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Sur le Chemin de Jérusalem? - A little less than a happy high — LiveJournal
komos
komos
Sur le Chemin de Jérusalem?


Boston College to Honor Alumni Victims of 9-11 With Labyrinth Dedication
Boston College will pay tribute to the twenty-two alumni killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11 with the dedication of a memorial labyrinth on the lawn of Burns Library on Thursday, September 11, 2003.

The labyrinth dedication, which will begin at noon, will include reflections by University President William P. Leahy, SJ, the blessing of the labyrinth, and musical selections by student groups from Campus Ministry and the Voices of Imani.

Inspired by the labyrinth on the floor of the Cathedral of Chatres in France, the labyrinth will honor the victims of September 11 by providing a permanent memorial at Boston College within a space designated for prayer, reflection and meditation.

The names of the twenty-two alumni, which will be read at the dedication by Boston College students, are inscribed in stones along the labyrinth's outer ring. [Emphasis mine.] The ceremony is open to all members of the Boston College community.

For more information, please refer to this detail
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This was an email I received a short while ago, and I confess that it leaves me with some very mixed feelings. While I appreciate the gesture to the family and friends of the victims, and while I genuinely like the idea of there being a labyrinth on campus, I'm not certain that the two should be joined.

I think the thing I find most jarring is the inscription of the victims' names on the labyrinth's outer ring. The labyrinth, symbolic of one's journey through life is here inscribed with the names of those whose journey was cut short. It seems that the inclusion of the names cannot but make this place one of infinite sorrow. This path of reflection turned from the contemplation of the Divine to be found in one's self to the contemplation of the death of these 22 people. What alchemy awaits you at the center?

I suppose on some level, it could be seen as a reminder of just how transient and fragile that journey can be. It could become not unlike Kali, who on one level serves as a reminder to truly live every moment because ultimately, death awaits us all. I feel like this is reaching, though. Kali has a terrifying aspect, and labyrinths can be home to minotaurs.

The word I keep coming to as I think of this is lost. That they are lost to the world certainly fits with the intent of the makers, but there's some other sense that lurks, perhaps more primal, that makes the hair on my neck stand up. Were I to ascribe to the Christian mythos, I would most certainly start thinking about how the paths laid out for the deceased should not be circuitous or suggest repentance or do anything other than speed them on their way. The place would feel like it was designed to keep the victims here, like it was haunted somehow.

I don't know really. I'd like to hear what you think.

...and sorry for the ubiquitous 9/11 post.

Current Mood: gloomy gloomy

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Comments
wisdom_seeker From: wisdom_seeker Date: September 10th, 2003 03:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

I think I agree with you...

Or, a least, since you're not sure exactly how you feel about it, I think I agree with the sentiments you express here. It bothers me for those reasons you sight. I also find myself wondering if those who decided to do this had been planning to build the labyrinth before September 11, 2003 and thought "Hey! Let's add the dead's names to it 'cuz we really ought to have a memorial to them!" I do not think I would want to wander a labyrinth contemplating the deaths of so many. It would leave me depressed, rather than rejuvinated by prayer.
komos From: komos Date: September 10th, 2003 04:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: I think I agree with you...

I don't necessarily think there's a need to go the conspiracy theory route, though without it, you have to take note that someone (perhaps a committee) somehow found this design an ideal tribute.

I guess it depends on how you look at it, really. I'm going to run with my whacky haunted idea until I get a chance to visit the site.
canonfire From: canonfire Date: September 10th, 2003 04:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
I feel quite mixed about that labyrinth as well. Though I'm a great proponent of walking the labyrinth, you are very right to say that "here there be monsters"... on the other hand, that's a part of walking the labyrinth in circumreflection.

i'll have to sit on this for a while. but I'm very happy you posted about both the labyrinth AND your concerns...
komos From: komos Date: September 10th, 2003 05:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Krikey, I didn't even realize I had used pirate lingo. I even forgot to say Yarrrrrr.

Seriously, though, I was hoping that you'd chime in on this. I'm still mulling this, and I will be very interested in hearing your further thoughts as they come.
riverbank From: riverbank Date: September 10th, 2003 06:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
traping the souls
with only one way out
komos From: komos Date: September 11th, 2003 05:46 am (UTC) (Link)
See that's the thing... you could say that the people in the Towers died in a labyrinth with only one (or perhaps no) way out.
From: uruz Date: September 11th, 2003 03:56 am (UTC) (Link)
The place would feel like it was designed to keep the victims here, like it was haunted somehow.

I kinda feel the same way every time I watch more media spin about the 9/11 tragedy. If it's constantly being rammed down our throats, how can we ever properly say goodbye?

As far as life being a maze, I'm like that screensaver that only takes lefts until it finds the exit. It gives me lots more time to be doing things that I wouldn't have time to do if I was trying to get through the maze at a fast pace.
komos From: komos Date: September 11th, 2003 05:42 am (UTC) (Link)
If I recall correctly, there are several hedge mazes that were designed specifically to foil the left-only rule, which I suppose is a little like life too. Should you get caught in a pattern, you end up walking in circles a lot.

I think that the endless barrage speaks to our inability to cope with things that push us outside of our assumed safety and comfort. I don't believe that "We live in a different world now." What we lost were our assumptions of invulnerability, the it can't happen here-ness of it all.

On second thought, I do think we do live in a different world, but it's of our own creation. (I won't tire you with my thoughts on this again today.)
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