Hmmm... What to say about the Sermon at the Service of the Living Tradition. It's style brought to mind a quotation from Robertson Davies when he was talking about Vladimir Nabokov:
Many authors write like amateur blacksmiths making their first horseshoe; the clank of the anvil, the stench of the scorched leather apron, the sparks and the cursing are palpable, and this appeals to those who rank "sincerity" very high. Nabokov is more like a master swordsmith making a fine blade; nothing is amiss, nothing is too much, there is no fuss, and the finished product must be handled with great care, or it will cut you badly.
Suffice to say, Nabokov has nothing to fear from the writers of the SLT sermon. The anvil clanks are still ringing off the walls.
But earlier today, I actually had a genuine spiritual experience in a GA workshop, something that I would have thought impossible had I been asked about the idea over breakfast.
I attended a workshop given by Doug Muder and Meg Barnhouse on spiritual writing. If you follow that link, you'll see that Meg has the worst website ever. But I learned quite a bit from what she and Doug had to say.
Near the end, Barnhouse pulled out her guitar and sung a well-known song of hers called "All will be well."
She had the audience sing the refrain:
All will be well,
All will be well
All manner of things
Will be well.
I don't know. Something about the song, and indeed the act of singing it back to Meg, really spoke to me.
Now, I am not a crier, but I really think I cried internally in a sense, and I got a sense of peace with the world that is still with me 12 hours later.
I found myself thinking of my friend Jana-who-creates, who recently told me what happened when she took her son to Shrek 2. At the end of the movie, when Eddie Murphy's donkey character(who had been turned into a horse) is, despite his protests, turned back into a donkey, her son burst into loud, racking, sobs, culminating with him screaming "But he doesn't WANT to be a donkey! He wants to be a HORSE!" to the whole theater.
Sitting there as the song died away, that wasn't the emotion that I felt, but what I felt was on that level of intensity and involvement.
It rocked, kids.