Labyrinthine Dreams

I have designed my style pantomimes as white ink drawings on black backgrounds, so that man’s destiny appears as a thread lost in an endless labyrinth. I have tried to shed some gleams of light on the shadow of man startled by his anguish.
Marcel Marceau

Labyrinths have a bad reputation, only because they are so often confused with a maze. While they are very similar, with twists and turns, but the difference boils down to this: Mazes have dead-ends, labyrinths do not! So really, a labyrinth is just a circuitous path to one and only one end. A maze can have one or more successful paths either to the intended location, or through the maze. According to Wikipedia, a labyrinth has an unambiguous route to the center and back and is not designed to be difficult to navigate.

I have been intrigued by labyrinths for years, and will one day lay one out somewhere. A labyrinth is a great tool to be used for meditation, and thought. I like that it’s difficult to have a pre-conceived notion of what you will think of while navigating a labyrinth, as the walk may take you longer than a rote memorization of something will take. So you are left to think. Also, the navigation is simple, you just follow the path. Typically the end is always in sight, although I assume there may be a labyrinth somewhere that has hedges high enough to disallow seeing the ending, but really this isn’t the point. The point is to ponder one’s journey. So again, since you can see the end, it’s not about the destination but the journey. A direct correlation to life in my opinion. We are all destined for the same end, and there is but one path to get there: live! But the things that occur to us during the journey are what make it special. The smells of flowers along the way. The feeling of the leaves brushing across your shoulder as you duck under a low hanging branch. The feeling of the sun on your shoulders. And even the smell of the paint the maintenance man is using to pretty up the church. The paint smell certainly isn’t something I planned on as I walked the labyrinth at Glendale Methodist Church in Nashville last Saturday, and could have counted as a distraction, but was just another facet of the journey. Not everything in life is expected, or wanted, but life goes on; and my labyrinthine journey went on as well. Of course unlike life, I was able to turn around and walk back out. I’m actually kinda glad.

If you get a chance, walk a labyrinth. Clear your mind. There is a Zen principle “Walk while walking.” Use this when you walk your labyrinth. You can find them at a lot of churches, I think Methodist churches tend to have them.

As you were.

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