Sometimes I dream of waterways. Ancient canals that are narrow with high walls and the water flowing as if through a labyrinth. I’m on a small flat raft, just big enough for me to sit on, floating on the water. Once the raft was a carpet, another time it was a book. The canals have a beauty and romance about them and it’s exciting to be riding on them.
Looking at my new quilt reminds me of this dream. Of water flowing through man-made canals, waterwheels and aqueducts. But also that it holds a secret to be deciphered. Some mystical knowledge to be unlocked.
The difference between a maze and a labyrinth is that a maze is a puzzle, a confusing place that’s designed to make it hard to find your way out. A labyrinth has one way in and one way out. It’s not designed to trap or confuse, but provides a winding and meditative walk that is safe and comforting.
In my dream I have no control over where I’m going, yet I don’t have the feeling of being out of control. (like in some of my dreams where I’m driving a really big car and the brakes don’t work) Like a labyrinth, the waterways feel safe and I trust that they will take me where I need to go.
I think the dream and the quilt are about finding my path of least resistance and trusting it. About not having to struggle for what I do to be good, for me to be good. The way a meditative walk through a labyrinth can unlock the mind and heart through ease and patience and trust.
It makes me think of the beginning of Mary Oliver’s poem “Wild Geese”……
“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves”