Warm welcome for warm welcome
You improve me with your presence
You are beautiful and strange
You shine through
Your white flowing robes thin and frayed
Animated by joy
Sage of motion
Your generous hand
Detaches from your beloveds
You make me rich
And you are none the poorer
You laugh at danger
Fight without anger
Tenderly holding each day
Softly grasping life
Knowing it could go away
Just like you
Warm farewell for warm farewell
Your mark is fair upon the skin of my soul
They say we will not pass this way again
But if we do
I hope I see you
The self is a layered thing. Digging down, there is no telling what you’ll find.
As I was remaining open and receptive, the word ‘sojourner’ came to me. I was not meditating at the time. I was working at my high pressure job. But it was toward the end of the day and my tired mind was relaxed and pliant. My thoughts were at a minimum. There was room for the word to come in. I would say I was in a semi-meditative state: empty, yet super-aware.
With the word came the image of a smiling person of indeterminate lineage – perhaps Semitic like my ancestors – dressed in robes made from a naturally light colored cloth. They had a weathered appearance, like someone who had spent a lot of their life outdoors. Their eyes were bright: intelligent and perceptive with a twinkle of merriment in them. Their hair was covered with a kind of a hood that was part of their robe.
When drawing the sojourner I was once again in a semi-meditative state, reaching through personal and racial memory to this soul who once touched me without touching. As best I could I made representation of this special person who touched my soul in another life.
There is a story of a man who sat in ritual pain at the door of his tent and welcomed the angels of God. There is another story of a man who visited the great sojourner family and exclaimed at the beauty of their tents.
What is the beauty of a tent? True, a tent is a mobile living space. One could make it nice, moving always perfectly so that there would be just enough stuff to be luxurious without there being too much stuff to carry. But is that beautiful?
I think the beauty of a tent comes from the person or persons who live within, and the beauty of the person also comes from within. Deep inside is where beauty is made and maintained. Beauty is not skin deep. Beauty is as deep as the soul.
The sojourner is temporary: here today, gone tomorrow. Yet is that really any different than any one of us? We are all transients upon this plane, mere visitors who must, unlike the sojourner, leave everything behind when we move on. The true sojourner leaves without a trace, save the gifts they gave. In grace they come and with grace they go.
Have you seen their tents? They are beautiful.