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Traveling outside our comfort zone
eventually teaches us
that we must give up being tourists
because every place we journey
deserves a pilgrim heart and a pilgrim mind:
tender, quiet, humble, filled with awe.
I know better,
but I find myself thinking that
if I were living my life ‘right’,
it would be smooth-sailing before a steady breeze.
The 14th C. mystic, Dame Julian of Norwich,
she of The Revelations of Divine Love,
must have wrestled
with the same illusion because she observes,
The Holy One did not say ‘Thou shalt not be tempested,
thou shalt not be travailed, thou shalt not be dis-eased;
but rather, ‘Thou shalt not be overcome.’
In 2008, Deborah Smith Douglas
quoted these words in the journal, Weavings:
We, in our materialistic culture,
are in danger of spiritual starvation,
Simone Weil observed,
not because there is no bread,
but because we have persuaded ourselves
that we are not hungry.
I find that they are as applicable in 2016
as they were then…
In fact, as applicable as they were
when Simone Weil made her observation prior to 1943,
which was the year of her death at age 34.
This week started with spiritual travel
and it will end with geographical travel.
Today, looking for one of my spiritual life maps,
I started pulling journals off the shelf.
The first one I opened happened to be from 2005
(the year we moved to Colorado from Massachusetts –
which was a journey much longer than
the intervening miles!)
The journal fell open at the words of Kurt Vonnegut
(talk about synchronicity),
inscribed all by themselves in the center of a page.
Strange travel suggestions
are dancing lessons from God.
I was thinking about the gifts we carry within us,
the ones we choose to develop,
the ones we ignore,
the ones we dare to call gifts
and the ones that we feel awkward admitting
(I can hear my foremothers saying,
‘Pride goeth before a fall, Andrea.’)
But gifts are for giving.
So: What one gift would you be willing
to bequeath right now to someone else who needs it?
Even if it means letting it go out of your being?
And to whom would you give it?
Money is the tangible resource most of us
receive in exchange for our life —
for the limited minutes, hours, days, years
that are our allotted span,
our ‘once through’ this existence.
Capital in exchange for time.
Are you getting your life’s worth
in exchange for your life?
In a temporal reality
the holy is, by definition,
always held in mundane vessels
Text © 2016, Andrea La Sonde Anastos
Photos © 2015, 2016 Immram Chara, LLC