Saturday, November 23, 2013

lunting in the lumming twitter-light

One of my favorite moments of fall break was October 22nd.
October 22nd, as an entire unit was quite superb.
It was, in fact, a day to celebrate John Paul II.
We cannot call it his feast day, because he is not yet a saint, you see.
That's alright. 
To the Polish and to most of the Catholic Church, he is already a saint.

Thus, October 22nd was a day to celebrate him.
And so we did.
We started by being very not-lost.
We spent our entire day at Wawel Cathedral, which is beautiful.
It is magnificent, historical, overwhelming, and rich. 
You feel that it is very deep, that each picture, each statue, each carved piece of wood or stone has years and years of story inside of it.
It would take you eons to plumb the depths of Wawel.

I did not bring a watch with me (oops).
And my phone was not working, so I never quite knew what time it was the entire week of fall break.
Precision of time was not my forte; I became an artist of approximations.
At Wawel, I wandered around the maze of chapels and altars until I found the one I was looking for: I found the adoration chapel, marked by a guard, and a sign that sent: "for praying only." 
I smiled as I thought of my adoration chapel in St. Peter's; that has a man saying the same warning, and a sign with the same words, only in Italian, not Polish.
And I was content. 
I was content to be lost in a chapel that was new and foreign but old and familiar at the same time.
I had never felt so cozily at home.

Later, that evening, we visited the Sanctuary of John Paul II. 
Like his canonization process, it is not yet complete, but it is beautiful.
Inscribed above the cavernous entrance are the words:
Nolite Timere
Aperite Ianuas Christo
Inside, the palatial church sparkles with light and mosaics.
It was there that we got lost on our way home.
We took the road less traveled, and it made a whole heap of difference.
We were a ragamuffin gang of pilgrims, completely lost, without a head.
In stressful situations, I usually content myself with remaining quiet and observing the reactions of others, and usually laughing about them with whoever is not worrying and willing to chat and laugh.
There was the classic person-trying-to-take-command, and the classic person-cracking-jokes-to-relieve-tension, and the classic professor-taking-out-his-pipe-and-smoking-it-to-make-the-best-of-a-bad-situation.
They say that in crises, people show their true colors.
But I don't know if that's true.
But I think crises, like the twitter-light at the end of a day, can reveal something new and different about a human being that no other situation can reveal.
Being lost is usually the best way to find something new about yourself.

And that cheesy little line is really all I had to say.
I hope you found it worth the reading.
Now go get lost.
Good night.

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