Part of the Pilgrimage Summer 2013 Series
This chair has taught me. It has held me these last two years as I have explored spiritual practice. In this chair, I did my homework for Dr. Carole Spencer’s Spiritual Formation and Personal Practice class. Part of our homework: 1/2 an hour a day of spiritual practice. The Daily Examine; an evening reflection of gratitude and self-examination. Sitting in the silence. Training myself little by little to be still and know God. Reflecting on scripture or sacred texts, and journaling. Each practice done with various degrees of consistency and success. More and more regularly as it slowly moved from “have to” to “get to.”
Spirituality and Peacemaking class with Dr. Lonnie Valentine broadened the definition of “spiritual practice.” I played my guitar, walked and sat in nature, did yoga, wrote, and started painting. This chair where I picked up paints and found a form of prayer.
Next to this chair you would find my craft table. Two stack of plastic tubs, the closet door I took off the hinges, all disguised with fabric, (the magic elixir for a decorator on a budget). This table held my paints and brushes, paper and pens. Ready and waiting for me to sit down in the chair, set the timer and melt into my time set apart.
The time always started with lighting a candle, and breathing a prayer of remembering the sacred at the altar. The altar that shifted and changed with flowers and shells, icon, roaches and art. Always holding the possibility of invitation to sacred space.
This chair. This table. This altar. My sanctuary. This sacred space and time that has become food and lifeline, sanity and gift.
And now it’s time to pack up and move. To leave the chair behind for the next tenants and to pack my large tablets of paper and altar art into boxes. I know it’s not really the physical things that make things sacred. Yet there’s something sacred in that which we dedicate as such. And there’s something that happens when my fingers guide that color-filled brush to the paper, the pencil to the journal page, the sound of the wick bursting into flame.
And so, I’ve been gathering. And when the cloths came down and the boxes sealed, two little pouches were already carefully stowed in my suitcase. My traveling spiritual practice kits.