Saturday, March 10, 2018

Labyrinths in Unlikely Places.

I am in Tampa for the AWP convention, which is one of the biggest annual gatherings of writers in this country.  On the first night, a friend and I walked the Riverwalk.  Even in the dark, I realized that we walked by a labyrinth.

Yesterday morning, I had some time, so I walked back to see it in the early morning light.  I took my camera.  Along the way, one of the burly men working at the Convention Center asked if I was a photographer.  I said, "No, just a tourist."

As I walked, I wondered if I'd get to where I thought I saw a labyrinth only to find that it was just a decorative brick layout.  Nope--it's really a labyrinth.

Of course, you have to walk on the correct part.  At first, I wound up in a dead end, and I thought nope, that's not the message of the labyrinth.  I went back and walked on the darker part:

Success!  I walked the rest.

Did I feel meditative?  Did I have any breakthroughs?  No, nothing obvious--but it was good to pause and say thanks--for safe travels, for the conference, for the planners of the Tampa Riverwalk who thought to put a labyrinth along the way.

It would have been even better if there had been some sort of informative plaque about labyrinths, but instead, there were plaques about the wildlife we might see.  

I wonder how many people run and walk by the labyrinth every day not realizing what they're seeing.  I had a vision of labyrinths tucked away in all sorts of unlikely places, offering a meditative space in the middle of all sorts of regular lives.

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