Literary Hook: Embarking on a smaller sacred voyage

Christine Swanberg

By Christine Swanberg
Author and Poet

Summer is a time of travel. For some, traveling means taking a pilgrimage to a sacred place or perhaps embarking on a smaller sacred voyage.

Walking a labyrinth is a small sacred voyage that can yield a number of results: relaxation, a meditative state, an epiphany and sometimes even words themselves.

A number of years ago, I walked the labyrinth at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Upon reaching the middle, these words (below) came to me. Shortly after that, I became much more involved with music. The reference to Celtic hearts was inspired by the cathedral, which is modeled after Chartres Cathedral. The poem follows a sonnet form, which seemed more like a labyrinth — more balanced and structured than other forms.

Walking the Labyrinth

Mystical protection. O, Celtic hearts!

In seven circles of heaven, the planets

Orbit in divine order. Round edges

Border us on our pilgrimages.

Seekers of the deeper spiral, we listen

As we walk. What guidance, what lesson

Lies within the knot? The still, small voice says

Life is a wonderful symphony. Say yes

To it!” That’s all? Now all is music.

Celestial chords and contrapuntal magic.

Grace notes glitter like iridescent wings.

City doves flutter over fountains. The wind sings.

Curled within the Labyrinth is a covenant

We keep. A rainbow promise. A song incarnate.

Christine Swanberg is a local author and poet. She received the Lawrence E. Gloyd Community Impact Award at the 2012 Rockford Area Arts Council State of the Arts Awards.

From the June 19-25, 2013, issue

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