Checking the Map

Well.. Deborah asked us this week to write about going to some place sacred to us, and using our experiences at that site to guide us in bringing about what we want to have happen in 2012. It’s a good exercise, except that a lot of my sacred places are sort of far away, or difficult to get to in winter.

And one of them, apparently, just got chewed up by a bulldozer a few weeks ago.

In lieu of going places, though, I’ve been spending a lot of time at my school and at home working on manifesting the Design program at my school.  With the help of a colleague, I posted my grimoire — er, the Design Manifesto — on an empty bulletin board, so that students and other passers-by would have a sense of what Design Thinking means, and how to bring it into their own lives.

The Romans had a word in Latin, which is ubi.  It usually gets translated “where” but it also refers to “when.” Accordingly, I’ve been playing with my conceptions of sacred time in connection with this cosmogram concept — places in our worldview that resonate as sacred — and doing my best to play with sacred time in 2012.   Accordingly I’ve been setting aside some time more formally to pray, and to do the work of grading student papers, and using time in my studio at home to work and make art.  I’ve also been expanding my daily practice into the evenings, and doing some work calling on higher powers, though I won’t be saying much about that here.

I still want to do the exercise of visiting some sacred places, though.  I’ve not had much luck with the local café, although I view it as a sacred place, because I’m there every day.  I get all sorts of signs and signals from it, but little that’s really unusual.  Some places I need to go back to, soon:

  • The waterfall beyond the railroad tracks near where my friends T & F used to live;
  • The garden overlooking the ocean where I learned to sail;
  • The beach where I first drew a labyrinth
  • The gallery of the Hudson River School paintings in America’s Oldest Museum;
  • The chapel of my old school — the one I went to, not the one I taught at;
  • The church across the street from the school where I taught for 15 years;

And then, once the weather gets better,

  • The mountain
  • The river
  • The streets where I live
  • The stone circle up the hill…
  • The fire.
  • The blueberry patch

There are other places, of course. We all have them — places where the course of our lives alters, and which we regard as sacred ever after.  I’ll have to make it a priority this year to go on a long tour around to a good many of them, and see them.

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