— The Chalice on My Heart

October 19, 2012 at 6:41 am | Posted in Online Ministry | Leave a comment

In the last few years I’ve flown on about 120 airplanes and spent thousands of heart beats in the clouds. It dawned on me recently that my chalice necklace has held my heart the way my wedding ring holds my hand.

A fellow traveler in one trip implied my necklace was a symbol of a religious obsession. For about an hour of the 11 hour flight, I considered whether to turn her comments into an interesting conversation or to ignore them and go to sleep.

I chose the latter that time. I was tired but I also calculated the odds that she was projecting her issues on to me based on other comments she made. [Aside: I love the French saying: “Qui s’accuse, s’excuse.” Depending on the context, one meaning of the phrase is: She who accuses, is excusing herself from one form of manipulation or another.]

My jewelry is a prayer – a necessary ritual to assure me that the universe, and humanity in particular, unrelentingly seeks life, creates it and sustains it, even where conditions suggest otherwise.

When Heather connects the clasps on my pendant before a flight to Dublin, we both are silently blessing the pilots, attendants, controllers, and airport personnel, thanking them for doing their best to make sure I arrive.

Today, it’s Heather’s turn. I looked to make sure the chalice she often wears on the third finger of her right hand is there. I make sure it’s on securely and kiss it.

I don’t wrap my knuckles on wood for good luck. I don’t spit twice over my shoulder the way elders in my family did when I was a kid. I’m not superstitious. When I’m wearing my chalice, I’m praying.

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