Archive for July, 2018


7.5.18 … always go to the funeral …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Labyrinth Walks, Second Presbyterian Church – Nashville TN, St. Ann’s Episcopal Church Nashville TN, NPR’s – “Always Go to the Funeral”:

Always go to the funeral…

And that is what I did today. I went and I loved my friend, her husband and her sons. And I grieved for them and with them.

But before I went I found two labyrinths in Nashville where I walked and prayed and shared space with another friend.

I’m blessed to have visited with some friends who I just reconnected with last weekend and when they found I needed a place to stay last night, they opened their home. Through my usual conversation and social media, they knew that I love labyrinths, and they noted that their church here in Nashville has a labyrinth. I searched and it is not referenced on the locator services that I have.

So I headed out this morning and found the labyrinth at Second Presbyterian in a very private yard next to the church. It was in what they call a reflection garden and the sign has the following quote: “Jesus said remember, I am with you always to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 There is no reference to the labyrinth on the sign. There is also a sign listing those who have been interred at this garden. this labyrinth is a small three circuit Cretan labyrinth which is in the shape of the brain.

I heard birds twittering and I saw their shadows on the one wall of the garden that was bathed in sunlight. I looked up I saw two redbirds and a plane flying overhead.

There were some very tired hydrangeas still dripping from the rain last night, but not yet recovered from yesterday‘s heat.

My second walk was at St. Ann’s. And I walked it with my dear friend Ann. I shared my love of all things labyrinth and I do believe she was intrigued.

And then i went to the funeral with Ann and her husband. At St. George’s Episcopal Church. And who is St. George?

I love my friend Elizabeth and her family. Today I experienced love in its rawest form. And dear sweet, kind, passionate James is now free …

I am blessed.

And when I remind myself to go to the funeral, I pull up this 2005 NPR segment:

“I believe in always going to the funeral. My father taught me that.
The first time he said it directly to me, I was 16 and trying to get out of going to calling hours for Miss Emerson, my old fifth grade math teacher. I did not want to go. My father was unequivocal. “Dee,” he said, “you’re going. Always go to the funeral. Do it for the family.”

7.5 18


7.4.18 … “Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Labyrinth Walks, Cathedral of St. Philip – Atlanta GA, 4th of July, Father John O’Donahue (For a Parent on the Death of a Child, To Come Home to Yourself), John Meacham – The Soul of America

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Labyrinth Walks, Cathedral of St. Philip – Atlanta GA, 4th of July, Father John O’Donahue:

And so, I’m thinking what a nice way to begin my Fourth of July: I’ll get a wonderful overpriced skinny cinnamon dolce latte from Starbucks with their delicious sous vide egg bites and head to Saint Phillip’s Cathedral and walk the labyrinth. Originally I was going to do the Mercer University labyrinth, but then, for very personal reasons, I decided that today would be a good day to walk a labyrinth at an Episcopal church. However, I failed to calculate in the traffic nightmare caused by Atlanta’s Fourth of July Peachtree Road Race.…

I process things by talking to people with whom I feel are safe to talk. Last Friday at my red boot meeting, I shared that I was struggling with how to support a friend who had lost a child. One friend referred me to John O’ Donahue’s “To Bless the Space Between Us.”

For a Parent on the Death of a Child

No one knows the wonder

Your child awoke in you,

Your heart a perfect cradle

To hold its presence.

Inside and outside became one

As new waves of love

Kept surprising your soul.

Now you sit bereft

Inside a nightmare,

Your eyes numbed

By the sight of a grave

No parent should ever see.

You will wear this absence

Like a secret locket,

Always wondering why

Such a new soul

Was taken home so soon.

Let the silent tears flow

And when your eyes clear

Perhaps you will glimpse

How your eternal child

Has become the unseen angel

Who parents your heart

And persuades the moon

To send new gifts ashore.

~ John O’Donohue ~

(To Bless the Space Between Us)

And an odd coincidence, another friend who regularly attends that same meeting but was away posted another poem by Father O’Donahue in connection with the spreading of the ashes of her beloved husband.

To Come Home to Yourself—a blessing by John O’Donohue

May all that is unforgiven in you

Be released.

May your fears yield

Their deepest tranquilities.

May all that is unloved in you

Blossom into a future

Graced with love.

It was a noisy walk today because the Peachtree Road race was right nearby, and there were helicopters flying above, and as I mentioned in my intro lots of traffic just getting here.

As I walked, I noticed several seed pods from the nearby magnolia trees. Almost all the blooms on the trees are now gone so I wonder if the squirrels brought them down to the Labyrinth. I found this interesting article on magnolia seed pods…

Because it’s the Fourth of July, I have several interesting musings which I will just collect here from social media posts:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

I had already downloaded Meacham’s most recent book The Soul of America, but had it on hold til a later date. James’ Prayer convinced me that now, as I drove around the South for the 4th of July, was the time to listen. Serious stuff for serious times.–Better-Angels.html?soid=1104220709083&aid=GuHSW5wJduc

And I enjoy this every year: I suggest listening and reading along to get the full import:

And this sober reminder from a favorite TV show in 2010:

As I was leaving the labyrinth, I noticed a cardinal. I know that they are significant to several of you. We had a little chat before he flew away.

Blessings and Happy Fourth of July 2018!

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July 2018
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