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By Rachel Rivers
Nov 6, 2009
Having Letters from the Labyrinth on my bookshelf makes me feel like I have an actual labyrinth at my fingertips. Reading the entries transports me to any one of the many labyrinths that I’ve actually walked, and helps me move into an especially open state of mind, more present to the stirrings of my own spirit. Some of the letters walkers of the labyrinth chose to write make me smile, some make laugh, some make me sigh. Here is a peek inside: “8/19/2005: I have everything I want in life. All I want to leave behind is the booze. Rick.” And, “5/1/02: It’s not about first or last, it’s about choosing to enter.” And, “April 24, 2006: Being here with my soul mate on this beautiful day is what heaven will be like. D.” Thank you, Barbara MacDougall and Lea Park for this gift!
"Letters from the Labyrinth" I picked up this book from my shelf after having just returned from a vacation in Northern California where I had come across a casual stone labyrinth on the beach. That site was accompanied by a tall maypole and the area looked like the vast windy desolate beach was a venue for some special occasion dancing and howling at the moon by various locals. It piqued and attracted my interest and although it was too disorganized to navigate as a labyrinth, it evoked an interesting degree of controversy. From my religiously and politically conservative cousin who is a native of those remote parts came distain and smug rejection while I was rather intrigued to wonder what sort of event and folk were motivated to create this semi sacred site. If there had been a book laying around as apparently there is on Block Island you might have seen wildly disparate comments of our visit. After returning home the book Letters from the Labyrinth jumped off the shelf... More > and virtually commanded the next hour while I soaked up the amazing history of moments, glimpses, insights, whiffs and glimmers of the impressions left on visitors to the Labyrinth on Block Island, Rhode Island. My range of emotional response was as conflicted as my week with my relatives had been where we silently but deliberately choose to avoid the chasm of difference between our world views in favor of loving acceptance of one another as fellow family members affectionately appreciating and valuing our mutual ancestors and their contributions. As I read the book I laughed, teared up, judged and appreciated the various comments and offerings left by young and old, joyous and grieving. Because I am an "omniligious" spiritual seeker who is deeply devoted to both the sacred and profane expressions of our humanity but I do not want to put the stamp of rightness onto any one persons deeply or shallowly held beliefs and I love the seeking as much as the finding, this book was a very fun read and put joy into my moment and a new perspective on the value of the continuum of beliefs which people hold from right to left and back again. We are all so different and what a relief that is! This little book represents the power of a place to evoke thoughts and touch the deeper parts of ourselves. It also made me yearn for the opportunity to experience this kind of heart learning and opening tool within my community and on a more regular basis. Much rather walk a labyrinth each day than spend hours in the car commuting mindlessly flipping back and forth between the liberal and conservative talkmeisters on the radio. Best to get off the train, step into time and do a small bit of reflecting. Thanks to the editor, Lea Park for organizing the material and presenting it in a thoughtful, judicious and evocative manner. The photos are lovely also. Makes me appreciate this precious human life even more.< Less
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