Journey explored

Sarah B led us in a creative, reflcetive evening around the theme of journey. The following is one of the sheets we all got, which Sarah talked us through as we created our jouney maps.

The journey

Dictionary definition: “an act or instance of traveling from one place to another…”

Contemplative Craft – you have a pin board, pins and can choose one thread length.

Place pins wherever you want in the cork (don’t push them too far in) and use the thread to wrap around – think about the concept of journey and what it means to you – your life, or your spiritual journey – as you do the craft use it to consider your story.

What do we mean… this concept is so over used , lets stop and take a moment to think about it…

The poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, is credited with the phrase “life is a journey, not a destination.”

These words have become twisted into our cultural life that we don’t often think about how slightly ridiculous it is! A journey by definition tends to have a destination even if that changes as we go along. I think we find this idea pleasing simply because it fits with our neat brain idea that time and life are linear.

Does the journey always imply a moving forward, a maturing or betterment?

Perhaps our routes are more meandering, a stream to the sea, perhaps sometimes we don’t move at all, but the world moves around us, perhaps we just get lost. Perhaps we aren’t getting wiser?

Or perhaps there is no journey just a series of moments, of experiences that we don’t need to see as linear.

Physicists will argue that time is an illusion, if that’s so, and we do talk abut God being outside of time, then a journey that progresses cannot be measured. Claudia Hammond the phycologist argues that we find the sense of a time frame helps us to make sense of life, but she also argues that we hold to it lightly understanding that our brain creates flexible memories. The reason for this fluidity is to help us to better see and therefore plan or react to future situations.

Birth to death – life is the between points, it helps people cope, by understanding that things will change, they won’t stay the same – the world turns.

Learning things is considered a journey? Travelling is considered exciting so trying to use the word to be a positive and more interesting concept… feeling of movement of going somewhere, rather than static which we tend to think of as negative and boring.

Can you have a journey without a destination? How does that make you feel to contemplate that?

Celtic spirituality references most often the circle – the eternal celtic circle of life – birth to death to rebirth as they saw around themselves in daily and seasonal events.

Nature is a circular,  does it help to consider our lives as circular rather than linear?

Tree of Life – the celts use the tree of life to represent our life story – it sits inside a circle sometimes drawn as a border sometimes without but in the shape of the circle. It is based around the idea that the tree roots go down as far as the branches above, so you can spin the image and it looks the same. The roots to the earth, the branches to heaven.

Thinking about this – how does that fit into life or spirituality as a journey – does it complement or challenge our thinking?

What does it mean for us right here right now and how we choose to live?

Perhaps not to be over obsessed with end goals but to enjoy the everday and be in the moment, small experiences.. accepting that our paths might cross, meander, change direction and, well, that is just OK.

This was then linked to the idea of the Celtic tree of lifeusing information from the following website.

And finally we gilded our own tree of life leather fobs as we considered what we might learn from this ancient symbol.

Lots of chat, reflection, laughter and ideas around the table – a terrific evening – Thanks Sarah!