Roche Miette Newsletter
Quarterly of Roche Miette Association,
No. 7, April 2003
Pilgrimage 2003 by Piotr Rajski
Belovodia by Piotr Rajski
Grandparents - the Ancient Pillars of Faith - by Randy Iwanciwski
Inhuman Religion by Gary Horn
No poem is ever lost by David Huggett
As most of you know I had a climbing accident in May 2002 in which I almost lost my right foot. Thanks God I did not have to amputate and my foot has been recovering well. Although my whole leg is much stronger now, it is not strong yet to make it to the top of Roche Miette. After a bit of soul searching with Randy we decided not to organize Roche Miette Pilgrimage this year. However, Randy plans to hike the mountain a few times this summer. Contact him at email@example.com if you would like to go.
I can't lead you to the real thing this year, so let me invite you for
a trip in your imagination. Together with Olga Kharatidi (1), we will travel
to the mystical land of Belovodia, the Land of White Waters. The author
believes that Belovodia must be somewhere in the Altai Mountains. This
is how this sacred land of Belovodia was described by Father Sergey, who
was believed to be sent to search for a new religion for Rus by the
Grand Duke Vladimir Red Sun in Kiev in 987. This description was preserved
in oral tradition and put on paper only in the end of XIXth century.
"The rising sun lit the white mountaintops until they seemed as the roaring flames of a fire. I was the only being in sight. I was alone with my God, who had brought me here after such a very long journey. A feeling of indescribable, unearthly exultation filled my being. I knew I was embraced by a spirit. I lay down on the path and kissed the stony soil, my heart and mind quietly thanking God for his grace. Then I went further." (81)
"On the third day, the rays of the rising sun lit the white, snow-covered peak of the highest mountain and surrounded it with flames of fire. My soul burst forth in awe at the sight. I looked and looked at it. It became a part of me. My soul joined with the flames around the mountain, and the fire became alive. There were white figures turning, flying toward the top in streams of flame in beautiful circle dances. Then the sun rose up from behind the mountain, and this mesmerizing vision disappeared." (81-2)
"In the morning I was awakened by voices. Two men were standing in front of me, speaking in an unfamiliar language. Strangely, my inner self somehow understood them, and they understood me as well. They asked if I needed food.
I replied, 'Yes, I do, but only for my spirit.'
I followed them to a village where I stayed for some time. There I was told about many things and given some duties and work to do. I felt tremendously contented. Then one day I was told the time had come for me to travel on my journey. I was treated as a beloved relative when I reached the next new place and then again was taken farther when the right time had come.
I lost count of time, because I had no way to think of it. Every day brought something new, something surprisingly wise and wonderful to me. Time passed as though I were in a miraculous dream of all good things. Finally, I was told that it was time for me to return home, which I did." (82-3)
"The country of Belovodia is not a fantasy. It is a reality. It has been given many different names in the folk legends of the people. The Great Holy Beings, the facilitators of the High World, live there. They work together constantly with all the heavenly Light Powers to help and guide all peoples of the earth. Theirs is a kingdom of Pure Spirit, with wonderful flames, full of charming mysteries, joy, light, love, inspiration, ease, and unimaginable greatness.
For each one hundred years, only seven people from all over the world are allowed to penetrate this country. Six of them return with the sacred knowledge, as I did, and the other one remains.
In Belovodia, people live as long as they want. Time stops for anyone entering within the kingdom. They see and hear everything that goes on in the outside world. Nothing is hidden from those in Belovodia.
As my spirit grew stronger, I was given the opportunity to see beyond my body, to visit different cities and to know and hear everything I wished. I was told about the fate of our people and our country. There is a great future for us." (83)
"I began to walk slowly in the opposite direction. Everything around me seemed extraordinarily calm and peaceful. The motions of my walking, in correlation with the natural beauty of the mountains, began to put me into a dreamlike state. I wasn't thinking about anything in particular, nor was I conscious of any specific feeling. I had a strange sense that the world was dissolving around me." (125)There is no doubt in my mind that beauty of this magnitude must have been created by God. I also have the feeling that Roche Miette Mountain must be one of the outposts of this mystical land of Belovodia. By exposing ourselves to the beauty of this place we open our souls for new dimensions of reality, especially to the reality of God's Presence. I am sure Father Sergey would love to do the Roche Miette Pilgrimage with us. Please, remind me to invite him next year.
(1) Olga Khariditi, M.D. (1996). Entering the Circle. Ancient Secrets
of Siberian Wisdom Discovered by a Russian Psychiatrist. New York; HarperSanFrancisco.
Grandparents - the Ancient Pillars of Faith
It is in the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord that we have example to follow, and to become a follower of Christ.
This Easter season that is upon us I indeed had the opportunity to live this example that Christ has given.
