A sensational Tuesday – More pilgrimage observations

Blessed are you, creator of all,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
As your dawn renews the face of the earth
bringing light and life to all creation,
may we rejoice in this day you have made;
as we wake refreshed from the depths of sleep,
open our eyes to behold your presence
and strengthen our hands to do your will,
that the world may rejoice and give you praise.

Open our eyes — that’s it. That’s the task, at least partially. Open also our ears; feel the ground through our feet. There may also be smells, so sniff – we have encountered at least one skunk (or was it marijuana?) Don’t however touch the poison ivy, or eat suspicious berries or drink water downstream from industrial activity. For good reason there are protocols in the forest. Yesterday was a sensational day from dawn till dusk.

Back to listening. During my undergraduate music studies my class was introduced to the music of the American 20th Century composer John Cage. I recall shaking my confused student head as we experienced his song 4:33. Described as a song, it has been performed by all sorts of instrumentalists and at least one orchestra. The song is only a structure with no content. The content surrounds the performance though the performance itself produces no sound. The environment in which the performance occurs that creates the music.

Yesterday I challenged our group to create their own 4:33 composition which several ambitious composers shared during our evening sharing circle. Yes, we heard trains, but also surging water (today was a real water day capping things off with the majestic Margaret Falls canyon.) Others heard birds, small animals, the crunch of dry leaves underfoot, all accompanied by the breath of walkers. We moved slowly and carefully through a variety of ecosystems, suddenly unable to hear the explanations of our knowledgeable tour guide Phil, at least for a while.

Pilgrim space provides opportunity for both celebration and lament. As our silence lengthened and deepened even our most extroverted walkers (including me) found some freedom from the opportunities and challenges of conversation.

Personally, as my hearing continues to deteriorate (and how unfortunate that one hearing aid broke prior to joining the pilgrimage) I found it challenging to listen acutely. Beauty comes to me best through photography which mitigates well my frustrations with seeing. Truthfully, we all must find a way to engage and enjoy creation and community. And speaking of community, as the day ended, we shared in Communion/Holy Eucharist. Creation, community, tradition, poetry, physical symbols consumed, prayer, story, all blend together as sacred moment. I must say, it has been quite a day.

More tomorrow. Pray for us as we pray for you amidst the glory of Creation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: