Monday, May 5, 2008
An hour or so with Julian of Norwich
Julian of Norwich recieved her vision on May 8th 1373.
Last year, I read the short text of her Revelations in one sitting. It is not long, only 30 0r so pages. This was able to be done. I kneeled upright, holding the book, a single candle for light.
It took me 90 minutes to read the text. After each chapter I said a prayer. At times my knees hurt and my calves ached. My lower arms became tense. It would become difficult to read the words due to the lack of light. Sentences had to be re-read often. My mind drifted, and I allowed this happen; once I became aware I had drifted, I would resume reading.
When I completed the text, I made a cup of tea, and sat outside in the sun.
I was completely aware of how different I felt. I knew I had been through something. What exactly, I do not know; so how valuable the experience was is open to debate. However, It is a day I will not forget, and I am certain it was a furthering of my spiritual development.
I started to read many books about Julian of Norwich, wanting to make sense of what I had read, wanting to find out about her. Although these were of great help in terms of interpreting her work, my odd 90 minutes seemed to have imprinted a deep sense of love within me; a sensation that rises, however gently, whenever I read her text.
This week I am taking my time, and reading the long text. Already, pleasant wisps of last year are returning; gentle and elusive.