Translation

When I pray, it sometimes feels like I have to translate.

Sometimes I feel that when I reach out to the beyond it all comes back so fast that I have a hard time keeping up. Communing with the infinite requires an interface.

I feel like I have to translate what I experience into something I can share. I don’t do it right all the time. Sometimes I completely miss the mark and the images or words that I get are all jumbled.

Maybe it isn’t about sharing it or ever getting it perfect. Maybe it can’t ever be fully brought down. Maybe I’ll always lose something in the translation.

Maybe the point is to just show the way and tell others that there is more to just this world than what we see. May be the goal is just to be a conductor and not a guide. I’m here not really to help you get there, but to know that there exists. I’m not here to take you to my secret hiding place, because it isn’t secret.

You are just seeing a different corner of it.

The fact that I had to go in the back door doesn’t matter. You had to go in the window. Another had to go in the dog door. Another had to cut a hole in the roof.

But we all got there.

My way in isn’t the only way, or the best way. Sometimes it isn’t even the best way for me. However, the more I do it, the better it gets.

Jigsaw puzzle

I did a jigsaw puzzle for the first time in so long that I’ve almost forgotten. Well, I helped some kindergartners do one a few months ago, but that doesn’t really count. They did most of it. I was just there to direct traffic and stop them from fighting. Something about not being able to share was part of the fight. They all wanted to work on the same parts or some were hoarding pieces.

Another lady had started a puzzle. It had 500 pieces. Most of them were green or pink, it looked like. The image was of a butterfly.

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This looked too complicated for me. I think it was too complicated for her too because she left it on the table and moved to something else. She found all the edge pieces and put them together. Perhaps she was leaving it for another person to work on.

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I was cruising around the tables to see if there was anything else to work on. There are all sorts of art supplies and things to work on.

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There are essays and books and poems to read too.

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It is all optional, but I like to take advantage of what is offered. I want to get my money’s worth, and I want to open myself up to new experiences.

I came across this cute bag. It is a recloseable puzzle for travel.

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And it is of space. And it is a cartoon. And it only has 100 pieces. I’m there.

Nobody had opened it yet, so I ripped off the top. I’m glad that I don’t have a problem with this. I’ll totally go first at a buffet or a recital. I’m not afraid of claiming something as mine.

I started finding the edge pieces but then I didn’t know how big the finished puzzle was going to be. Would I have enough room? I was sharing the table with a painter. I didn’t want to get in her way. Then I started to see pieces that obviously went together.

My inner squirrel started to take over. What do I do next? Do the outer stuff or the inner stuff?

This is so like my spiritual journey it isn’t funny. Well, actually it is funny. It’s always funny how God works things out and I’m almost always the last to know.

I never have the map. Nobody does. We wander around, like the Jews in the desert, moving from camp to camp, from call to call. We go where we are sent. We don’t know where we are going until we get there.

So instead of focusing on the outside, the limits, I chose to focus on the inside, the images. Make a planet. Then make another planet. With this puzzle, as with life, I found myself heavily relying on words. The names of the planets held me together. I used them as a guide.

At times I felt I was cheating by looking at the picture on the bag.

This is the same person who complains that God doesn’t give me a map.

Here’s a map and I’m balking at using it.

There’s a lot to be understood there.

God doesn’t give me a map because God knows I’d rather figure it out on my own. I’d rather be happily surprised when I see the pattern coming together. I’d rather do it my way.

Also, it doesn’t matter if I work on the inside or the outside, as long as I’m working. It will all come together in the end. God’s got the pattern. It is just to me to work on it, and with it, and trust.

(Written on retreat, 1-18-14, 4 p.m. Finished on 1-20-14)