The Empress Portal

Footsteps of A Pilgrim

Where the sun sets over the city, there is a staircase which remains my favorite place to sit and watch the people pass by. The many lessons of life were learned and revealed to me as I walked the streets of the city, belonging only to God, cold and alone. The whisperings of my soul have spoken in many languages as I revealed the truth of love to those around me. To capture them all, I would need a muse for each, yet I have revealed here in the next pages something of the journey into self and the relationship with the divine as one grows to know oneself in relation to others.

I have walked through many streets, alleyways, parks, and even been invited in to many homes in my journey, yet the worn sandals and miracle moments only speak of the miles I have walked—not of the people I have met, learned from, and loved; those I have cherished, understood, and relinquished. The brokenness I have watched with an open heart, without judgment—and the lessons I have learned in restorative justice. The application of hope, faith, and promise to those in need of rehabilitation was traded at great cost.

There is a place where we move beyond merely educating people to bringing them the healing hope of reparation. They reach out and ask for answers, yet we must journey with them for many miles before they realize it was this path they wanted on the road to the divine. What we treasure will cost us everything, and what we want shall require the most sacrifice. The hours and days it takes to write a book are equaled only by the months and years of relationship that heals or breaks me to become the truth bringer for many souls.

Somehow I have journeyed long and found many people had many perspectives and goals, ambitions and agendas. Not all were in line with an end of bringing them closer to the resolution of conflict. Yet every able-bodied person seems to have been given a station, a place they belong, where they speak into the lives of those they touch, and care for those around them with the most discretion.

Humanity is the natural fruit of the tree of love.  It emanates the crushed fragrance of God like a flower and delves deep into the mystery of survival.  Without it, would not exist the emotion and pathos of mankind.  The mysterious soul is in no way limited by the burdens of suffering, but rather freed by its bonds of communion with holiness. 

The soul is the center of a human being and protects the inner sanctum of the spirit. The spirit communes and is in intimacy with a spiritual being, namely God.  God unites the person with others in communion. Communion, in its essence, is a liberation of the limited mind, a straightening of focus. It is the dire opposite of communism. The passion of Christ involved communion in a life-giving way: the complete emptying of one’s self unto death.  This is the highest end of a human being: to die for another or one’s country.

To indifference is the mind callused, for the wells of compassion, like the deeps of the sea, are unlimited and crash onto each new shore with juxtaposed furor. The natural thought is the inescapable future. The cosmos is regulated and regular, unceasing and unfinished, constantly renewing and completing itself.  It is designed to be claimed and cared for, to create love and loved ones, both animals and people.  To have victory in the literal sense is to have money, possessions, family, and freedom; in the figurative sense, it is to be born anew inasmuch as one commits error.

To be victorious is to delay defeat; for defeat comes eventually and claims us through death.  This is why death is our mortal enemy and steals from us our years and our joys. Victory means our antagonist meets defeat, thus we are in a battle and have the deadliest of opponents.  Our most severe thunderstorm emulates the clash of battle. It is a display of splendor and power in a warring heaven and we withdraw into cover. We are defeated mortals; we are incapable of controlling the elements. We can only measure and predict them; we cannot stop or delay them.

We need to be victorious in a measured sense, the ordered war against our opponent: the force behind death, decay, illness, and poverty. This is why we work, strive daily to be meticulous, dress and clean, renew and replenish.  These opposing forces cause illness, disease, unrest, and violence—they maim us to the good and beautiful so we are disfigured and incapable. 

The hope of mankind is to be at some point transformed by metamorphosis into a spectacular and advanced species, not unlike the butterfly. We are designed for expression and the catharsis of the arts. We are made both for dance and football, to intrigue, and cultivate. We hope to live longer, have more, and be stronger. We shame our frailty. And the weak suffer; they need community to thrive. They need others to lend them a helping hand. They need to be spoon-fed. We have hope to grow, to have a futuristic outlook, to reproduce: what antagonizes its purity is not our domain.

In the mountains of the sun, where the field stretches all the way to the rim of horizon, I have been known to pass hours without a particular goal or care, but as part of nature I found that the mystery of birth and rebirth played on my sentiments. There was always a skylark reaping a dive from the heavens, and a silver cloud which a ray of sun illumined, beside the great chronicler of human nature, the earth in all its abundance and gestation. 

When someone is born in pain and there is triumph, there is a joy that deepens out of sorrow, and the life that matriculates is not easily divisible. We worship in our pain and it becomes joy. We trade sorrow for something like chivalry, and do our best to help the next person. With the respect that is due women, partly for having furnished their minds with salvation, for having found a purpose and for refusing a bribe, we will trust the love that cherishes to build them a home. And here, at the end of us, we become selfless too, for society bleeds and cries, it makes amends and mortifies the flesh.

