While crossing the street in London:
Where we would normally look right.
Where we would normally look left.
But whatever you do, don't do what I do: step off the curb, looking straight ahead, and hoping for the best.
Granted, I am still in one piece...but I think it could only be a matter of time....
It's just that these English are so bloody intimidating and I find that I don't want to look like a tourist, so I just walk....then about half-way across the street I start giggling, a little maniacally, at my own stupidity.
I don't know if its the English, or the utter absurdity of finding myself half-way around the world on a trip that doesn't quite know what it is yet, but I haven't settled into my own skin. It is as if I'm walking around with blinders on. Unlike in New York where I found myself chatting with everyone I encountered, here I am stubbornly quiet. Though that may be because I am afraid I'm going to start talking in some weird British accent...you know the way you do when someone at home is playing around with an accent, so you just jump in. But these people aren't playing....they really talk that way.
So, I am finding ways to take deep breaths. I found this magical place in the middle of the financial district.
This sign intrigued me, so I followed the slim corridor between two huge buildings to find a little courtyard with a tent in the middle of it, with stained glass windows. The doors to the tent were open so I went in and found the most beautiful little sanctuary for meditation. So, naturally, I meditated.
Each of the windows in the tent had the word Peace in a different language. And the room glowed with warmth and serenity.
So, while the financial district of London, buzzed around me....
I sat in....
Later, I went to St. Bartholomew's Church. My friend TJ informed that he would not respect me as an enlightened human being if I didn't check it out. He said it should be on the list of things to do right before I went back to the states. But I thought it best to assure myself of my own enlightenment by seeing it on the first day of my European journey.
Well, it was one of the prettiest churches that I have ever been in. Ancient and warm and full grace. I stopped to take a picture the tomb of the prior who first headed the church.
Well, as you can see, it was more like the back side of his tomb. This isn't a great picture but the silhouette of his head was very intriguing. As I stood there, one of the men who runs the church stopped to tell me that right where I was standing was where pilgrims used to come to be healed by the energy of the great man who started the church whose bones, they have confirmed, really are within that wall.
I got chills. Just last Sunday, my friend Shane had called my trip a "pilgrimage" and I was struck by the word. I couldn't picture myself in that light. Pilgrims have an aura of devotion, of such deep intent. Yet, there I was standing where pilgrims had come for hundreds of years. There I was, another pilgrim, who in a weird way, is looking to be healed by the gift of a vision, of clarity about my life, my purpose. So, again, I stopped and meditated.
One more spot held my inner attention yesterday. Out of the blue, on a non-descript wall in central London was this plaque:
Nothing around this sign holds an ounce of mystical power. But I thought it best to stop and open my heart to the possibility that my heart, too, would be "strangely warmed" by the site. I'd like to say that angels spoke to me. But not much happened. Though I did smile a lot at the prospect, the promise that our hearts can be warmed, opened at the oddest times and the most unlikely places.
And so, today I'm gonna take the blinders off, look right, look left, look up and down, chance looking like a fool who doesn't know what she is doing. That way, I probably won't get hit by a taxi-cab, but I might be bowled over by divine inspiration.