Sunday, July 6, 2008

Walking With Questions

Today the Labyrinth Ministry of our church, of which I am a part, had its regular monthly meeting. Up until recently, we have neglected walking the labyrinth as a part of these meetings in favor of having more time for "business". The majority of the group agreed that not walking together was a mistake in that our work together was not firmly grounded in the labyrinth itself.

For nearly ten years, the labyrinth has been an integral part of my spiritual journey. I first walked on a paper labyrinth at our church. Since then I have had the opportunity to walk at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, outdoor labyrinths in Chicago, our own canvas labyrinth in places from Dallas to California, and I was blessed to spend a week on the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral in France.

Just as every stroll we take down our own neighborhood street or walk we take through the aisles of the grocery store is different, so is every labyrinth walk. The experience can range from "so what" to "Wow!" It can spark fear or laughter. It may call forth tears of sorrow or tears of joy. A walk may leave you with answers or questions. The latter was the case with my walk today. I had so many questions that I had a hard time focusing or even articulating them. When I find myself in such a place, I turn to the words of others to help me make sense of my thoughts and feelings.

It is the poetry of Jeff Rockwell in his book Making Friends With The Dust where I find comfort tonight.

A body of questions

Are all rivers flowing in time?
Are all songs a cry for more?
Are all canyons made of slow-moving gold?

Do all bananas dream of sex?
Do all embraces stretch from head to toe?
Do all highways follow the signs?

Are all stoplights a reminder to breathe, and
should we say, "thank you?"
Are all pretensions as obvious as they mean to be?
Are all dyed-hairs where they belong?

Do all homes approve of their owners?
Do all fears have a purpose in life?
Do all beds drive lovers crazy?

Are all hearts underrated?
Are all missionaries and preachers living their own lives?
Are all mystics out of a job?

Do all footsteps know where they are going?
Do all restaurants in America serve passion?
Do all moments count if no one is counting?

I still have lots of questions and no answers, but I take solace in the fact that I am not the only one who walks around with a head full of unanswered, possibly ridiculous, questions. Perhaps my next walk will be a journey of answers.