A day’s journey from here

Middle English: from Old French jornee ‘day, a day’s travel, a day’s work’ (the earliest senses in English), based on Latin diurnum ‘daily portion’, from diurnus (see diurnal).

Every day’s a journey. A helpful picture of how we’re always moving: perhaps in our thinking, sometimes in our feeling, maybe in our doing.

We are most in motion when we identify our artist or artisanal spirit posits M. C. Richards:

Man as artist is on the move. He is not an institution, but a moving pillar of light.*

This need to be on the move is a desire for creativity, continues Richards:

My hunger for freedom is my hunger for myself, for my creative initiative.*

We notice where we are and knowing this is not the end of journey, we continue:

re-examine all you’ve been told at school or church or in any book; dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the riches fluency not only in it words but in the silent lines**.

Writing to young readers, Anne Lamott see this as the greatest journey we will ever find ourselves on:

Books are paper ships, to all the worlds, to ancient Egypt, outer space, eternity, into the childhood of your favourite musician, and – the most precious stunning journey of all – into your own heart, your own family, your own history and future and body.^

I note that this journey is not only ‘into your own heart’ but also into the lives of others. Richards recognises the kind of human community that forms when people are moving together, beyond institution:

Communitas is built into the spirit of men. They have but to perceive it to create it.*

Such perceiving of the kind of community that forms around an enlivening purpose is itself a journey we find ourselves upon each day.

Perhaps we are not so much moving from the past to the present to the future but from a fixed future to one that is created in journey:

It struck me that the only voice that spoke about the future as the result of a creative act was the one person whose view of reality was not shaped by this fixed view of the future.^^

We have a long way to journey today.

(*From M. C. Richards’ Centering.)
(**From Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.)
(^From Anne Lamott’s letter to young readers, in Maria Popova and Claudia Bedrick’s A Velocity of Being.)
(^^From Erwin McManus’ The Last Arrow.)

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