In some ways, my recent trip to Assisi was a passage into a new realm… a new reality for me. A realm that allowed me to be far away from all of the things that collect my attention. Passages are like thresholds in that it is what you pass over or go through to get past where you have been. Another way to look at it is like being on the edge of the ocean. While standing on the shoreline, you can see the land where you are, yet look out to the distant horizon and visualize all the potential that is unseen… all of the possibilities. We are often too busy doing the things of life that we never go to the shore, or take the time to open the door that is right in front of us. We get distracted by all of the things that one author calls the “Tyranny of the Urgent” which pulls at you from all directions… like Saint Anthony being tormented by Demons we give attention to the thing that is pulling at your attention the hardest at the moment. While having my own demons to wrestle with during my trip away, I was able to take the time needed to rest, and meditate and ponder my existence and wrestle with these angels and demons. I hope that I have returned with a clearer view of who I am and the life God has layed before me. There is still a lot of work to be done ahead, but moving forward, I plan to take more of these retreats to reflect on the goodness of God and take long walks along the seashore to meditate on the wonderful life I DO have, not be distracted by what is “missing” in my life. We all have so much!
So going with the “passage” theme, Here are some images of doors that I took while in Rome and Assisi. If anyone knows a good “passage” themed poem, feel free to post it in the comments section below. For now I insert a portion of a “Blessing for the Traveler” by John O’Donohue…
When you travel
A new silence goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear what your heart
Would love to say.
May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.
May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
And live your time to its fullest;
Return home more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you.