Thin Places

The Cultured Traveler column in the New  York Times a few weeks ago, written by Eric Weiner expressed so perfectly why and where I travel. I am also drawn to places that beguile and inspire. Places are where heaven and earth come closer. The article resonated with me and I wanted to share it…  “Where Heaven and Earth Come Closer” 

What is a Thin Place?

“A thin place is a locale where the distance between heaven and earth collapses and we’re able to catch glimpses of the divine, or the transcendent or, the Infinite Whatever. Not everyone finds the same places thin. It’s what a place does to you that counts. It disorients, It confuses. We lose our bearings, and find new ones. Or not. We are jolted out of old ways of seeing the world, and therein lies the transformative magic of travel.”

“Yet, ultimately, an inherent contradiction trips up any spiritual walkabout: The divine supposedly transcends time and space, yet we seek it in very specific places and at very specific times. If God (however defined) is everywhere and “everywhen,” as the Australian aboriginals put it so wonderfully, then why are some places thin and others not? Why isn’t the whole world thin?

Maybe it is but we’re too thick to recognize it. Maybe thin places offer glimpses not of heaven but of earth as it really is, unencumbered. Unmasked.”

We travel to wake up. Life is swift and hazy. We are habitual creatures often following mildly comfortable ruts. Travel, like the best friend you will ever have, gives you a little slap : wake up wake up ! Be !

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2 thoughts on “Thin Places

  1. I particularly like “Maybe thin places offer glimpses not of heaven but of earth as it really is, unencumbered. Unmasked.”

  2. Some really wonderful food for thought, Terri. One of my thin places is there on the Tibetan Plateau – part Yunnan, part Sichuan – where earth literally meets the sky. This is one of the reasons that your images resonated so much with me when I first set eyes on them.

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