Thursday, April 30, 2009

Monuments and Alters

What kind of monuments do nomads build?

In L.A. last week everything was about leaning into the future. First I was with others who resonate with the values of the Mosaic Alliance, of which la fonderie is a part; then with Origins, participating in building a network which is a community of followers of Jesus who are passionate about seeing people know God and experience life as He intended. Then Catalyst, a high potency leadership conference focused my eyes on the horizon, towards the things of which I am certain.


This week has been full of conversations with friends that have been in my life for nearly thirty years. As if the path forward led me past monumental alters and vistas that had inspired and motivated me, propelling me forward from that time until now. It has been an unexpected time of remembering and celebrating.

These markers were placed together, mostly unconsciously, as we ran forward into the future. They are monuments that others might not understand or appreciate, but are significant to us because they are ours. Our moments of clarity. Of commitment. Of sacrifice. Of passion. Of joy.

Perhaps nomad has too weak a connotation. Pilgrim is a better term for those on a journey, in movement, with a destination. From then until now, we have not wandered.

We build monuments that help us remember our deepest motivations and most powerful, transforming moments. When we pass them again on our way, they push us towards the future. We remember our strength, and the grace that made everything possible, and we are brave.

“….miles to go…”
The illusion wanes, and in time we return
to our noisy cities where the blue
appears only in fragments
high up among the towering shapes.
Then rain leaching the earth.
Tedious, winter burdens the roofs,
and light is a miser, the soul bitter.
Yet, one day through an open gate,
among the green luxuriance of a yard,
the yellow lemons fire
and the heart melts,
and golden songs pour
into the breast
from the raised cornets of the sun.

from "The Lemon Trees"
by Eugenio Montale
(Translated by Lee Gerlach)