Walking the Labyrinth

While at a women’s retreat in the Texas Hill Country last month, I had an opportunity to walk an outdoor labyrinth, a huge one based on Chartres cathedral‘s. I shared the first draft of the poem at the retreat, and after it was critiqued and revised, I laid it out on an image of the one at Chartres. Here is the shaped poem followed by the text, as well as a satellite image of the actual one I walked. (You’ll have to tilt your head–or your device.)

Labyrinth poem

 

Labyrinth, U bar U Ranch

I’m told there’s no wrong or right way,
but trying to find the way
by starlight and a sliver of moon
makes me stumble over rocks.

Confused and dizzy,
unable to stay on the path,
I give up, escape across the lines—
this has to be wrong!

In the morning, I see the pattern
among the natural rock outcrops.
I hesitate at times but stay on the path—
three-quarters of a mile each way.

It seems never to end,
but there is no end or destination,
only the journey in,
the journey out.

Pausing at the center,
I receive no profound revelation,
only a small letting go,
a lightening of the rocks I carried with me.

It's a faint circle to the left of the road.

It’s a faint circle to the left of the road.

 

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