Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Another Labyrinth, and a Free Association

My mom sent me this link to a church labyrinth in Austin, TX, based on the one at Chartres:

St. David's Episcopal Church.

Which is way cool. I notice, though, that they have 'trained facilitators' for groups who want to use their canvas labyrinth, and I find that a bit puzzling. Why would one need a trained facilitator to help you walk and pray along a path laid out on the ground? Maybe they have activities. One could be "Race to Jerusalem". Perhaps it would have some analogy to the old legend of the "Race to Mecca":

A very wealthy man dies with two sons. His will states that only one son will receive anything, and which one that is will be determined by a horserace from Medina to Mecca. The son whose horse reaches Mecca last receives the inheritance.

So the race is on, and months pass and neither son has really progressed much beyond Medina; each is trying to be the last one to reach Mecca, and there are infinitely many ways to defer reaching the goal. One day an old man happens by and asks why they both look so frustrated. They tell him the whole story.

The old man stands in thought a moment, then said, "You are certain that the will states that the son whose horse reaches Mecca last will receive the inheritance?"

"Yes," said one of the sons; "hence our frustration."

"Then the problem is easily solved: each of you must ride your brother's horse and make sure it reaches Mecca before your own."

So they each jumped on the other's horse and spurred the horses for all they were worth toward Mecca.

OK, that's enough free association for now.

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