Archive for July, 2019

31
Jul
19

7.31.19 … Namaste – Namaste – the Christ in me honors the Christ in you … and JOY!

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, Unity Center – Mills River NC, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church-Brevard NC:

I am again visiting the mountain retreat of my college roommate, and she either gets labyrinths or indulges me or both.

Today we headed out with Albert, my dog, and I introduced her to my favorite new labyrinth at Unity Center at Mills River. But on the way over, we took a break and dropped by Eden Brothers, “the seediest place on earth.” Albert thought it a lovely place to take a break.

I had approached the Unity Center from Brevard the time before, and we sailed along talking before even putting the location in the GPS. RA knows every nook and cranny of this area and had just commented how sad it was that the nearby McKinney blueberry farm, a favorite pick-your-own farm from years past, was no longer being maintained. The blueberry bushes were overgrown. So after backtracking and going past the blueberry farm a second time, we arrived at the labyrinth.

We tethered Albert at the side with a leash attached to my antique iron. I’ve carried it for years when I travel with a dog but guess I’ve never pulled it out with RA. It works when traveling with a dog!

We both noted the curious crook in the old tree on the edge of the labyrinth garden. And I thought about the angel statue at the entrance. Was she there last time?

I told RA before walking about how I read and pondered each memorial brick and was not sure if I liked them because I spent too much time with them. What I discovered this time is that we talked and discussed those that caught our attention, and that she was intrigued by different ones and brought my attention to them.

We talked about these:

At the Entrance:

“Prayer Labyrinth

Unity Center

September 2009”

“South” but no other directional markers.

“Edward Cayce A.R.E.

A Search for God

Unity Study Group”

… This one caused us to immediately do a google search …

“Edgar Cayce (/ˈkeɪsiː/; March 18, 1877 – January 3, 1945) was an American clairvoyant who answered questions on subjects as varied as healing, reincarnation, wars, Atlantis, and future events while allegedly asleep. A biographer gave him the nickname, The Sleeping Prophet. A nonprofit organization, the Association for Research and Enlightenment,[1] was founded to facilitate the study of Cayce’s work.

“Love the questions & someday you will live the answers” –Rainer Maria Rilke, German Philosopher

“Namaste” and

“Namaste – the Christ in me honors the Christ in you”

… Which led us to talk about “namaste,” what it means and when we first heard it. I saw this just the other day:

“God’s image! How much of God may be seen in me, may I see in others? Try as we may, we cannot hide it completely.

A young reader knowing of my love of new words, sent me a beautiful one: namasté: I salute the God within you. The words which have taught me most richly come in logical progression: ontology: the word about being; ousia: the essence of being, that which is really real; ananda (also sent me as a gift by a reader): that joy in existence without which the universe will fall apart and collapse. And now: namasté. If we accept that God is within each of us, then God will give us, within us, the courage to accept the responsibility of being co-creators.”

Source: Source: “And It Was Good: Reflections on Beginnings (The Genesis Trilogy Book 1)” by Madeleine L’Engle, Rachel Held Evans, Lindsay Lackey

“Earn your keep”

“This is the day the Lord hath made”

“Matt & Zach

Live-Love -Laugh

Your Moms”

…so who are Matt and Zach, who are their moms, what is their relationships and why do I care?

“The truth will set you free but first it will piss you off”

“If the only prayer you say in your life is thank you! That will suffice-Meister Eckhart”

…And that caused me to look up Meister Eckhart. Did you know he lived from 1260 to 1328?

Eckhart von Hochheim OP, commonly known as Meister Eckhart or Eckehart, was a German theologian, philosopher and mystic, born near Gotha, in the Landgraviate of Thuringia in the Holy Roman Empire. Wikipedia

Born: 1260, Holy Roman Empire

Died: 1328, Avignon, France

“Joy is the most infallible sign of God‘s presence”

…And this one led me to tell RA about the quote in one of Madeleine L’Engle’s Wrinkle in Time quintet. And the “JOY” ornaments I love and the one I tucked in Edward’s boxes to move to Denver in May.

