Sometimes, in the midst of a timeless, eternal experience, I catch myself thinking about things utterly modern and earthy. I might be in the middle of heartbreakingly beautiful service at a Cathedral. I might be in the mountains, feeling the breath of the cold wind in my face, marveling at the overwhelming majesty surrounding me. I might be sitting by a window in an old library, reading an ancient poem deeply. And suddenly, I would start thinking about something violently unrelated to this thin place, thin experience. It can be something legitimately important such as a prominent and seemingly insurmountable problem facing our society. Or, and that’s usually my downfall, it can be something related to work.
My mind has a propensity to gravitate towards earthly matters. It might be important for me to think and write about the world of work; I might even harbor hopes that in my musings and reflections, there might be a seed of usefulness for other human beings trapped in the same maze of work dilemmas.
And yet, right now, it is immeasurably more important for my heart, soul and mind to forget whatever I am working on, to disconnect from whatever is useful, immediate, urgent, worldly. What I need is to walk through this portal of beauty and allow myself to be immersed in this meaning, loveliness, thinness, I need to leave behind the modern world with its bound to earth problems – and give myself fully to the timeless, to the eternal.
This beauty, this mystery is our center of gravity, our center, our sustenance. And it is our ability to immerse ourselves fully in these cleansing, soul-feeding experiences that allows us to come back to our earthly pursuits and problems – and to wrestle with them with strength and even, dare I say, joy.
Hello, my name is Maria Fafard and I am delighted to meet you! I read old books, travel to thin places, think about meaning of life and write about all of these things. I care about people, ideas, and books, believe in power of liberal arts, try to nurture creativity in others and myself, and strive to live a meaningful life; I blog at MariaFafardWrites.wordpress.com.
I believe that travel in the physical world is often a symbol for seeking in the realm of mind and spirit, and that wherever we are, countless gifts of joy and wonder are offered to us every day – but we have to be present enough to look up and accept them.
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