A Fool in a Fog

Happy New Year!

I hope you and everyone near and dear to you had a holiday season that has been filled with enchantment, enjoyment and enrichment.

How are you feeling as we enter into the new year? This has indeed been a challenging year for our Spiritual Community. We’ve experienced a great deal of upheaval and loss, from the sudden death of our beloved Michelle Loy, to the agonizing decision to sell our church building, to the heart-wrenching tasks of dismantling almost 40 years of our physical Spiritual Home. And yes the challenges continued into the final days of 2021, even spilling over to 2022. Due to the rise of COVID-19 infections in the greater Washington, D.C. area, we are postponing our first scheduled in-person gathering, which was to be January 2 at 12:30 at the Palisades Community Church. We will hold our Virtual Sunday Service, however, at its usual 11 AM time. Looking forward to seeing you there!

This is an auspicious time! We begin this new year, 2022, as a new ISDDC. A community that, without a physical headquarters, can unfold in unlimited possibilities — which feels exciting and entrepreneurial! Or, it could collapse under the weight of nostalgia and loss, which feels futile and fateful. We are at a consciousness crossroads! As we embrace our new existence as a primarily-online community, our conscious choices of perspective, individually and as a community, will have lasting impact on ISDDC’s future.

At a recent Wednesday Evening Meditation, we drew the “Fog” card from the Earth Magic Oracle deck, and the message of the card was “Veiled.” Now normally I bristle when I draw this card, believing it is telling me that I am “in a fog” about something in my life, and that being veiled in this fog is detrimental to me, and that I am a fool to myself and others while in this fog.

And then I had an epiphany about this card and its connection to our Sunday Service on January 2, the first Sunday in the new year! The informal theme of the Sunday Service is The Fool card of the Tarot. Card Zero. The Fool — the Innocent, the Uninitiated — begins his journey with this card. He carries with him the most minimal of possessions, slung neatly over his shoulder. And he steps off into…into what? At the moment in this card, we see the Fool, not as someone who is cluelessly stepping off a ledge, but, for this moment of pause, as someone who is blissfully unaware of challenges that might await him. And thank goodness he is unaware — at least for now — of his challenges. Or he might never have left at all!

This is how the Fog card, and the message of being Veiled, affirmed for me the insight The Fool card reveals for our Spiritual Community as we begin this new year as a new ISDDC. I believe that this is the time to embrace this moment in “the fog,” as the blissfully anticipatory moment that is already so familiar and comfortable for us. We can think of this “foggy” moment — that pause right before we take our very first step off of an unknown ledge — in the same way as kids we would be excited about those lazy summer days after the school year would end. Or Christmas as it approached. Or, as adults, that dream vacation we are planning. Or a new relationship we are discovering. For these life experiences, the ones that we look forward to, don’t we usually have a moment of pure hope, expectancy and excitement, free from our real-world, vision-snuffing cynicism? Even if we had a couple of less-than-wonderful summers, we never dread summer vacation, do we? We still look forward to it! For that pure, but fleeting, moment, we bask in the “not knowing” of the realities and complexities of the experience ahead, so that inspiration and creativity can flow, without the inhibition of what we may “know” from previous experiences.

Yes. We have been through a lot in the last couple of years. And all of it has led us to where we are today -- the first weekend of 2022. As we celebrate our first Sunday Service as a new ISD in a new year, let us all proudly be The Fool…let us set out together, perfectly content with the morning fog misting the air as we make our first step, because then we can't see just how discouragingly long the path might appear from our vantage point. Let us be grateful for the opportunity to be on this adventure as a community. Let us have ever-strengthening Faith that we are creating and manifesting the Spiritual Community we have chosen to be, overcoming any obstacles and challenges that would inhibit the expression of our vision for that Community. May our 2022 be the wonderful, productive, successful year that every year is, has been, and will be, for ISDDC.

Rev. Rob Banaszak


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