"Therefore it is written of the apostles that they rejoiced to be found worthy to suffer ignominy for God."
~Meister Eckhart, The Book of Consolation
The desert can be metaphor as well as a physical location. It may be places like the Sahara, the Gobi, or the Mojave. It may also be experienced on 5th Avenue, in an airport, or along an interstate thruway. We may quite tangibly endure desert times of which others are unaware. Until we start to talk. The desert saints and Saint Anthony may have braved the driest places of north Africa and Israel, but they could have just as well have been jousting with mirages in New York and New England. At times solitude has coasted across smooth roads, but in these times I fight the spectres which challenge such essentials as purpose, hope, and aspiration. Taking stock of that which is worthy and good, these days, is taking a whole lot of energy. But if this is indeed some kind of proving-ground, I've got to rise above this and summon all the strengthening things that have previously worked. New strategies will be needed. Perhaps by emerging from this desert there will be something valuable to offer any of you dear readers (and non-readers) whose green pastures may yet give way to provisional times of desolation. Surely there is purpose, and I believe I have begun to discern what that is.