monuments and footprints


‘What do you want to bring into being?’*

‘A monument only says, ‘At least I got this far,’ while a footprint says, ‘This is where I was when I moved on.”**

‘Live the questions now.’^

When distilleries manager Chris Anderson retired after forty years, Dewar’s marked the moment back in 2010 with 248 bottles of whisky drawn from one eighteen year old cask.  I love this story of how the distillery marked this man’s service.  Chris received the first bottle drawn and I wonder whether he still has it, or if he opened it for his family and friends to celebrate?

What would you say you want to bring into being?  Monument or footprint?

I have a sense that my want lies in a question and not in an answer.  A question is about staying as open as possible to as much as possible for as long as possible.  A question lies between the inside of who we are and the outside of our environment and world of people and things and beliefs and the natural world.

This is my want: to bring my gift, and to help others bring theirs.  But this bringing is slow and full of questions and is a footprint.

‘The gift leaves all boundary and circles into mystery.’^^

(*From U.Lab Portobello.)
(**From Eugene Peterson’s A Long Obedience in the Same Direction.)
(^Rainer Maria Rilke, quoted in the Northumbria Community‘s Morning Prayer.)

(^^From Lewis Hyde’s The Gift.)


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