Archive for September, 2018

29
Sep
18

9.29.18 … “As a temporary dwelling, the sukkah also represents the fact that all existence is fragile, and therefore Sukkot is a time to appreciate the shelter of our homes and our bodies.” … Chag Sameach!

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Labyrinth Walks, Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC, Sukkot, homelessness:

Today was a weird one. I went to Avondale very conflicted, just wanted a quick respite from the trials and tribulations of life. Shortly after I arrived and was walking, I heard a yell from a black car. The car was a limo type service car, and the driver asked if I could help his customer. She was looking for a Jewish synagogue, Havurat Tikvah.

Since I am not a member of Avondale, I did not know if possibly a Jewish congregation met there. But I searched on my iPhone after walking back to Labyrinth, and I realized that the congregation did indeed meet at this church. So I walked back. I found the webpage for the congregation. Today is the Feast of Tabernacles, Sukkot, and she wanted to participate.

Many years ago when we lived in Wilmette IL, a neighbor held a Sukkot celebration. So of course today I did a little research:

“Sukkot, commonly translated as Feast of Tabernacles … also known as Chag HaAsif, the Feast of Ingathering, is a biblical Jewish holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the seventh month.”

And,

“Sukkot (Feast of Booths or Tabernacles) is one of the three biblically based pilgrimage holidays known as the shalosh regalim. It is an agricultural festival that originally was considered a thanksgiving for the fruit harvest. Sukkot are hut-like structures that the Jews lived in during the 40 years of travel through the wilderness after the exodus from Egypt. As a temporary dwelling, the sukkah also represents the fact that all existence is fragile, and therefore Sukkot is a time to appreciate the shelter of our homes and our bodies.”

See the full post:https://toriavey.com/what-is-sukkot/#foz5FMf5uapc6267.99

So after offering to take her to the private residence, she got out of the car. I realized from her baggage, a series of grocery bags, that she was probably a homeless person. She had been traveling up and down the East Coast primarily by bus and that she had landed in Charlotte. After looking at the Jewish congregation’s website, I realized that the festival of tents celebration was at a private residence 5 miles away. I offered to take her there.

Meanwhile, a member of the Avondale congregation let her into the building so she could use the restroom and she disappeared for 20+ minutes. When she finally came out, she clearly had taken a bath in the sink in the restroom. My heart was heavy because I wanted to help and was scared. But I ventured fourth to the home where the Sukkot celebration was to be held. She fell asleep in my car several times on the way there. But when she was awake, she was fairly engaged.

Once at that private residence, I let her out. This is what she wanted to do. However, I feel very sad that I could not help more.

Chag Sameach!

9.29.18

21
Sep
18

9.21.18 … “When someone asks you why you walk a labyrinth, tell them it’s because silence isn’t empty..it’s full of answers!” – unknown

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Labyrinth Walks, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church – Mooresville NC, Myers Park Baptist Church – Charlotte NC, kith/kin, silver linings:

Today I planned to travel to Smith Mountain Lake near Roanoke VA for my annual retreat with 16 college friends. This weekend feeds my soul. And today I woke up with what I assume is a kidney stone. And the only cure at this point is heavy dose of ibuprofen and lots of water. This, too, will pass.

But there was a silver lining … there usually is. I spent the day with another Davidson friend who is in town to watch her son swim for Davidson. She gave me her day. We enjoyed lunch at the Pickled Peach and then ventured north to Mooresville to walk a new-to-me labyrinth at St. Patrick’s Episcopal.

It is a small Medieval 7-circuit labyrinth nestled in a corner of the church’s campus. They offered a pamphlet and I think it a good one, offering history and guidance with a clear message of welcome to all. The pamphlet used Psalm 16:11 as guidance.

You will show me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy, and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.

I’ve attached a copy of the pamphlet.

