Friday, December 21, 2012
The sheer drudgery of journey is remarkably absent in travel magazines.
I see fresh-pressed khaki, sun-kissed smiles, and streamlined luggage skimming smoothly over tarmac as glossy as the pages I turn.
Even the paper cut I get on the side of my finger is precise and clean-edged.
For travelers of flesh and bone, the Earth turns with rough beauty:
The sun burns, rain chills, and strange winds drive dust like shrapnel;
the placing of foot before foot, eyes cast down seeking a predictable landing in unfamiliar terrain;
the kinesthetic of each arm swinging with stride, heavy with the burden of bundles and time;
the restless scanning of a bewildering landscape for routine comforts;
and the unfamiliar greeting of strangers, busy on their networks of constructed pathways incomprehensible to tourists.
Journey is to live in the alien present in a relentless search for home.
My missal is crisp with the newness of December; the Advent journey has begun again.
I enter the foreign landscape of sand, stars, and a Savior-Child.
Shepherds and kings rush by in a restless riot of joy, angels fly as thick as fog.
But stillness lives in the stable—the donkey and ox.
Deprived of their manger they stand patient,
seeing with soul-eyes the sacrifice—Bread of Life—offered up for all.
Their waiting holds no internal movement of chronology; neither is it passive.
instead it is Presence held in dynamic meditation, a still movement through time.
Journey is to live in Presence, a quiet center in a relentless search for home.
Many blessings on your Christmas journey and throughout the New Year!
Faith & Vincent and the family:
from left to right on the carpet back row: Maggie Muggins, Gabe, Janna Banana, the Lovely Ladies (represented by Emma in the front row), one unamed honeybee (on the Nativity stable), and Puck! (looking in the window) ...