Unquantified Walks


mylabyrinthOctober 30 I know I have done at least 100 walks on the labyrinth, but I have lost track. Part of me is glad to shed the restriction of numbers, part of me wants to start over counting to 1, as I do with my acting students in the game in which they are supposed to listen to each other and count to ten with no one speaking over each other. Last Monday the best part of that exercise was the musical giggles that escaped from them each time they got it wrong.   We are working on an adaption of Alice in Wonderland. It captured their imaginations immediately, in their authority over the story. The little girl with the golden hair declared “I’m Alice” suddenly in a British accent.  The littlest boy with the lisp and a Robin Williams’ style stream of consciousness asserted that he would be the Mad Hatter. It will be brilliant.

What I appreciated this evening about the labyrinth was its closeness to a busy street and private homes. It still remains a place of retreat. Midas the dog came to greet me on the path today, and he met me in the right direction, so it was perfect. The shade tree provides shade no more and has lost all its leaves, which means that the paths of the labyrinth are brown, with no more yellow leaves to make the path golden and crunch underfoot. The maple holds on to its curly crispy red leaves awhile longer, and other trees outdo themselves in reds and pinks and oranges, like young women at a party in a Jane Austen novel. I feel that something of myself has been imprinted here. As I walk this evening, the winds chill encourages me to prepare for winter, as my summer walks bade me to prepare for autumn. As I walk I imagine walking in freezing temperatures and wonder if such an event can bring me anything but misery. But perhaps the turns of the labyrinth will provide comforting reminders that nothing is forever.

November 2 I walked with Paul when the sun was bright and the wind was cold. At times, it felt as though I was following Paul, although I entered the labyrinth first. At the center we stood facing the church and Germantown Pike and the riotous trees, and then leaned our heads together in a silent understanding. I marveled that I began these walks in solitude.

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