closer to home

23 are we nearly there?

‘We must not cease from our exploration and at the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we first began and to know the place for the first time.’*

I first came across these words seventeen years ago.  They led me through a focused time, at the end of which I thought I’d explored and returned to the place of my beginning and did finally know it.

I was wrong.  I’m still exploring.  Whilst I’d come to a significant place, I’ve found myself continuing my journey.

Yesterday, I visited someone who’d voted for me to begin my vocational journey back in 1979.  I hadn’t realised this and couldn’t even remember where the meeting was, but he could.  As we spoke – he in his 90s and me in my 50s – I realised I’m setting out again in order to find my way home.

‘To come home to where you belong is to come into your own, to become what you are, to awaken and develop your latent spiritual heritage.’**

Over all these years, there were many things I thought were what I really ought to have been about – but they were not.  Recently, though, I’ve felt myself getting closer to home.  Everything on the way has been important.  Choreographer Twyla Tharp shares how she begins each of her projects with a filing box: she writes the project title on the outside and then she begins to fill the box with music and visuals and ideas.  I’ve been doing something similar, sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously.  Ideas and experiences, character and personality developments – all in the box.

I often find myself peering inside the box to see what I’ve gathered.  I’m especially intrigued by the new things I’ve been forced to try because everything else hasn’t worked.  I am hear because of my failures and blank ends, because of my stubbornness – even obtuseness – not prepared to give up.

Important to keeping going is telling ourselves stories about why the path we venture along is so important.  For me, this is about people being provided with every opportunity to flourish, with the hope of everything they touch also flourishing.

‘Only in struggling with the impediments that made others quit can we find ourselves on untrodden territory – only by persisting and resisting can we learn war others were too impatient to be taught.’^

(*From T.S. Eliot’s Little Gidding.)
(**From John O’Donohue’s Eternal Echoes.)
(^From Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle is the Way.)

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