“To experience the peace you seek watch your mind as you would watch a rattlesnake”

“Everyone’s a child of God in a school of life doing what seems to be true and necessary in the moment”

… and we discussed the more frequent use of the term “child of God.” Have you noticed that … maybe the last 10 years or so?

One of the nice things about walking with RA is our mind and spirits can wander together. We may not agree, but we can talk about just about anything without boundaries.

And then we finished, packed up Albert, and a sign caught our attention. So we drove around the Unity Center to see what the Carolina Memorial Sanctuary was… It was lovely from the road but still we could not quite figure it out. So we found this on the Internet:

“The End is a New Beginning

Preserve, protect, and renew the land with your burial.

Located in the Asheville area of Western North Carolina, Carolina Memorial Sanctuary is a conservation & green cemetery providing eco-friendly natural burials. Perpetual conservation of the environment is created as each burial becomes part of the living landscape.”

Source: Conservation & Green Burial – Carolina Memorial Sanctuary,

Home

Namaste …

Next we drove the 20 + minutes to Brevard to check out a new labyrinth at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church. It was installed last month. It is a Classical 7-circuit brick/paver labyrinth, small, 26 feet in diameter.

When we pulled in behind the beautiful old stone church, which I understand from the historical marker with built in 1926, we first noticed the lovely community gardens over to the right. The new Labyrinth is located at the back, and today there was a enrichment camp going on at the church and there were multiple groups of young adults and elementary age kids reading together in pairs. We asked if it would bother the pair that were reading on the bench located at the backside of the labyrinth, and they said no, and so we walked.

This is it clearly a production labyrinth, one ordered from a kit, and although it is lovely, we both noticed that there was a rosette and that it was in a juncture and it would have been more perfect if it had been placed at the center.

As I walked, I heard the noise of the cicadas and could hear the little girl reading… “Greta was the biggest dog ever.”

Because there was so much activity in the area, we left Albert in the car near us. He tried to compete with the cicadas with his constant whining.

After we finished our second walk, we drove the half hour to the Arboretum and enjoyed a pleasant lunch outside where both we, including Albert, received excellent service along with our grilled cheese sandwiches.

There was a man sitting at the table next to us wearing a plain gray T-shirt with the letters “WFS”. I asked him what it stood for, thinking “Wake Forest Seminary.” He responded, “It is a school I attended 55 years ago,Woodberry Forest School.” I told him that I knew it well, many friends at Davidson had gone there. He responded that he had gone to W &L, and that they wouldn’t let him in Davidson despite the fact that his father and uncle had gone there. I explained to him that I was visiting Asheville with my Davidson College roommate. We both laughed, knowing that there are some parts of our history we will always love and cherish.

Namaste!

7.31.19

30
Jul
19

7.30.19 … holy envy! …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, UNC-Asheville, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church-Asheville NC, Grove Park Inn @Sunset:

I made it to Asheville after driving a new route inspired by GPS. I have been in Atlanta for several days helping with some issues regarding my mom. For the first time ever, the Waze app suggested I go a new route from Marietta: south on I75, inner I-285, I85 N, I 585, US 441, US74, and finally I- 40 E to Asheville.

I was listening to Barbera Brown Taylor’s “Holy Envy.” In this book, she talks extensively about her experiences with students in a world religions class at Piedmont College. I had never heard of Piedmont College before, and all of a sudden I looked up and saw the exit for Piedmont College at Demorest GA. Funny how the stars align.

After arriving at “the cabin,” RA and I hopped in her car and headed to Asheville. Our first stop was the UNC-Asheville labyrinth. It was a weedy mess, with lichen on the rocks and overgrown grasses in the path. It is a classical labyrinth, with boundaries of large rocks, a large boulder at the center to sit on, interspersed with a few tall trees or tree trunks, on very uneven hilly terrain.

But quite a nice way to begin our short time together.

