Sunday here flows in subtle tones, like love on the edge off remembering.
[it’s] “how they dwell differently in each mind. How they root deeper than all the surface chatter and image, how they continually disturb. Your deep questions grow quickly restless in the artificial clay of received opinion or stagnant thought. . . The presence of the contemplative and the artist in a culture is ultimately an invitation to awaken and engage one’s neglected gifts, to enter more fully into the dream of the eternal that has brought us here to earth.” p. 247
The passage referencing the Big Questions takes me back to the final years of teaching, especially in the I-Series program and the capstone course of my career, “Good Stories: Teaching Narratives for Peace and Justice.” If I had absorbed and articulated more of the understanding of Beauty that O’Donohue lays out, the title might have included “for Beauty” or perhaps “Stories on Beauty.” We did explore the frontiers of beauty as well as goodness and truth. The terrain of narrative offers spaces to mine into personal identity and the connection with the divine.
When the youngest sister leaves home and enters the darkest center of the forest, she meets with the threshold question each of is invited to open, to circle around, to listen into: "Who are you?" And, of course, the companion questions: "Where do you come from and where are you going?" "What are you doing here?" Her answer allows us to reflect on our divine heritage: “I am the child of the ruler and I’m searching for my brothers as long as the sun may rise…”
William Stafford asked it this way: “Who are you really, wanderer?” And the response as I remember it, allowing myself to reconstruct, as each of us might do, instead of looking up “the artificial clay”: “And the answer you have to give/ no matter how dark and lonely,/ I am the child of the king.”