maps – the final spaces

This is the final space for Traralgon, which I repeated yesterday in Queenscliff. It seemed like a good space – it was lovely watching people interact with it and make it their own…

The stations are outlined below, and are here for download on pdf:maps_stations

We opened by playing Padraig O’Tuama’s Opening Collect [from his amazing album, available from Proost]

Before moving into the stations, I read the poem ‘The Centre of Another’s World’, and we played Sigur Ros’s filmclip, Glosoli.

Station one

fortheworld

[cut out countries from a world map, placed on black card with spaces between the countries]

There are many in our world whose map is changing
as we speak:

those who live in contested lands,
whose geography is being shaped by armies and governments
beyond their control,

those who live in countries
ripped apart by floods
earthquakes
cyclones
drought.

If you have a prayer

– peace
life
justice
hope –

for those people
and places,

write it into the space between countries…


Station two

vials
[vials containing ripped up pages from a street directory, screwed up pages from the street directory on the ground]

There are many in our community
who have left all they know –
forced by circumstance and disaster –
and who now navigate inhospitable maps of our own country’s
bureaucratic expectations and
hostile territories.

The dreams that were their roadmap
lie ripped and torn.

Here is a space to
remember another’s dream for them,
and to pray for a different kind of world.

Take a vial with you
if you can work for the hope
that one day all will know home.

Station 3

mapoffaith

[altered map – photoshopped to have the names taken out, replaced with new key – stuck to thick foam board, flag pins, markers]

In faith, we navigate a different world:
one where hope, promise and wonder
are flavoured with God’s love,
and where regret, bewilderment and fear
are touched by God’s grace.

Write or draw those things that make the landscape of your life
onto a flag:
the relationships that cause wonder or fear
the decisions that bewilder or offer promise
the places marked by hope or regret…

Place your prayer on the roadmap
as marked by the key.

Let your story stand next to another’s.

Hold faith for each other it is being shaped by God.

Station four
This particular space was quite amazing – I didn’t think it would work [I think i thought people would get tongue tied], but i’ve just been reading through the pages and pages of wisdom that people wrote… It’s really lovely stuff. It’s nice having it on the transparent paper – gives it a sense of non-permanence, and of not being able to ignore another’s wisdom when reading your own.

bookoffaith

I love that in the photo below the young woman is copying the ‘rough copy’ she wrote on her hand first…

roughcopy

[handmade book titled ‘A book of faith’, extra blank pages, pens, copies of excerpt from Roald Dahls ‘Big Friendly Giant’]

The world we live in is complicated
and the future is unmapped territory:

an adventure of unimagined possibilities?
a journey filled with unknown threats?

Is it fear or longing you take into the future?

Write or draw your prayer for tomorrow
in the blank page at the end of the book.

Add another blank page behind it for the story still to come.


Station five

[copies of 1 Kings 19:1-8, bread, water, recording ‘Readings from the Book of Exile’ by Padraig O’Tuama]

For all the stories of journeys in the bible
we know nothing of the maps people travelled with.

journeys that would have taken days
and crossed uncharted territory
of land and mind
are condensed in the space between
a full stop
and a capital letter.
Elijah ran from Jezebel
– a refugee in a strange land
with a distant mountain to aim for
and a landscape of fear and despair between.

And in this unmapped space
he fought to make a path to survive

alone
but for the company of unknown angels.

Have there been angels who have brought you bread
when you find yourself despairing
in the uncharted landscapes of faith?

Take some bread and eat it in thanks.

Are there spaces in your life where you need the food of the angels?

Drink some water and make your prayer.


Final blessing

We leave today
going into a future
as yet unmapped
take faith with you as you go;
into the parts of your life not yet travelled by love
into the parts of the world unexplored by grace.
Let compassion and hope be the roads that you follow
today and always
amen.

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