After our walk, we headed to White Duck Taco for a pleasant dinner. I had a fish taco, and it was excellent.

We left there and headed downtown to Malaprop’s. If you don’t know Malaprop’s, you should. It is a great independent bookstore. They also have a deal where if you buy $50 worth of books, you can pick out one of their advance copies for free which they keep on a shelf for customers. It is always a fun endeavor to pick out a book from the shelf.

We had decided to go and watch the sunset at the Grovepark Inn on my sister’s recommendation. But we had a little time, so we ventured for another labyrinth walk.

This time we went to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on Chunn Cove Road, a small old white church.

There is a beautiful space on the ground below the road where the church is located next to a creek. In this space is a small garden, a large gazebo, a children’s play area, and the labyrinth. This lower level is bordered by a heavily kudzu covered area next to a creek. This led me to tell RuthAnn about my brother using a herd of goats for six days to reclaim his overgrown natural area at his house in Atlanta. I told her that Davidson College had used goats for land reclamation along its cross country trails. She had never heard of such a thing. We laughed at the idea.

And yes, we had another delightful walk.

After this one, we ventured to the Grove Park Inn, secured two seats on the lower terrace looking westward and waited for the sunset with a glass of Pinot Noir and a margarita and two excellent desserts. It was quite nice, but because of the cloud cover, the sunset was less than spectacular, but the evening was charming nevertheless. We have decided that in addition to regular labyrinth walks in the area, hiking and exploring along the Blue Ridge Parkway and visiting downtown Asheville for food and shopping adventures, we will seek out the best location to watch the sunset. This was their first attempt. One college classmate recommended Hemingway’s where her son works as a chef. That may be next on our Asheville @ Sunset list when we meet again in September.

7.30.19

28
Jul
19

7.28.19 … “God’s time is always now.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, Mercer University – Atlanta Campus-Atlanta GA:

Before entering Mercer’s Atlanta Campus, I was in negative space, negative time. I was thinking negatively of the crunch, crunch, crunch noise in my head as I walked.

But my thoughts and spirits were lifted by the banners hanging from the campus light posts that proclaimed, “AT MERCER, EVERYONE MAJORS IN CHANGING THE WORLD.” I like that mission.

As I approached the Dhanani Interfaith Mission Garden at around 11 am this Sunday, a time when the campus is probably most empty, I noticed a very cute new silver Mercedes coup parked next to labyrinth. I didn’t see anyone at first, but then I saw him, an Asian man, assumably the owner of cute Mercedes coup, laying on a bench of cement picnic table, meditating possibly, with a book, open, possibly a Bible.

I walked carefully and as quietly as possible over to the labyrinth and noted the irony to the sign at the entrance, “NO SMOKING – Please Respect This Sacred Space.” There is a positive message in declaring the space “sacred,” and a negative message in dictating in all capitals that the space is off limits to smoking.

I tried as hard as I could to walk quietly in this sacred space (without smoking) , but the world was determined to fill my head, and I assumed that of the meditating man, with NOISE. There was a cacophony of sounds, the crunch of the rocks as I walked, singing of the cicadas and of quite a few birds of various types, and sporadically the roaring of the engines from small planes landing and taking off at nearby Peachtree Dekalb airport.

Before walking, I answered some long overdue emails and thought about some projects on the horizon. And then I set out. And yes, the church, crunch, crunch was an issue.

Sometimes I walk the periphery of a labyrinth before I enter the space. I do this especially when it is obvious that there is a path around the periphery. I have come up with a practice: I walk counterclockwise before entering and then walk clockwise after I finish. I am methodically exiting chronos and entering kairos. I go counterclockwise, ie, against time to close it before entering and then I go clockwise after exiting to reenter chronos.