And here is some info on this labyrinth: http://www.lakenormanpublications.com/mooresville_weekly/boy-scout-s-prayer-labyrinth-created-to-heal-community/article_6cb4dc46-b509-11e7-94d2-e34c8e33834d.html

After our walk, we headed to Charlotte to Queens, trying to avoid the nightmarish I77 traffic. Once in Charlotte we walked the MPBC labyrinth.

So if I have to be here, I couldn’t ask for a nicer way to spend my day. Thanks, RA!

Quote:

When someone asks you why you walk a labyrinth, tell them it’s because silence isn’t empty..it’s full of answers! – unknown

9.21.18

07
Sep
18

9.7.18 … “Looking for beauty all around us is a contemplative practice, an exercise in opening our hearts, minds, and bodies to the divine image.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Labyrinth Walks, Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC, Red Boot Way:

Today I walked with my labyrinth buddy after the Friday Red Boot Way meeting. At the meeting, we talked around “Step Ten: When I practice these steps on a regular basis I gain and experience compassion for myself and others. I am compassionate.” As with most gatherings I am always amazed where the Step takes us.

Toni and I entered the sacred space. At the fountain, the water was a distinct chemically blue. Hmmm …

And then, once we reached the labyrinth, the devastation caused by the weed killer (Roundup?) was so overwhelming. We need to be better stewards of the earth.

Before we walked, we both shared/dumped burdensome thoughts. I was hopeful this would uplift the labyrinth walking. And it did …

I have noted many times that my walks tend to bring on a heightened level of awareness. Today, I noticed the crickets, the construction noises, and an ambulance siren. I noticed the barrenness of the area due to the intentional removal of “weeds.” But why are the hostas dying?

As I walked I was very aware of my need to stoop as I passed under tree limbs on the outer circuits, the first leaves of fall, the pruning of the bushes on the periphery and the survival of the fittest weeds.

I finished before my friend and I decided to walk the circumference, twice. I noticed for the first time that there is no space beyond the outer circuit to walk so I walked the outer circuit. The first time I walked counterclockwise and the second clockwise. In retrospect, I thought a better practice would be to walk once before my walk, counterclockwise to take my walk out of chrona time, and then again after my walk, clockwise, as I re-enter chrona time. My friend commented that maybe it should be the opposite to signify sealing and unsealing of the sacred space.

And here are a few thoughts that I have been pondering …

“Looking for beauty all around us is a contemplative practice, an exercise in opening our hearts, minds, and bodies to the divine image. In indigenous traditions, such opening practices often take the form of dance, drumming, song, and trance, embodied forms that Western, and particularly Euro-centric, Christianity has neglected.

I invite you to return to this Navajo prayer when you have the space and time to literally move or walk with it. If you’re able to walk, you might take off your shoes and walk barefoot. Move slowly, noticing the sensations in your body—discomfort, surprise, challenge, pleasure, ease. Take in your surroundings with a soft, receptive gaze. What do you see? Listen to whatever there is to hear—your own breathing, birds, traffic. You may choose to pay attention to one sense at a time or try to hold two simultaneously. Be present to what is. Walk or move in this way for several minutes or even half an hour. When you have ended, bow in gratitude for your body, for the beauty surrounding you, and for the beauty that will continue to follow you everywhere you go.”

http://email.cac.org/t/ViewEmail/d/E4725E955B98E0852540EF23F30FEDED/1DC1AEAE5E535C1F0B3A73003FEB3522

And this …

“To bless means to say good things. We have to bless one another constantly. Parents need to bless their children, children their parents, husbands their wives, wives their husbands, friends their friends. In our society, so full of curses, we must fill each place we enter with our blessings. We forget so quickly that we are God’s beloved children and allow the many curses of our world to darken our hearts. Therefore we have to be reminded of our belovedness and remind others of theirs. Whether the blessing is given in words or with gestures, in a solemn or an informal way, our lives need to be blessed lives.”

Source: Henri Nouwen Society | Daily Meditation | Henri Nouwen Society, https://henrinouwen.org/resources/daily-meditation/

Blessings.

9.7.18




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