There was a session at Corrymeela prompted by our leader in which she suggested we write as if God and we were having a dialogue. What questions would I ask and then how would God answer?
I hadn’t journaled in a long time. I have been thinking about journaling lately because I want to write down my feelings and thoughts as we wait for our son to be born at the end of December. I want him to someday read letters I wrote to him about what I was processing and wishing for him and thinking, even the tough parts of what it means to ready oneself to be a parent. I have been thinking I want to write down the grief that I feel in the life we are moving out of to welcome a baby into our family and yet the excitement I sometimes feel about what to introduce him to. I have been wanting to journal about living in Berlin so I will remember but I haven’t found the space to do so . I haven’t been inspired.
This journal prompt, of talking with God and God answering, seemed to open up channels of journaling a bit. I successfully journal when I am on pilgrimage it seems. When I travel or am walking on pilgrimage, I find my journal a trusty space to process, take notes and think out loud but not in speech. I document where I have walked our journied and what I have seen.
This space seemed like a pilgrimage of sorts, much like my healing process. Much like getting ready for welcoming this kiddo into our lives. So I started to write as if I had questions about what God was doing and the response that I wrote back to myself was that God knew what was up. God knew what I was thinking and feeling and that I had no idea what I was still store for. All true and somehow helpful. I know there is a bt of Job influence here in the poetry that flew out of me into the journal but it did help to clarify some of my feelings.
And then I began to journal about when I find spaces that feel more spiritual for me and how I have missed them. The Celts called these spaces, “thin spaces” as in heaven and earth are closer in these spaces and the space between the two are thin. I have felt this in many spaces and have talked about those spaces and it was nice to remind myself of where I feel most alive spiritually.
I recently read a book by Rabbi Toba Spitzer called, “God is Here: Reimagining the Divine.” I found this book at a crucial time when I was yearning for something new to read about here and now theological views. Rabbi Toba uses this book to explore different metaphors of God and how they may work differently for us now. One of her metaphors is playing with God and space. Jacob places a stone in a place that seemed very ordinary because he had a dream of God and it transformed the place. God as place means that any place could be one infused with God. We are also then God as place. We are the place. This has helped me recently when I feel as though Berlin is not a spiritual thin place for me. It makes me yearn for thinner spaces and my more spiritual self. But if God comes with me then it too can be thin as long as we are acknowledging the infusion of the places we see God.
But I couldn’t help but notice that Corrymeela and the Irish coastlines feel like thin spaces and insted of striving to search for the spiritual, the spiritual found me. The words found me to write about the spiritual and I couldn’t help but be inspired. Perhaps there are places that are more like this for us. Do you have these places? I can’t help but notice that the Oregon coast holds this for me as well…perhaps the divine as water and the demographics of space around the water is important for my own spirituality. The places I hike in Oregon have that sense for me as well….and the labyrinth at the Grotto….and the island of Iona off the coast of Scotland….and perhaps the Art Institute at the place of the Chagall windows in Chicago….and….where else?
What are those places for you? Do you journal about them? What does God say to you there?
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Water, it’s always near the water. Water is life! Coastlines (Oregon, Hawaii, Scotland…) that are not too populated.. Waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge.
Do I write about them? Not much. I photograph them, and they inspire my knit design. I dream about them while I knit, and the finished item reminds me of those magical places.
Glad you’re back to writing!
Thank you so much! I so agree about the water and I love that it inspires your knit design!!