Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Labyrinth Walk

We were encouraged to take the time we needed, and I was tired-er than I would have thought after the workshop I led, so I skipped the early afternoon Bible study in favor of Persuasion and napping in my bunk. Then, walked around the so-called lake. Really, I do try not to be a snot about it, and the little pond is dear and lovely, but it is nothing like a lake. I was pretty late for the late-afternoon workshop, but thought I'd buzz in, walk the canvas labyrinth really quick to say I'd done it and then see if I could talk my pal into a quick paddle.

Which is just not possible, it turns out. A quick little labyrinth walk, I mean, even in canvas. On the floor of the dining hall. With all the tables pushed to the side. And lights off and candles lit for atmosphere.

I had missed the instructions, but I'd heard them before: Walking in, release. In the center, receive. Walking out, respond. I could walk without hearing those words again. If you're getting the sense that I was little cocky and haphazard about the whole thing, you are getting the right sense about it.

Walking in, release. So I lifted up the question I've been bugged by lately "Where I am supposed to be?" - meaning to let it go, meaning for it float away like a balloon cut from the string, but it fell with a heavy thud instead, and I kept tripping over it.

In the center, receive. Here are the words I heard: "Homesickness IS your home." I've talked here (and, believe me, in the rest of my life ad nauseum) about a certain sort of restless loneliness I get a lot, as well as the confirmations I keep getting that those feelings are supposed to be my gift to the world, somehow, even though I mostly hate them. I sat for a while, waiting for something else, something easier or lighter or funnier. But nothing came, so I started out again.

Walking out, respond. Walking out, I picked up a card from among the little word cards that were scattered around the path. It really bugs me now that I can't, a week later, remember the word, but at the time I know it seemed like exactly the thing. Mostly I cussed under my breath and wished my load were lighter.

Later, the woman from my church and I talked about. She was impressed how the labyrinth doesnt really seem like much, just a pattern, but walking it really moved some stuff around in her soul. I was the smarty pants pastor and said something confidently that, as I was saying it, realized that I did not know if it was true. Or if so, where I'd heard it. "Well, there's a science to the movements and the distances. It truly affects your body in a biological way and that unsettles the subconscious."

So, I said I was transformed before, which may have been strong.
I was surely unsettled. Maybe some kind of change will come of that.

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