“The world is but a canvas to the imagination.” – Henry David Thoreau
I am a voracious reader; I come by it genetically and by inclination. My favorite genres focus on transformation, spirituality, sexuality, sci-fi, relationships, and the lyrically (and sometimes quirkily) poetic. A few years ago I picked up a book that contained all of the above. Within short order, this travelogue of the heart that took the writer on a one year journey to Italy, India, and Indonesia became a worldwide best seller. Eat, Pray, Love was penned by author Elizabeth Gilbert. Immediately attracted to the familiar, conversational style with which she draws the reader, I felt as if I was being carried along for the ride without need for passport or inoculation.
I was looking at my Facebook page a short while ago and marveling at the beatifically beaming little faces as I beheld their beauty. Friends from all over the planet, brought together through the marvels of modern technology. We celebrate each others’ success, comfort each other in times of sadness or sorrow. We offer prayers and delve into spiritual concepts. We offer windows into each others’ hearts and souls, even if we may never physically cross paths. We share a bond nevertheless. Some I have known since childhood (family of birth) and some throughout my life, that I call family of choice.
liveinjoy.org "Sometimes, when it is all, finally, too much, I climb into my car, roll the windows up, and somewhere between backing out the driveway and rounding the next corner, I let out a yell that would topple Manhattan. How do you pray?" by Margaret L. Mitchell, as quoted in The Feminine Face of God, p. 124.
My friend Cindy Greb posted this on her Facebook page and I knew I had to respond since it spoke so vividly to the ways I blow off steam AND pray. My response to her was: "Sometimes a good aaaarrrggghhhh is as potent and healing as a good o0o0o00o0o0mmmmm (: I pray every which way imaginable, depending on what state of mind I am in the moment. ♥”
"There's nothing we can't turn into prayer if that is our intention." were among the first words spoken by photographer Catherine Jansen at Circle of Miracles, an interfaith community of which I have been part for nearly 11 years. Admitting to a "love affair with India" that has lasted 30 years, Philly area (by way of Atlanta, Georgia) mother of two who was raised in the Greek Orthodox Church, became fascinated with the country during her initial stay in an ashram where she mostly "saw the insides of my eyelids" in meditation. Since then, she has visited multiple times, each time, bringing back with her, sweet memories of the people she encountered and thousands of photographs that catalog her experiences for posterity and the appreciation of those who view them. Such was the case as our community vicariously experienced The March of the Nakeds. It is described in this way by the artist herself: