Saturday, September 22, 2007

walking the labyrinth

Of course, it wasn't quite as fancy as the one shown here, but I just got back from the Spirit, Mind, and Body fair at the lovely Portiuncula Center for Prayer, where I took a labyrinth walk, among other things.

I've always had a fascination with the concept of the labyrinth. As a symbol, the labyrinth is found everywhere: from our oldest myths to the most post-modern types of literature. Borges wrote about them endlessly, it seems. Pilgrims have walked them in cathedrals and woods. Some people even take a metaphorical walk with a wooden board and a single finger.

Bear in mind that a labyrinth is not a maze. There are no dead ends, merely a single, circular path that eventually brings the traveler to a central destination.

One of the things that really struck me about the labyrinth was the way in which the path brought me so close to my destination, and then outward again, toward the periphery several times on this miniature journey. I suppose it's quite similar to striving toward any other goal. It requires mindfulness and patience.

When we walk straight toward the center, something is lost. I guess we just learn more on a circuitous path.

Anyway, it gave me a little something to think about regarding the pursuit of certain goals. Every time I think I'm where I want to be, I suddenly find myself far removed from the center. It's good to know that no matter how many times I wander toward the edge, I'll reach my destination as long as I keep on walking.

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