Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The courage to embark

The last two posts from Catalysts for Change have to do with repetition and patience. After reading them this morning, I opened the rest of my mail and found a friend had sent me a column which preached on the virtues of the monastic cell.

I opened the column with interest, because I am living a bit of a monastic life at the moment. But upon reading it, I found my hackles going up: always a good thing to explore!

I do believe that there are lessons to be learned wherever we find ourselves -- even (and sometimes especially) in a very narrowly circumscribed existence. I cannot extrapolate from that, however, that to leave that cell -- especially the particular cell of housewife and mother that he talks about -- would of necessity be bad. My suspicion is that this writer, who shall remain nameless, would also object to those of us who begin to find the church a bit confining to our growing faiths.

Repetition is good, but repetition will never make a wrong thought right, even though it may hammer resistance into hiding. Patience is also good, but sometimes it is only the mask of co-dependence, or low self esteem, enabling the continuation of constraint or abuse.

Which, I suspect, is why this photo sang to me this morning. I see the rusting ferry on the right as a sort of burned-out safe haven. It's probably very stable, and it floats, but there is nothing left to feed you, and it can no longer carry you to shore. Yes, the smaller boat is scary, and, yes, those who are sailing can probably only see the fog, not the clear sky beyond. But there may come a time when we have to embark on a solo and courageous journey if we are ever to hope of returning to home port...


KimQuiltz said...

It's funny how we can look at the same picture and get opposite feelings.

To me, the rusted out ferry looks like a predator about to gobble up the innocent little sailboat. Poor little sailboat, it's just going along in the fog, minding it's own business, waiting for the clouds to part and enlighten it and along comes a greedy ol' monster, with empty eye sockets and a gaping mouth.

Hmmm, methinks my perspective is influenced by my own personal troubles? LOL

Maureen said...

To me, that hulk looks emptied of life, pushing to get to shore before the end comes because it has repeated its journey one too many times. (For a boat, what's the equivalent of "on its last legs"?) Thus, I see no particular threat but also do not view it as something I'd particularly look to for safe passage.

Now we have three distinct points of view.

I like your thoughts in that fourth paragraph. Did you contribute them on the S&P site? (Might spark a really good discussion.)

On Twitter today, a certain remark about Haiti by a certain preacher I'll leave nameless kept being repeated. I will borrow your words and say it was an excellent example of a wrong thought not made right by being retweeted.

M.L. Gallagher said...

Hmmm. And I see a David and Goliath theme with neither David nor Goliath able to see the fog coming in because they're both looking at each other in fear. And above them, an angel spreading her wings to protect both from the fog rolling in!

And a fifth perspective chimes in!