“The ancient Greeks had two words for time: chronos (χρόνος) and kairos. The former refers to chronological or sequential time, while the latter signifies a proper or opportune time for action. While chronos is quantitative, kairos has a qualitative, permanent nature.” Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kairos?wprov=sfti1

I’ve noticed that this labyrinth seems very oriented toward space and time. However, because the entrance is not set at any of the pathways into this space, I actually opened the compass app to see the direction in which it was oriented because clearly it is very intentional. It is almost set on East-West axis, but not quite. After closing the app, I looked up and realized that there is indeed a marker in in the garden indicating North, South, East and West which I did not remember was here.

And over in the distance a porta potty. All symbols I assumed.

Crunch, crunch, crunch… The rocks were not only a sound distraction, they were physically unstable under my feet. I was physically unstable as I walked on them. So in order to walk, I must slow down. The paths were just a little over 1 foot wide, which caused me to be all over the path as my feet fell on the unstable surface. So again, the nature of the path caused me to be extremely intentional while I was there.

Today was especially interesting because of the man sitting or laying next to the labyrinth. I did not want to disturb him. After laying for 15 minutes, he sat up, looked up and moved to the other bench on the other side of the table. Was his timing and movement brought about because I disturbed him?

As I continued to walk, I noticed him looking up in prayer and bowing his head in prayer.

Another plane’s engine …

This is a full Chartres labyrinth. At the center are three benches. I think of the Sound of Music scenes in the gazebo and laughed at the thought of dancing and jumping from bench to bench.

And I read this passage this week …

“Scripture is constantly breaking through chronos into kairos. All those hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus, Job cried out of the intensity of his pain and grief an incredible affirmation: “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he shall stand at the last day on earth, and though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and whom my own eyes shall behold, though my reins be consumed within me.” For at that last day we shall truly understand the meaning of creation and the story of Genesis. We shall truly understand what it means to be co-creators with the Lord of creation. God’s time is always now, and in this eternal now our Redeemer lives, and we shall see him, face to face.”

Source: “And It Was Good: Reflections on Beginnings (The Genesis Trilogy Book 1)” by Madeleine L’Engle, Rachel Held Evans, Lindsay Lackey and wanted to share this quote with you.

Another plane over head. And then a big commercial jet … so much noise to keep me in chronos. And then another plane. Sunday morning joyriders?

I finished up, exited kairos and reentered chronos. What goes around comes around? Hopefully I can joyride through time … God’s time is always now.

7.28.19

And I just found this:

“There is a realm of time where the goal is not to have, but to be. Not to own, but to give. Not to control, but to share. Not to subdue, but to be in accord.”

~Rabbi Abraham Heschel

28
Jul
19

7.26.19 … “He was a brilliant man with extraordinary legal gifts and talents, which he combined with a deep devotion to the rule of law and a deep commitment to equal justice,” – Justice Kagan speaking about Justice Stevens

Justice Stevens, RIP:

“He was a brilliant man with extraordinary legal gifts and talents, which he combined with a deep devotion to the rule of law and a deep commitment to equal justice,” Kagan said during a brief and somber ceremony.

Kagan, who was nominated by President Barack Obama to replace Stevens after his 2010 retirement, added: “Maybe more personally and more directly than anyone, I’ve thought about the enormity of Justice Stevens’s shoes and the impossibility of filling them.”

Red Boot Way, Step 10: I am compassionate, “And It Was Good: Reflections on Beginnings (The Genesis Trilogy Book 1)” by Madeleine L’Engle Rachel Held Evans, Lindsay Lackey:

Red Booters (Holly Adkisson, Holly Dixon Lepp, Sarah Board Plott, Virginia Sullivan, Elaine Cohoon Miller and Mike) –

I listened to “And It Was Good: Reflections on Beginnings (The Genesis Trilogy Book 1)” by Madeleine L’Engle, Rachel Held Evans, and Lindsay Lackey, on my drive to Atlanta and this passage jumped at me after today’s conversation on being compassionate:

