Thursday, November 27, 2008

Labyrinthine Love and Life

The book I'm currently writing has a reference to the Chartres Labyrinth in France. So I went looking for one in the city I live and I found one! The other day, according to tradition, I walked the labyrinth and I started thinking as I paced the path. Uh oh, you're thinking, she's contemplating again!! Horror! Run, run fast, run far far away!

But since you're still reading, I'll assume I'm not scaring you and shall continue. :) The labyrinth is made up of four sections and it loops closer to the centre before moving away from it, out to the far reaches of the structure. And it occurred to me that the labyrinth is a metaphor for life. And for love.

At first, I followed a straight path until I was almost halfway to the inner sanctum, my goal, a six petal rose. The path forced me to detour around the circle, closer and farther away from the centre. Close, so tantalizingly near to my goal, only to be led in another direction. Such is life. Such is love. 

We always seem to be on a path in our lives, one that takes us closer to ours goals and then moves us away from what we want. A pushmi-pullyu sort of animal. Dr. Dolittle has never seemed so profound. 

Life can be a maze with dead-ends and wrong turns leaving you lost and alone. But life for me is a labyrinth, one path, a circuitous, winding road that gives us some of the things we want--love, home, hearth. But it also leads us away from what we what, only to have teasing glimpses of our goals.

I suppose I could have just run to the centre, ignoring the path, but what would be the point?The path teaches one patience. The path teaches one wisdom. The path teaches one discipline. The path teaches one about life. Running to the centre would have cheated me of the journey, the process of reaching my goal.

When I reached the centre goal of the labyrinth, the six petal rose, I walked into each petal and did a little spin, celebrating the fact that patience had won out over impulse by walking the path.  It took me 20 minutes to get to the rose. I then left the rose and followed the path out of  the labyrinth, again winding closer to and further away from the petals.

When I left the labyrinth, the only thing I could think was, "I will be back."

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