26 April 2012

the harpist in the airport

(Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport)

on the list of 'Top 10 Most Peaceful Places on Earth', an airport would land around spot #9,437,562,819.

it is a seedbed of stress, a hamlet of hurry, a wonderland of worry, an aviary of anxiety. in my childhood, it was the place where O.J. Simpson hurdled standing luggage whilst hurtling through security to make his flight on time (a precursor to his flight from the authorities and eventual capture to DO time).

so imagine the irony of what i saw as i landed here in Minneapolis and made my way from the G to C terminals.

i was not in a huge hurry to catch my connecting flight, so i had a chance to observe the scene as it evolved around me...

people buzzing past me on both sides in a blur of haste to catch their flights, running on 'walkways'. 

vendors enthusiastically selling their wares to stranded travelers. 

herds of hungry sojourners scrounging to find something resembling healthy sustenance. 

clusters of plush, comfortable, relaxing recliners and couches occupied by frazzled businesspeople frantically talking on their phones whilst typing on their laptops and tapping on their tablets, looking like they could use an extra limb, ear, mouth just to keep up with the deluge of pressing requests for their information, their thought, their time.

given the lack of urgency i was experiencing in the moment, i felt like a visitor from the Garden of Eden in comparison.

now certainly, i've been in plenty of situations over the years that have rendered me just as much a stressed out, straggling and struggling traveler as the dear folks i saw on my stroll today. but it still leaves me with an uneasy sense about all that we as a culture have been forced to give ourselves to as the most essential priorities in life.

or have we forced OURSELVES to give our all to it all?

regardless, in the midst of all this chaos, there was a vision of peaceful paradise and creative calm.

smack down in the middle of this mess of movement and mayhem was a tiny woman playing a harp. skilfully. sensitively. sensationally. sacredly. soulfully.

and given the setting and surroundings, it struck me as highly ironic. and deeply beautiful.

i had initially thought that the presence of a harpist in an airport full of trampling travelers is like the presence of a sandcastle on a beach about to be hit by a tsunami.

but then it seemed to me that although the peace of the Garden had been driven out by the stresses and strains of our postmodern version of life, there was still a quiet stream of Spirit and salaam shalom running through it all.

a stream of nurturing notes from a healing harpist floating through the frantic fray and transcending the tremulous turmoil of life as it so often is.

the sandcastle may not stand up against the terrorizing thrust of the tsunami.

but the sand remains.

always shifting with the changing flow of the tide.

always providing a place to stand. and sit.

to skip. and splash.

to walk. and write.

to run. and rest.

in peace.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Friend.

    I am enjoying reading your posts. Thinking of you. Hey - If you ever want to get way out of town...know there is always a place in the middle of no where in New Hampshire that you can go to! (although...I've been to Missoula and I realize that town isn't all that big either!). Hugs to you, Kir and the boys! Melissa