On Pilgrimage Through the Grand Canyon 2015

On Pilgrimage through the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is massive: 277 miles long, nearly 18 miles wide and over a mile deep on average. The uplifting of the Colorado Plateau set a downhill course for the Colorado River to begin eroding parts of the land for a really long time (6-17 million years by different estimates).

Grand Canyon2

The Grand Canyon has held a place in my imagination for nearly forty years symbolizing, as it has, that great void, that profoundly empty place on the inside that can never be filled. (Yes, I am an Irish-Existentialist…)
Grand Canyon3

Loss & disillusionment have been the Colorado River hollowing out my inner regions, exposing the majestic arches & temples, and revealing stratified layers and layers of those who have gone before me.

Grand Canyon5

When I first viewed the Grand Canyon, Monday, August 3, 2015, I wanted to fall down in worship and cry. It’s beauty, majesty, glory, and grandeur was altogether too much for me. I didn’t know what to do with all my protests about the emptiness of the Canyon. It was certainly empty, yet beautiful and terrible. I guess I am still plumbing the meaning of this paradox – full of splendor yet still a mile deep abyss.

 Grand Canyon6

Hiking down the Kai-Bab trail – 4.5 miles to the Bridge – and 4.5 miles back (!), I saw it. Erosion. Several landslides along the cliffs of glory caught my eye. “Oh no!” I was flooded with sadness – “All this will crumble over time!” I grieved the passing grandeur of the canyon. This glorious work of God’s art one day will succumb to river, rains, winds, earthquake, snow, & ice and will turn to dust. Erosion, like rust, never sleeps.

Grand Canyon4

The sky at the Grand Canyon was filled with a gazillion stars! And the Milky Way seemed like a Grand Canyon in the heavens. It too was grand and majestic! So full yet so empty at the same time.

 [Imagine the night sky here]

What perishes? What lasts? What is passing? What endures? “Help me, O God know and honor what is durable? I cling to so many nickels and nubs that never satisfy. Teach me to know that which endures.”

Grand Canyon18

Can erosion be a blessing? Can one befriend that which grinds down every living thing? Is beauty defeated by erosion? I realize I expect that nothing I value will diminish ever. I require people and things and places never change, never go to pieces. I demand moreover that I will be invulnerable to pain and impervious to fear.

 Grand Canyon17

It seems to me that the grace of this visit to that which is held Grand in this world is a new recognition, still fresh, still tenuous, that the erosion of that which is superficial and transitory in the human spirit is one of the truest blessings I have received. What I cling to out of fear will pass away. What is true and beautiful has yet to be unearthed. Erosion instigated by Grace will leave behind that which is beautiful.

–roc,sj

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Early Music Now

Across Borders - Across Time

Gretchen McCulloch

Internet Linguist

joyindestructible

Joy is the product of enduring faith.

anntogether

AM Roselli's art & writing site

lillian the home poet

rejuvenatement - not retirement

The Feels

Feel Good News 24/7

Elihu's Corner

press on to know the lord

karenwriteshere

Hope isn't an emotion, but a daily choice. Keep choosing the path of hope.

symbolreader

Sharing My Love of Symbols

The Lace In My Head Mirrors the Cosmic Mind

The cosmos is also within us. We are made of star dust. We are a way that the cosmos can know itself. Carl Sagan

Disarmed by Love

A force like no other. To be known and loved.

Revealing the Absolute

Where Seeking Ends and Learning Begins

Live the Essentials

Insights from the mishaps and adventures of a religious brother

Post it Notes from my Idiot Boss

delivered directly to my computer monitor on an all too regular basis...

National Media Museum blog

We explore the science, technology and art of the still and moving image, and its impact on our lives.

Envisioning The American Dream

A visual remix of the American Dream as pictured in Mid Century Media

Before the Downbeat

Thoughts on music, creativity, imagination, and exploring the space between the notes.

Pew Theology

Faith | Life | Society

%d bloggers like this: