Monday, October 29, 2007

spiritual journeys, inc.


Saturday night Wayne and I had the pleasure (thank God for sleepovers!) to plunk ourselves down on our favorite lumpy, stained, neck straining couch on the second row of Ragtag Cinema and view "The Darjeeling Express," the tale of three estranged brothers off to India in quest of reuniting on a heavily itineraried "spiritual journey." The film was enthralling in the glimpses of the setting alone and though I'm a sucker for these types of tales (I've recently read Eat, Love, Pray, The Solace of Fierce Landscapes; Exploring Desert and Mountain Spirituality, and A Short Trip to the Edge, among others) where the writer sets off on a rigorous journey seeking an intense spiritual encounter, precipitated either by personal crisis or merely a consuming hunger for the love of God, not all of us have the luxury (time, finances, health, etc) to drop out of society for large chunks of time, especially mothers with kids, to connect with our "spiritual side." Which is why I suppose all those famous disciples, monks and gurus are typically male.

Achieving a "spiritual" jolt while contemplating the sheer rock face of a mountain or a vast desert expanse is not particularly difficult, nor surprising. And what is amusing is the idea that we must "go" on a spiritual journey, as if we for even one moment are not already on one, as if we occasionally retrieve our souls from the mothballs and schedule time to hang out with them. God is no more available on the peaks of mountains than at the sink of dishes or the crush of 5:00 traffic. We don't GO on a spiritual journey, we ARE on one. Whether we are aware of it, acknowledge it or adamantly deny it. Whether we feel our corpuscles vibrating with divine energy or feel like a block of wood. No act is necessarily any more spiritual than another though our attention to the spiritual may be awakened, focused or heightened by willful gestures such as worship, prayer, a surge of gratitude or the contemplation of natural beauty.

All that to say I love journeys. Of any kind. So by all means, GO! Just don't forget your "spiritual journey" is not waiting somewhere for you to show up and discover; that journey began way back--when you did.

6 comments:

harold of cardboard . . . said...

terminus
the end of a transportation line or route; any finishing point.

jenni said...

You described a more profound side of the movie than I did... I'm already wanting to see it again.

allison said...

harold,
no such thing.
jenni,
maybe we can get a group discount to India.

bill said...

God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?

freddie

John said...

When the breeze blew from the turret,
as I parted his hair,
it wounded my neck
with its gentle hand,
suspending all my senses.

Stacy Barton said...

a peek behind the curtain - yes?