Labyrinth Walking (Guest post by Jeanne Tessier)

Labyrinth Walking          Jeanne Tessier


Unlike life, this journey begins with intention.

 I came here by choice and stand at the rim of this

circle of brick whose pattern is formed in two tones.

I have walked such forms before. Each time, there are

things I remember, things I forget, things I learn anew.

Unlike in life, I trod this path a step at a time, my mind

here, this foot and this step, perhaps because the path

is narrow and, because it is a path so clearly marked,

one feels obliged to walk it as it lays. There is nothing but

the walking, this step and then the next, forward, but

slowly, knowing — as I so often forget in the daily walk–

that the center is there, the center waits, the center holds.

The center is the goal and destination, so close, so near,

visible at times and then not, a step away and then again

receding. The center doesn’t move, but we do, the path does;

we wander, close, near enough to touch, and then away.

Just when we think we have arrived, we are led out again

to the very rim of the story, on a distant path, the center

yet again beyond our reach. Oh, I have walked this path

so many times, here and everywhere. Ever, as I walk,

the truth comes, the moment comes when I say to the

One who holds the center, Who I seek, “I am lost.”

It is a cry my God has heard from me so many times.

“I am lost and I do not know the way.” How, after all

these years, can I still be lost? God answers, “Ah, but

your feet are on the path. Your destination is clear.

I am here. I wait for you.” Here, unlike in life, here

where the path is visible and the center can be found,

all the other noise and clutter falls away. There is just

this path, just this circle that holds and embraces me,

just this certainty that if I persist the center will be

found. I walk, careful. I do not look ahead, or up,

but down — at my feet walking, at the narrow path

on which I trod, at my plodding step, at the exquisite

care with which this path has been prepared. And then

suddenly the center comes, or rather I come to the

center’s opening and step inside. So: for this one

moment, at least, I have arrived, I have come home.

But: it is always disappointing. The destination attained,

yet we cannot stay. Here we come to be fed only,

to rest maybe, to meet the Unseen Face to face.

But we cannot stay. We must go out again. We must

find our way back into the world, back onto the  path

we wander there, to do what we can, and to hope –

and hope – that the center waits, the center holds, and

to the center we will one day all and ever come.




About aliceatgrace

I'm the Rector at Grace Episcopal Church in Hopkinsville, KY. When I came here in August, 2011, I discovered that we have a great asset that was being under-utilized, to say the least. We have a beautiful Chartres labyrinth that was dedicated four years ago, and I decided that I would do all I could to promote the use of it. It's now just post-Easter of 2012, and, about a month ago, it occurred to me that our labyrinth is a symbol of what the future of this church is intended to be. We are people on an ongoing spiritual journey together. We like to ask questions, and we don't always have to have the answers. We are confident that God is leading us into deeper relationships--both with God and with the world around us. We invite you to "come walk with us."
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