“One way of overlapping is to identify with someone else, for instance, in intercessory prayer. To have compassion (com = with, passion = suffering) means to share with another whatever it is that circumstances are bringing to bear on that other. It does not mean to coerce or to manipulate or to dictate (“ Of course you must sell your house first thing. After that there is nothing for you to do but leave him. What you really need is a new wardrobe.”); when we coerce or manipulate or dictate we don’t have to be involved with the one we are hoping to help. Compassion means to be with, to share, to overlap, no matter how difficult or painful it may be. And compassion is indeed painful, for it means to share in the suffering of those we pray for; to love is to be vulnerable, and to be vulnerable is to be hurt, inevitably, yet without vulnerability we are not alive, and God showed us this when he came to live with us, in utter vulnerability, as Jesus of Nazareth. Preparation for this kind of sharing comes with story. When I identify with Adam or Eve, with Cain or Abel, with Abraham or Sarah, this is practice in identifying with all the people around me, in helping our circles overlap. And it is sometimes practice in recognizing the dark side of myself, the side I would rather not acknowledge. Until I can bring myself to acknowledge it, I cannot offer it to God to be redeemed. If I am both Adam and Eve, so also am I Cain and Abel. Parables and fairy tales make much of older and younger sons. Joseph, for instance, is a younger brother whose ill-advised bragging deserved the animosity of his elder siblings. And Gideon is a younger brother, who by his humble obedience, succeeded in rescuing the exiled Hebrews from their powerful enemies. We’re a mixed lot, but what a rich mix we are, and what material we provide for story—story which gives us glimpses of truth which otherwise might remain hidden!”

Start reading it for free: http://a.co/aqghyK2

In addition, L’Engle used the word “metanoia” which was the third time I saw or heard that word this week, once by you Heather.

“Repent is a word used frequently in connection with the Lord of the Old Testament.

The Greek word for repent is metanoia, meaning to turn completely around, to reverse directions. The thing which may seem strange to us today is that the word repent, as used by the ancient Hebrew, referred not only to us creatures, but to the Lord: We have done evil in the sight of the Lord, perhaps if we amend our sinful ways el will repent and take away the harshness of the divine judgment. God, in other words, was as free as we are to have a change of mind.”

Start reading it for free: http://a.co/6ZmwG3j

Also, L’Engle repeatedly (8x) used the word “hubris” … a word I never use.

Justice Ginsburg:
Ruth Bader Ginsburg uses the term “clipping service!” Love this! 

“He was my clipping service with the New York Times and the [Washington] Post,” she said. “I miss him every morning, because I have no one to go through the paper and pick out what I should read.”

Source: Ruth Bader Ginsburg On Missing Marty, The Love Of Her Life : NPR, 
https://www.npr.org/2019/07/27/745411217/ruth-bader-ginsburg-on-love-and-other-things
25
Jul
19

7.25.19 … “Love still takes the risk of birth.“

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

I tried, but failed. I left a big pile of gray hair on the floor at the hairdresser … but still it’s not really short. My friend called me a “chicken.”

So afterwards, I moved on to a favorite labyrinth. As I approached with my McDonald’s lunch and book, I saw the labyrinth was weedy and looked scorched.

I heard multiple “caws,” and looked up to see a murder of crows flying overhead. Yes, really that is one of several names for a group of crows.

When Rachel Held Evans died recently, I realized that I had never read anything by her. I searched on the Internet and reserved several of her books at the library, including a Madeline L’Engle book entitled “And It Was Good: Reflections on Beginnings,“ which contained a forward by Rachel Held Evans. In five short pages, I think I got a very nice introduction to Rachel Held Evans, and I quickly realized that I have very similar thoughts and musings about the author Madeleine L’Engle. Here are a few quotes from Evans’ Forward:

“Love still takes the risk of birth.“

“The young writer, who might as well be any of us who long from time to time to call up St. Madeline and ask the very same thing, pressed once more: ”’I just need to be sure you believe what you say in your books.‘“

“I do. ‘ God help me, I do. Even when I don’t, I do.“

“I believe all of these things, at least most of the time.