My wifeís grandfather succumbed to cancer on Easter Monday, a great man who lived the Gospel. We look to our ancients for guidance and wisdom, we all encounter them at some time in our lives..... Grandparents.
This man was no different, ready to help out others by offering food, shelter or clothing. Took care of the elderly, some even younger than he. Cared for a garden, flowers and a home, he loved nature. His loving wife of nearly sixty-eight years he cared for and loved so deeply. His family he provided for and also provided great love. His belief in God so solid, he gave an example to me that I will never forget.
In the hospital we prayed through the painful bouts with cancer raging through his body. He could barely speak but his faith roared! He knew that it was time to go but he remained until all the family could visit, to care for him and to thank him for all he had given. Then when we were all asleep he went home to his God. Quietly and with out fear, very brave and courageous with strength and love, just as Jesus taught him. I can only hope I can follow in the same way he did.
Thank you wise master, my ancient, my elder, pillar and example of faith. You will be missed.
Easter Blessings and Peace! Randy Iwanciwski
I happened to be leaving a building one-day when something unusual caught my eye. Well, it's really a very usual thing, but in an unusual place. Actually, it's really not in an unusual place, but it's in an unusual place in my own experience of life.
The "thing" I'm referring to is a cigarette butt receptacle and the place Iím referring to is a church. I was initially quite surprised to see one there. In my own church experience I have never seen a single cigarette butt urn near an entrance. This particular church was not of the same tradition that I normally worship in. The tradition is not really the point.
As I thought about it, I could see that there is more to this urn than what appears. It is more than a receptacle for refuse. It is a welcome sign. The urn says, "Smokers are welcome to worship here." The church community recognizes that some worshippers smoke and since they don't want their sidewalks littered with unsightly stubs, they have provided a place for their smokers to do the right thing with the leftovers.
Now, my church does not have a cigarette butt receptacle. Why not? I don't know for sure, but the absence of one is also a sign. The sign says, "Smokers are not welcome here." Or else it might say, "Smokers must not be themselves and need to hide somewhere to smoke." Or, "Smokers must quit their nasty, sinful addiction before they may worship here."
I wonder what other signs we might be displaying without knowing so. Signs like, "Couples considering divorce are not welcome here." "Gay couples are not welcome here." "Couples living together are not welcome here."
This kind of pharisaical behavior is the occupational hazard of Christians. The Church is famous for it, in spite of Jesus' best efforts to abolish it. His ministry was to those who had no hope of being "good Jews", since, unlike the religious elite, they were not born into privilege. The prostitutes, traitors, laborers and sickly did not have the education, the money or the pedigree that would allow them to be accepted by the Pharisees, so they were without hope. They were not welcome.
Jesus came with welcome signs. He invited humans, not religious freaks, to the divine life, to live in the Kingdom of God. So, the first requirement is that we be truly human. This doesn't mean that we justify sin, but it does require that we embrace our humanity, with all its flaws, sins and messiness (including cigarette stains).
Jesus never made "goodness" a condition for loving and worshipping him. In fact, the realization of our lack of "goodness" allows us to place our game token in the Start Box for the Spiritual Journey. Therefore, let us not impose requirements that Jesus never would have. Jesus has set out sand-filled coffee cans at the Pearly Gates.
Gary Horn, 2/4/03
It is impossible to lose a poem once it is composed,
even if the poet is unknown
even if the poem is hidden in a drawer
out of sight of the world
even if it is never published
even if those most intimate never suspect
the existence of a poet among them
even if, after her ear turns green,
the poet becomes unlovely,
unwashed, an elderly woman
on the bus
even if her poems make no sense
even if after her death her loved ones
burn them without reading them
not even then is a poem
it goes on quietly turning green
David Huggett (2000). gran, the maledictions. Rowan Books: Edmonton. Mountain Ash Poetry Series. $12.95
To order the book call the author at (780) 414-1534, or write him at: David Huggett, 12156 -
93 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, T5G 1E8, Canada.
If you have any questions or comments, or you would like to contribute to the Roche Miette Newsletter, send Piotr an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone who you think could be interested in it. People may subscribe for the future issues at http://www.piotrrajski.com/newslettersubscriptionemail.html. If, on the other hand, you would like to be taken off our mailing list, please, reply to this e-mail with the word "remove" in the subject line.
Roche Miette Association is an informal group of people who try to achieve the ideals of human unity as expressed in the Roche Miette Rule. One of the characteristics of this group of enthusiasts is love of Nature and willingness to love God through His Creation. In particular, we are drawn by the beauty of the Roche Miette Mountain, near Hinton, Alberta, and organize once a year a non-denominational hike/pilgrimage to this mountain. People of all religious backgrounds are invited to participate with us in this auspicious event.
If these ideals appeal to you, you may want to support them through a financial donation. Please, send checks for "Roche Miette Association" to:
Roche Miette Association
576, Lessard Drive
Edmonton, AB, T6M 1B2