Thursday, September 17, 2009


"Why don't you look where you're going, young woman!"

The words were spoken by a hunch-backed grandmotherly lady clothed in garbage, her face like an over-ripe pumpkin caving in on itself, her body round and squat. She had turned upon a childish brunette displaying large, dark eyes and a naive, empty gaze.

"I was looking..." the girl responded, trailing off.

"And where were you going, hmm?" the garbage woman pressed.

"I ... don't remember."

"You can't look where you're going if you don't know where you're going!" the old lady proclaimed, narrowing her eyes ever so slightly.

"I was looking for something," the girl said softly and in some confusion.

"Well, look here!" replied the woman in a sudden change of tone. She reached into her cloak and procured a teddy-bear as if by magic. "That's what you were looking for, wasn't it, my dear," she said. It was a statement more than a question - or perhaps, it was better described as an invitation.

"I forgot," the girl took the bear absently and held it close. Yet she seemed ... disconnected, dissatisfied somehow with the stuffed animal and the answer offered so abruptly by a stranger.

If you've seen the movie Labyrinth then you know why the young girl was confused. She was looking for something, something very important, but it was not a teddy bear. She was searching for her brother in an attempt to save his life. However, in the above scene she has completely forgotten what she is doing, what she is looking for. In fact, the girl's quest has been neatly sabotaged by a very ingenious enemy who, rather than challenge her outright, has foiled her by distraction.

The scene plays out as the garbage lady draws the mystified girl into a harmless-looking yet very intentional ambush, and soon our heroine is covered in toys, trinkets, makeup, books, and a plethora of other shiny/soft/colorful objects. The old woman isn't trying to bury the girl - not literally anyway. No, it is an inundation of stimuli meant to serve one purpose and one purpose only: To make her forget - forget what is important, what is good, what is vital, what is at stake - to make her forget and to keep her forgotten.

The visual metaphor is rich, and if I can, I'd like to use it to draw out a series of topics I have been wanting to write about for some time ...

The Gospel
The Church

It's a strange conglomeration of issues, I confess. But starting with this simple scene in an 80's movie, I would like to try and lace them together. I want to paint a picture for you of my own story and quest to save lives and the battle that rages to make me forget - my identity, my calling, my story. And perhaps, if I can weave these topics together adequately, I might just expose what you may have forgotten about your story, too.

Welcome to my labyrinth!

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