Monday, March 24, 2008

The Blizzard of the World

This is from a workshop I attended earlier this year.

The Blizzard of the World
from: A Hidden Wholeness: the journey toward the Undivided Life
Dr. Palmer Parker

The blizzard of the world
has crossed the threshold
and it has overturned
the order of the soul.
-Leonard Cohen

There was a time when farmers on the Great Plains, at the first sign of a blizzard, would run a rope from the back door out to the barn. They all knew stories of people who had wandered off and been frozen to death, having lost sight of home in a whiteout while still in their own backyards.
Today we live in a blizzard of another sort. It swirls around us as economic injustice, ecological ruin, political and spiritual violence, and their inevitable outcome, war. It swirls within us as fear and frenzy, greed and deceit, and indifference to the suffering of others. We all know stories of people who have wandered off into this madness and have been separated from their own souls, losing their moral bearings and even their mortal lives: they make headlines because they take so many innocents down with them.

The lost ones come from every walk of life: clergy and corporate executives, politicians and people on the street, celebrities and schoolchildren. Some of us fear that we, or those we love will become lost in the storm. Some are lost at this moment and are trying to find the way home. Some are lost withour knowing it. And some are using the blizzard as cover while cycnically exploiting its chaos for private gain.

So it is easy to believe that the "blizzard of the the world" has overturned "the order of the soul", easy to believe that that the soul -- that life-giving core of human self, with its hunger for truth and justice, love and forgiveness-- has lost all power to guide our lives.

But my own experience of the blizzard, which includes getting lost in it more often than I like to admit, tells me that it is not so. The soul's order can never be destroyed. It imay be obscured by the whiteout. We may forget, or deny, that its guidance is close at hand. And yet we are still in the soul's backyard, which chance after chance to regain our bearings.

What is your blizzard?
What forms does it take when you lose sight of your home in your own backyard?
How would you name the strands of your rope?
What is it about your rope that helps you find your way back home?

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