Thursday, April 07, 2011

Seven Sacred Spaces : 4 : Cloister

Cloisters are connecting-spaces.  Pavements (sidewalks) are obvious connecting-spaces, as are front lawns along a residential street.  Often, they are places of chance and passing encounters, though over time we might learn patterns of use whereby we might reasonably expect to meet the same person regularly – especially if you walk a dog.  They are places of creative opportunity, not only to touch the lives of others but also to allow others to touch our lives.  They are places where we are, at times, tempted to change course in order to avoid someone coming towards us.  They are places that are undervalued, but essential to the health of a neighbourhood (consider the negative cycle of pavements covered in litter and dog dirt, attracting more of the same, as a community does not value its connecting-spaces; and the positive impact of neighbours taking pride in and ownership of these spaces).  They may be passed-through alone or in contemplative, intentional (i.e. we are heading somewhere together) company.  They include cyber cloisters, such as the status-update feed page on Facebook, which connects the profile pages of friends.  Cloister activities may include picking litter/cleaning (or creating?) graffiti, carol singing at Christmas, cross walks/stations of the cross in Holy Week.

What experiences do you have of the cloister within missional community?

No comments:

Post a Comment