“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The hauntingly beautiful sanctuary of Saint Sulpice, Paris, France / Julie Cook/ 2011
When I first took on this adventure of writing a blog several months ago, my life was in the midst of transition as I was navigating from a lifetime in the classroom to a new life sans my kids, my school, my 31 year routine….and so it was with that whole balancing of life, otherwise known as transition, that this little blog of cookiecrumbs was born.
One notion which has continually presented itself, as I have written and addressed a myriad of topics from my life’s adventure, is that of life’s balancing act. The seminal passing to and from one shade to the next, or simply put, transition. I had started all of this business thinking that transition was a singular momentary event..something that happened and then was, most thankfully, over.
I am one who likes my world steady, my ducks in their nice neat orderly rows, “my people” (family and friends) happy and content and perched where they normally perch on my tree of life….I can handle the transitions of life but that’s not to say they’ve not torn me up on the inside. It’s what people can’t see. My insides seem to rise to some invisible crescendo of nerves with the inevitable crashing down chorus…all hidden from observations but known only to me and my nervous system.
But who likes that sort business anyway?…no one I suppose. The one glaring epiphany I seem to have been enlightened by during the course of my little blog, is that life is but one big transition. It is as if we float throughout our lives form one transition to the next–never really stopping at any one spot for any particular length of time..be that a blessing or a curse.
I was struck by the image I chose for today’s post due in part based on an unspoken sense of determination and power which the image seems to invoke. At first glance the average viewer may not pick up on anything other than a dark image of what appears to be some church with someone walking up the aisle.
The average viewer most likely sees a dark, overwhelming and intimidating ancient interior of what must be the image to an unknown cathedral located who knows where. But fortunately you have me to tell you that this is the interior of the Cathedral of Saint Sulpice in Paris. A very ancient church indeed.
I visited this magnificent marvel of human ingenuity and deep spiritual thirst on a work day which equated to very little traffic to and within this cavernous Cathedral of the Rive Gauche. There is indeed something akin to transcendence when one enters such a vast solemn capacious sanctuary.
Sounds echo and are greatly amplified reverberating deep within one’s entire body. The air is cool yet heavy with the years of burnt incense and dust. The lighting terribly subdued– given this being an early Thursday Morning. There is an overwhelming sense of feeling “less than” and of being swallowed alive.
Intimidating….and yet inviting.
This space evokes a humbling sense of awe—that I am quite insignificant. It is a similar feeling that I have experienced when standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon or in the middle of the wilds of Alaska.
Witnessing this lone individual walking boldly forward towards the altar with such determination and purpose—no fear, no cowering, but rather walking towards an unseen entity which is obviously beckoning—the path of two entities on a direct course of collision meeting head on with a world altering impact.
Finally, the tie to transition. First there is a lone individual. There is also something unseen calling. There will be a collision. Two entities, one seen, one unseen, will collide. There will be a change in energy. I think science refers to the meeting of two bodies as… elastic and inelastic collisions— one producing no loss of kinetic energy and the other in which the kinetic energy is transformed into some other form. The transition of two energies.
It is this energy altering event that is the result of our seeking, walking towards and in turn meeting our Creator, our God. Our eyes cannot see the collision. But there is indeed a world altering impact.
This individual walked directly toward the great high altar, alone yet purposeful and determined. God was there. He was waiting. This person knew that God was there and waiting. The need to go forward was greater than the inevitable meeting and collision. The transition, then the change.
Nothing is ever the same.