Sunday, January 11, 2009

Trouble Tree

Every religious tradition has its rituals, every community has its rituals, every profession has its rituals, and we create our own, too (these are the best!).

Ritual can help open up awareness of kairos within chronos. Ritual also provides simple imaginative methods to package, sort and file various aspects of our being and experience, and to have a space in which to compare one moment to another - all through actions that are meaningful to us and can be repeated.

Thoughtful, individual rituals can create anchorpoints for grounding and release. To me, rituals are a form of performative meditation. Rituals allow us to pay attention to the "between" of our relatedness - to ourselves, to others, to the phenomenal and the liminal and the cosmic.

As snow is the poor farmer's fertilizer, ritual is one of the most accessible ways to step outside the ordinary spaces into resonance. Spiritus. Gnosis. And - it can be awfully fun.

I found a lovely narrative of a simple ritual at More Than Sew So this morning. Does this resonate with you?

I hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he had just finished a rough first day on the job, a flat tire made him lose an hour of work, his electric drill quit and his ancient one ton truck refused to start.

While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.

On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands.

Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.

"Oh, that’s my trouble tree," he replied, "I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing’s for sure, those troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and the children… So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them. Then, in the morning, I pick them up again."

"Funny thing is," he smiled, "when I come out in the morning to pick ‘em up, there aren’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before."


virtual millennium said...

inspiring story, thanks!

Priya said...

Hello Heidi,

Lovely story..something to think about!

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