Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Another Kind of Threshold...

   The Polnabrone portal tomb is over 5,000 years and is a Burren icon.  I make a stop at it every time I visit the Burren, usually a couple of hours after I get off the plane, usually severely jet lagged. It still impresses me!

   This time I looked at it as a monumental threshold...into a resting place...into the womb of the earth from which we all came and to which we all return in time.   It is not a morbid thought at all.  In fact, it is quite comforting.  No use worrying about something that is inevitable.

   I learned, this morning, of the death of a dear colleague from my teaching days in a tragic accident  and it made me think of something John O'Donohue wrote:

Your soul knows the geography of your will
take you where you need to go, but more important it
will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey.
John's grave at Fanora

   Ancient bones have been excavated here and when it was made it would have been covered over with earth forming a mound with a single entrance.  People have inhabited this remote landscape for 10,000 years.  There is a pull, a magnetism here that you can feel right down to your toes. Those ancient people knew it, it is why they came. Things happen to you here and you will be changed on a very elemental level by the experience.  That is one definition of a thin place.

   I continue to struggle to get my health and energy back but this too, as awful as it is, is part of the journey.  It has brought me face to face with my own vulnerability and made the concept of "community" all the more important for me.  Every pilgrim knows that we can't avoid adversity.  We must accept what does come our way...we will find the way to get through it with the help of friends and loved ones.



Mystic Meandering said...

I like the tangible symbolism of a "portal." It gives it the sense of being intentional, to consciously walk through the portal of death into another world. Very interesting. And the O'Donohue quote is exquisite - as always :) May this also be a healing "portal" for you as well...

Patricia Turner said...

Thank you Christine. I think I have turned a corner today. John never fails to inspire, doesn't he? I've felt his presence so profoundly here.

kimmanleyort said...

Thank you for posting these two images that I remember from my own trip and for sharing your thoughts. Hope you continue to get better.