The purpose of the retreat was to share the music of Hildegard von Bingen and other meditative music including some rounds, singing bowls and gongs. I experienced emotional release and spiritual growth in many forms during my short stay there.
For me, sacred music is a more potent form of prayer than the spoken word could ever be.
I have always thought there is something very circular in some forms of music. Notice that circles are the backbone of many of the forms of music I experienced at the retreat. African music has a very round, ringing sound to the harmony as well, and I find it quite lovely. Mozart, Elgar and other composers have a quality of roundness if you stop to feel rather than intellectually listen. Certain music touches your heart in an actual physical way, a fact that science is beginning to discover.
Prayer circles, drum circles, wagon circles, children's circle games, Mayan calendars - even eyes and navels - evoke protection and contemplation. The labyrinth (and Mandelas AND Zendalas) all echo this circular meditation.
When I walked the labyrinth in St. Francis woods, I was struck by how I was unable to discern how far along the path I was and how far I had yet to go. Around I went, light crunching sounds of my feet on the very fine gravel path, and wondered. Suddenly, there I was in the center. I stopped to rest there. It was not a physical rest, exactly - it wasn't a tiring walk - but a mental pause. Reluctantly, almost, I rose and began the second half of the journey. Again, even though I had walked the circle before, I was unable to determine how far along I was. I walked, I hummed some music we had learned, and then... With the lightest little crunch, my foot lifted off the last step and it was over. Just like that. No real warning.
For me, that walk, that lift of the foot, was a metaphor for our life on earth. We walk, we ponder, we distract ourselves, we grieve, we celebrate, and then...a little lift and over. Life IS a journey. It is not a straight line path to some goal. We must be present and mindful of the journey every step of the way.
Here is my response to the challenge. I drew the simplest of labyrinth forms and added patterns. I divided the form into quarters to represent the earth cycle, but did not take great pains to interpret any particular cycle or season. I just tangled my way around the path.
*****NEWS! I am now an official, fully tangelated, inspired and blessed CZT! Yippee!!
CZT 19 was a wonderful experience. I loved meeting Rick, Maria, Molly, their staff, and a few of my fellow online Tanglers. The Taiwan contingency was so totally cute! There were drawings for prizes, and they won quite a few of them - they were so excited, so thrilled just to be there, and SO talented. It was inspiring just to be around them. I met my online Diva participants, David Hunter and Suzanne Durville, and getting to know them was so sweet! Hi to Nancy and Judy if you read this, and to all the wonderful and inspiring people I met there. Sandy - I was moved and honored to see your work in person, and I'm so sorry that in all the hustle-bustle we didn't get to meet. I left there entirely worn out but inspired to share my newfound knowledge with my friends at home. I can't wait for whatever comes next!!