I saw the most fascinating interview recently. It was with Resa Azlan, talking about his new book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. He’s done a lot of interviews lately – this one was on the Huffington Post. He’s a fascinating man, and his scholarship is tremendously interesting to me. His personal journey is also interesting and just deepens my respect for him. Among the many topics they discussed, he was asked about the evolution of his religious beliefs , and his “conversion” from Christianity to Islam (really more of a return to roots). Reflecting on his transformation and trends in spirituality, he added that – for him – it was akin to the metaphor about digging six shallow holes vs. a single deep hole when looking for water. Again, for him, his “deep well” is Islam. Others may/do have a different well. But – and this was just the icing on the whole thing for me – he says we are all digging toward the same water. YES!!
Here’s someone (I randomly Google’d) who explains the original metaphor well in his blog:
There is an old Indian metaphor pertaining to cultivation….If a person digging a well moves hither-and-thither across a field, digging shallow hole after shallow hole, no water will be struck. One must remain faithfully in one place, digging deeply and constantly, to strike water.
Oddly, this entry did not start out being about my spiritual beliefs. It’s still not, truth be told. I’m a shallow hole-digger. Or perhaps I’m constantly sewing a patchwork quilt of my beliefs together. Choose your imagery. But the one thing I have always believed deeply is that we are all digging toward the same water.
So there’s that.
But back to the original topic. Digging shallow holes also sums up my experience thus far on Sabbatical. A bunch of shallow holes, aimless wandering and a decided lack of depth. My digging has been literally stymied by physical limitations. (truly, I need to dig a hole in my garden, but I cannot…. how’s that for appropriate!!) It’s also a sense of needing to Do Big Things and not focusing on A Single Goal. I could simplify and probably feel better about things, but my hopes and dreams of sabbatical have been a) a long list and b) to wide and varied to possibly accomplish.
So, this is the Sabbatical of Shallow Holes.
Still better than working the 9-5 grind. 🙂