And thanks St. Madeline, even when I don’t, I do.“

And then I was distracted. Just like my last walk here, I saw a high school boy, this one a carrot top in a boot, sneaking back into the woods behind the columbarium … he wasn’t there long, before he returned to the waiting dark colored Jeep. I’m not sure what is back there, but an educated guess is weed. I had kids, so I get it, but what I hate is that this made me uncomfortable in a sacred space. I didn’t feel unsafe, just uncomfortable. So if you have kids, tell them to respect spaces … to keep them safe and sacred.

When I got home, I found a note from a friend whose daughter had just had a boy to tag along behind her three older sisters. “Love still takes the risk of birth.“

7.25.19

23
Jul
19

7.23.19 … metanoia: the capacity to let grace and new information change a mind …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, St. James Episcopal Church -Clayton GA:

I ventured up to north Georgia to a funeral for Ann Metzgar, the mother of one of my dear college friends. I met three others in my group for lunch.

The service was a wonderful blend of Episcopal and Methodist denominational hymns and liturgy. My friend Debbie, an episcopal priest, gave the homily for her mom. Tough duty, but beautifully done. We also took communion. It made for an interesting celebration of life.

Afterwards there was a reception in the parish hall. I loved meeting Debbie’s husband and step children and visiting again with her daughter.

I had searched before arriving and so I knew there was a labyrinth at the church. So afterwards I walked.

As I approached, I realized there was a most glorious tree in the center. It controlled the space.

And as I walked, I noticed weeds, moss on a rock, mushrooms ( there’s a story about that and my sister’s favorite librarian), and half of a yellow plastic Easter egg.

Before entering, I assumed that the tree was at the center, but the center was not the tree, although the path took me round it several times. Instead it was a very small space for me to pause and be still.

On the way out I noticed the hydrangeas on the side and the beautiful planter with colorful flowers in the center of the nearby parking area.

As I walked I pondered my friend’s homily “resurrection truth” …and thought about John 14:6: Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

I ran across this word today … metanoia: the capacity to let grace and new information change a mind.

7.23.19

19
Jul
19

7.19.19 … “Cruelty is a drug, as well, and it’s all around us. Don’t imbibe.” – Tennessee Williams

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, Private labyrinth, Northwoods Dr. – Marietta GA:

I am visiting my sister and there is a private labyrinth which I can utilize on my walks with my dog Albert. Today, we ventured that way.

I always laugh when I am with Albert. Labyrinths are very confusing to him. So I tied him up on the arched entrance and walked. He whined.

This labyrinth was kitschy, not a bad thing, just a fact. It expressed a serendipitous view of life and entering such a space was fun. It made for a different sort of walk.

It was a classical labyrinth, I think, made of rock and brick paver boundaries and a dirt path, although in places the path was seashells, really. It was hard to tell in this magical garden.

I first noticed two things: a magnificent color burst of the flowers and the hard to miss tall and sometimes thorny weeds. I must remember to check for ticks …

There was a birdbath at the center with stones to stack… create-a-cairn… and one was shaped like a heart. I left the heart at the top of my stack.

And Albert knocked over the yard art penguin. I righted him.

We both left the garden laughing.

And here is a little Tennessee Williams for you.

“I don’t know what to tell you. A statement is easy, and here it is: Be yourself. Try to matter. Be a good friend. Love freely, even if you are likely–almost guaranteed–to be hurt, betrayed. Do what you were created to do. You’ll know what this is, because it is what you keep creeping up to, peering at, dreaming of. Do it. If you don’t, you’ll be punching clocks and eating time doing precisely what you shouldn’t, and you’ll become mean and you’ll seek to punish any and all who appear the slightest bit happy, the slightest bit comfortable in their own skin, the slightest bit smart. Cruelty is a drug, as well, and it’s all around us. Don’t imbibe.

“Try to matter. Try to care. And never be afraid to admit that you just don’t know, you just don’t fucking know how you’re going to make it. That’s when the help–the human and the divine help–shows up.” –Tennessee Williams/Interview with James Grissom/1982/

7.19.19




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