_DSF3062Acceptance is simply the recognition that things have changed and will never be what they were before. This is how we find the strength to journey on. We accept the truth of what happened. We accept our hurt, our anguish, our sadness, our anger, our shame, and in doing so we accept our own vulnerability.  – Desmond & Mpho Tutu, The Forgiveness Challenge.

It’s been almost 12 years since my husband Lee died. But only in recent years have I accepted that I will never be the same as before. In many respects, that is a very GOOD thing – I am more easy-going (scary thought, huh? What WAS she like before!), more driven to artistic expression, more in awe of the world around me.

I am also more fragile, more easily frustrated, more easily broken. I am still learning to be gentle with myself, and to safeguard myself against those who are strident.

It’s a spiritual journey, walking the path of my broken, stumbling, dancing, laughing, crying, fragile self. As I learn to accept the truth of my journey, I grow stronger. And, I hope, more content – with myself, with the world, and with the path.

A Place to Wander, Not Possess

dancing pilgrim“Pilgrimage is a journey back. It can give us new eyes – the eyes of children…children’s eyes see color and significance where we see only grays and emptiness. Pilgrims are dancing, delighting children.” – Charles Foster, The Sacred Journey

There are pragmatists in the world who look upon my mystic perspective with disdain. “It’s not REAL,” they sniff.

That always makes me cock my head and furrow my brow. Real? How did they get sidetracked onto ‘real’? You see, that’s not the point. Mystic literature and perspectives aren’t about reality, they’re about truth.

I know that many religious types in the West also confuse reality with truth, going so far as to insist that truth-tales be viewed as scientific reality. But constraining a story to its reality (or lack thereof) requires us to overlook much of its truth.

Let me repeat: there’s a difference between what is real and what is true.

‘Real’ changes as quickly as our scientific advancements. What we know to be real one day is considered bunk the next. Remember ether? How about continental drift? A steady-state universe? (Actually, that one still has adherents. And with the advent of Rainbow Universe theory, the Big Bang may go from truth to discard. But I digress.) The point is, reality, or our understanding of it, changes.

Truth, on the other hand, remains amazingly constant across time.Truth cuts through grey reality, bursting into, around and through it with technicolor clarity. Let me be a dancing child, not a snorting skeptic.

As Foster points out, pilgrimage allows us to shed our color-blind perspective and see the world as colorful and meaning-imbued. More about pilgrimage next time, but for this week, practice seeing with pilgrim eyes. Look upon your surroundings as a place to wander, not possess.

Holy Wanderer – the canon of the Journey

_DSC5832“I’ve been on many journeys.” – Paul of Tarsus, writing to the church at Corinth in autumn 55 CE.

I don’t know how many times I’ve begun my altar time with deep prayer and/or a card reading, then opened my daily reading book (currently Celtic Daily Prayer) to find that the scripture reading affirms and further enlightens the initial whisper of Spirit. It happened again today.

First, I meditated on two cards drawn from Wisdom of the Crone: Magick and Journey. They instructed me that my ‘glimpses’ are true visions of the Divine, and that my life path will include exciting journeys. They further noted me that ‘home’ is within me as I travel grounded in Spirit.

Then I turned to Celtic Daily Prayer and discovered that today’s readings centered around journey: specifically, the physical journeys that lead us to spiritual awakening.

I’ve always considered myself Peregrini – a spiritual wanderer. My life choices haven’t given me opportunity to indulge in much physical wandering, but Spirit assures me this is coming, and soon. So it’s no surprise that as I gathered books from my shelf inspire me, many revolve around travel. They include:

The Sacred Journey, The Art of Pilgrimage, A Desert in the Ocean, The Book of Creation, The Cloister Walk._DSC5830

I’ll talk about each of these books in subsequent posts, making the case for their inclusion in canon.  Then I’ll give you my fiction list. (Fiction? Divinely inspired story telling? Yep. Just like many of the stories in the Bible and other holy writ.)

If you’re feeling the tug of Spirit, read these books. Walk the path of the Peregrini with me.