Sunday, July 1, 2007

Soul Geography

(Originally posted June, 2007).
I'm still in Aspen. I'm at my hosts' beautiful home outside of town. I'm sitting on one of their several decks with mountain views while the sun sets. Their dogs are flopped about my feet. Birds are singing and crisply flying through the aspens and pine trees.
The conference has been amazing. Powerful. Moving. Heart-wrenching. I have left several sessions gasping down sobs, sometimes of hope, sometimes of pain, sometimes just because I don't know why. I learned a yiddish word, bashert, which means "It was meant to be." This conference has been bashert for me. It is hard yet to put into words all the reasons why.
(Ooh, there's a magpie! Lovely!)
This afternoon after the last session I took the gondola up to the top of Mount Aspen. In my little hanging car I could see several ranges. Everything seems so green, although my hosts tell me they haven't had much rain or snow. On the way up, I sang. It's a Ruth Duck hymn we sang all the time at Bridgeport, which I love and have brought to Denver with me (two brothers sang it as a duet at HappyChurch on Trinity Sunday).
Spirit, open my heart, to the joy and pain of living
As you love, may I love, in receiving and in giving.
Spirit open my heart.

Write your love upon my heart
As my law, my life, my story
Every thought, word, and deed
May my living bring you glory

Spirit open my heart.
When I left the session I couldn't breathe (literally and metaphorically...the gasping down sobs again). So I sang in my cable car until I could breathe again.
(Wow, I'm surrounded by chattering magpies!)
Anyway, so, I sang until I could breathe again. Which if you know that the air is thin up here, may sound funny. Also, being able to sing when you can't breathe sounds kinda funny, too. But there it is.
I always like to read the interpretive signs when I go new places. So I read about how the peaks and valleys here were formed. So much newer than my homeland of Arkansas. But this I loved: Right in front of me, was a valley called "Conundrum Valley."
Yup, I thought. That sounds about right. I'm in conundrum valley. I am on a journey, that is very clear to me after the last few days. Not that I didn't think I wasn't before but it's clearer to me now that the path has just made a big turn. I don't know what it means, and I'm not sure where I'm going. Hence, conundrum valley.
I'm sure thankful I've got some good traveling companions.
Spirit open my heart.

1 comment:

  1. (original post comments)
    # tngirl Says:
    A big turn? Whoa! I don’t want to lose track of your path. Fill me in on your direction.

    # Iris Says:
    I think that the mountain air is good for thinking clearly. At least that’s how it seemed to me last week!

    I love that Duck hymn. Is it in the UCC hymnal?

    # Songbird Says:
    This is so expressive, I feel I am there with you. Thanks for sharing this story.

    # Towanda Says:
    Thanks, everyone. I’m thankful for you.

    The Duck hymn is not in the UCC hymnal (although many are). I think it’s in her hymn collection “Circles of Care.”

    # Tess Says:
    “Write your love upon my heart”. That is a wonderful line. My thanks too for sharing this post, and will be thinking of you as you pick your steps through conundrum valley.

    # Towanda Says:
    You can find that line (or similar) in Deuteronomy and Romans (at least). Another reason I love to sing it, especially with the lines that follow.


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