was experiencing a beginning, especially a new mother.

6. Amor Towles’ “A Gentleman in Moscow”: Everyone needs a good friend to recommend books. Many years ago I realized that person was my mother-in-law. Although I stay away from the thrillers or those with too much sex or gore because that is not what I read. But if she tells me it is well written and a good story, I will follow her lead. And this book was just that … and it’s already been picked up for film adaptation. What more could I ask?

7. Jennifer Robson’s “The Gown”: This was an historical novel, and it was good. This is a genre I love and this is my most recent read of this genre.

And then a friend made aware of this list … maybe I’ll do this for my 60th birthday!

Source: The best books to read at every age, from 1 to 100 – Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/entertainment/books/100-books-for-the-ages/

8.27.19




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