1999 Annual Letter


Why did Theseus need a ball of thread to wend his way out of the labyrinth? Unlike a maze, there is only one choice, to go forward or back. Worst case scenario, had Theseus chosen incorrectly, he would have found his way to the heart. Once there, it is a simple matter to retrace one's steps to gain the entrance.


Webster's informs us that labyrinth is derived from the Greek laura, meaning alley or lane. Makes sense. Talk about walking in balance, there are as many turns to the left as there are to the right. The path is mostly circuitous. Abrupt turns lead to graceful arcs. Occasional straight paths appear to hurry one to the core, bypassing the details. Short cuts are illusory, however, as the trail leads back to the perimeter before meandering into the center. An ancient physical manifestation of two steps forward, one back? Perhaps.


Is it cause for concern when describing where one lives, a stranger asks, "You mean that abandoned house just off the corner?" As a result, I've been pondering what to do with the front yard. The idea that a forest was cut down to plant dandelions and grass is a bit distressing. Rather than replanting, a labyrinth may be a nice solution. Please feel free to take a moment to trace or finger walk the one on this card as a prelude to a visit, or respite from the stress of year-end travails.


Of course, there is the small concern of potentially unleashing mystical powers beyond the ken of mortal humans. Is it desirable to traverse some concentrated, unknown, (super) natural force channeling cosmic energy to pick up the mail? The weather makes things damp enough without needing to attract artesian wells from another dimension.


Guess the reason labyrinths are coming up for me is that they seem to reflect what's been going on. Not always sure which way I'm headed, but the twists and turns feel right. Even with that ubiquitous step backward, one makes progress.


Was graduated from the master's program in Adult Education at UBC this spring. An incentive to join the alumni association is the offer of a university library card.


The dice stacking book and video are receiving very positive reviews. You can find out more about them on the web site. Sales are slower than expected, hoping they will pick up soon. New writing and web projects include ball juggling, poi swinging, and updating the book on devil sticks.


This summer had a chance to sightsee my sweetie around southern California. The story is that Father Juniper Serra built the string of missions along El Camino Real to be within one day's walk. With today's highway system and the repeal of the double nickel, one can zip from one mission to the next in the time it takes a Canadian to nap. Aware of the cultural differences, Chris wisely chose to collect refrigerator magnets instead of decals, less confusion on the pronunciation. Funny, thought my days of cultural confusion would be over when I moved back to North America. She and I manage to keep each other busy keeping track of the distinctions above and below the 49th.


Happy holidays and, if you believe in that sort of thing, new millennium.


Permission to reproduce the cover graphic was kindly granted by the folks at The Sacred labyrinth Walk, who wish you a wondrous holiday full of Light and Sacred Walking.


copyright 1999 by Todd Strong


Copyright © Todd Strong

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