A Journey of Inches
I've been reading In The Shelter, the excellent spiritual memoir by the Irish poet and author Padraig O'Tuama.
O'Tuama outlines his journey of faith as a process of welcoming or saying "hello" to the various obstacles, challenges, and triumphs that are often encountered when we stumble after the Divine.
He also eloquently describes how his faith journey has been and continues to be an exercise in learning to surrender, embracing wonder, and finding comfort in impermanence.
One of the poems O'Tuama included in the book spoke to me, and so I wrote down the stanza with which I felt a real sense of resonance and connection. Here it is:
With only his own story on his back
He has patched up holes that opened
Where his coverings have cracked
And some shoes were never meant for hiking so
He left them far behind
There are simple things he needs
On journeys such as these
Food and love and drink and warmth and comfort
And a bag that’s small enough
To carry all the failures and the idols
That he’s picked up on the way
There are some days
He only moves
An inch or two.