When people find each other in the great vast universe, they sense a kinship between peoples, and when they separate, their spirits still converse over many miles. For friends do not happily endorse separation, but endure it with the goal of being reunited. To befriend someone is indeed a gift of selflessness; to protect and cherish a person for a lifetime, is this gift magnified until it becomes the substance of three cords not easily broken.

To create in response to life’s road is to delve into nature, memory, and art: in creation there is both the material and the eternal, for we are both mortal and immortal. The material of this life is what we will use to formulate something that will outlast us, into the next generation: that our children and grandchildren may have a sense of destiny, of legacy, and of heritage. The legacy of the divine has proven God’s creativity, and left its imprint in us. Each cell speaks of the order upon which the universe is created, with a purpose for every individual in every time.

As a prolific writer, I have composed over twelve hundred poems and songs. Even as a young person, I wrote down my prayers. This time-consuming practice has served to make a writer out of me. I write because I must, and this is my sole passion and joy as well as my tears and greatest frustration. 

Where I had nothing left to say, I was truly and wholly dependent on the life of the spirit. When my thoughts and mind would waver, the deep-rooted tree of my spiritual life was the meaning behind the mask I put over human suffering. Something in my spirit ached for more, and made me leave comforts and home to work at the food bank in the town I lived in, to begin to teach the poor. I believed that everyone was equally deserving of education that would improve their quality of life, regardless of their income or social status. It was the sweetness of a heart that was in pursuit of the eternal that was poured out like olive oil.

The ground I have walked upon speaks to me, as does the trees, the sky and sun. What inanimate object does not become animate in the mind of the poet? What nature does not cry of the Creator? What man or woman does not dream of a utopian destiny where sorrow and pain no longer exist? We desire to love, yet must accept the difficulty and hurt this brings over time, in the process of refining our souls. No one is perfect, and yet we desire perfection and beauty, success and power. I have found, while being content with my station and given to write, that many journeys must be taken into the self. The things dreamed of must be gained within more than without. The real power of freedom is to free a man within himself. To be free without may cause the soul to suffer many bondages, to things, people, and money.

I am one to believe I can bring freedom to others in the places I have suffered. I am a healer who relieves harm and disease in those who are hurt and scarred. I am also part of a community of listeners, and each day is an opportunity to engage. Each moment, we may participate with listening as prefect of a universe that speaks. There is a whispering in the trees when the wind blows that calls to the spirit of mankind. There is a need to listen deeper to what nature has witnessed of history and time, of harvest and birth, of brokenness and reparation. These natural cycles of growth, of family, and of history repeat themselves. We learn their lessons again and again.

As a mystic healer and practitioner, I am one imparting the forgiveness of mankind for its ills. I often watch as people suffer, unwilling to come for help. If only they would relinquish, and with empty hands receive the medicine of the spirit. Yet, perhaps in the light of a future where we enter the journey of healing and listening, we will find a truth that will bid us come and leave everything.

What our souls gather as trappings of the body must be abandoned to find the true heaven we seek. The scars we wear as proof of the time we have spent on earth would only profess that we are counted as worthy. The marks of stress and pain speak of our endurance to carry on despite weakness and suffering. We continue despite hardship for a cause we cannot see and an end we cannot know. In all of this, I believe that many will now overcome.

The simple task of succumbing to the beauty of a Savior in each season is a daily focus—like nature, straining for sun and rain in differing times. I am here to remind us of the end goal of our faith: the process of letting go, the conjoining of the divine with our lives, the blood of a Savior, its reparation. I remind the church of its martyrdom, and the profound depth of the one whose martyrdom we follow. The prose-poetry of this book speaks something of the persecuted church. It is a church that can exist anywhere, regardless of buildings or people, members or tithes, and has more to do with the state of the human spirit.

Listen in and gather knowledge of this mysterious truth: the church of today is built on the ways of prophecy. Those who are prophetic instead of practicing their own agendas compose the true church in all its dimensions. Some interpret the times of society, speak in symbols and dark speech—the mystic relation to the spiritual varies with every person—yet some have very real experiences that words cannot begin to express. They may at times leave the practical behind for the transcendent. Perhaps these two cross each other at an axis, where we work in both the vertical and horizontal plane to accomplish our spiritual destiny. At this point of intersection is the cross.

We have no knowledge of what our crucifixion will entail, but we carry bravely on. We walk through the sorrow, sickness, and separation that life brings. Inasmuch as we love we also experience sorrow, and some lose the peace and presence to regrets, pains, and wounding they cannot forget.

On the other hand, to the depth of our sorrow we have capacity to be filled with joy that passes beyond all understanding —that in the end we may know excellence, peace, and every fruit of the rooted tree. Begin, and walk with me now toward the mystic divine.

--Emily Isaacson, Hours From A Convent