girl growing

and a space for her to play in

Friday, August 22, 2008

glocouster cathedral

last night i attended the 'feig feast'.
it was the opening event for a group of about 80 people that are doing new and different things within the church.
they intentionally meet a couple times a year and meeting up before greenbelt worked out for most people, so why not do it with a community that gathers in a cathedral? 
it was lovely. 
the cathedral is immense, was dark and lit by candles, and smelled of faint incense. plus, it just so happens to be one of the filming locations for harry potter.
the food was also great but getting to see old friends like mark berry and meet new ones like jonny baker was even better.
around 10pm the community that meets in the cathedral, feig, invited everyone into a part of the cathedral that had a labyrinth set up with candles which they accompanied by some hand drums and other beautiful instruments i've never seen or heard before.
before we began the labyrinth, one of their leaders said something to this affect to us:
'be aware of your breathing and find your inner rhythm.
place your two hands up on your heart and feel your heartbeat.
before stepping into the labyrinth, pause before you enter as though you are pausing before you enter space with God.'
we all took our shoes off and spent time in silence walking the labyrinth.
now, i have done a few labyrinths before but none that touched me like this one.
i found myself at first afraid to enter...
who can prepare themselves to enter space with God?
but i did.
i traveled through the maze with about 30 other people.
sometimes i had to slow down because someone up ahead had stopped.
sometimes i had to step out of my path completely so that i could avoid running into others coming from the other directions.
sometimes it was like a dance and i avoided other people coming toward me with grace and allowing them the room to pass.
other times i would fumble around or someone else would bump into me.
sometimes i was close enough to smell the stranger next to me.
other times i became totally aware of someone coming close behind me and would suddenly become alarmed that i was going too slow and had to resist the urge to speed up.
sometimes as i walked around the rings i would notice the same patterns of people circling with me and felt better that someone, though a stranger, was traveling with me.
sometimes i would get lost in all the lines or someone would step across my path and i would panic wondering if i had somehow lost my way.
sometimes you traveled the labyrinth without seeing anyone in your peripheral vision.
sometimes the path was more lit than in other places.
sometimes i could feel the rhythm of the drums and the rhythm of my steps in sync,
and other times they were not.
and then there came the time that you finally made it through the maze and entered into the center of the labyrinth-
i found myself resisting it when it was time for me to enter the middle...
'no! i'm not ready yet!'
but i entered anyway and stayed in the middle for awhile,
just closing me eyes and trying to settle myself in.
after leaving the center you don't just head out of the labyrinth...
no, you go through the whole process again.
first you work your way into the center,
then you work your way back out.
the same anxiety happened when i realized i was about to exit the labyrinth-
'no...i'm just not ready yet'.
it was an amazing analogy to the 'undoing and putting back together' process that i've been going through and also for my image of community as well.
and even though it was truly just a big sheet with beautiful lines printed on it...
it was still a powerful moment for me.
did i mention it was in a cathedral in england?
last night i stayed in shannon's friend's flat.
(i know, i should be out camping but it's supposed to rain all week and i really do enjoy showering)
so we'll be here and traveling back and forth to greenbelt.
tonight i'll actually be speaking about 'a book of blessings' that wellspring and i produced and i'll do a little reading from it.
i think i'll probably be nervous and embarrassed, but right now i'm just so damn excited that i'll be attending greenbelt!


Blogger michael volland said...

enjoyed reading your posts on our feast event.
it was great to have you along!
glad you had a good time.
that's the first time we've hosted a feast for so many people (almost 100).
I lead the feig community and have just finished a book about our first two years. It'll be published by Survivor next year so maybe keep an eye out for it!
God bless.

3:15 AM  

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