Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Trip West, part the second

This morning I am sitting in a hotel room in Golden, BC, while my wife and son sleep merrily on. It is quite telling, I think, that I am typing right now instead of going out for a walk under the shadow of the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

(Who was the bozo that named this mountain chain? I mean, of course they're rocky. What else would they be? It's about as brilliant an observation of naming as someone going to an ocean and saying, "Duh, look Beaufort, it's a wet ocean." Well done, Sherlock.)

Yesterday, after sleeping in, we all went to a wonderfully fun swimming pool in the Ramada (where we stayed) in Canmore, AB. (Speaking of names, how did Canmore ever get its name? Did it produce the most preserves per capita in Canada at some point?) The pool was delightfully warm, and hot tub was even more delightfully hotter. Their water slide was one of the fastest I had been down in years, and Shoghi just loved it. When I went down on my own I shot clear across the pool (well, only halfway, but still...) and produced a huge wave. "Up to here," reported Shoghi.

By noon we were ready for the short drive in Banff. (I won't go into that name again, don't worry.)

We did manage to see the Nasseri's, and no, we didn't pass on any greetings requests, for I didn't see those until this morning, sorry. As they were heading out of the restaurant, we were heading in, so we planned to meet at the gondola for 2. Oh, and Robin Nablo was also there, and it is always a joy to see him.

When we got to the gondola, we discovered that it was supposed to be a 2 hour hike up to the top, with an elevation climb of 2281 metres, or 7486 feet for those of you who live in one of those handful of countries left that still use feet (wow, I can be snippy at this time of the morning, sorry). The trail itself was about 3.5 miles, and Shoghi, age 5 still, made it all the way up (with a bit of help from Marielle, Azin, Shelly and myself). But he made it. I'm so proud of the little guy.

The Nasseri kids, Anissa, Tahirih and Roshan, went on ahead with Robin, so the five of us worked hard to catch up.

But on the way, we began to talk. And we began to talk about the Faith, marriage and sexuality. A number of questions and topics were discussed, and I long to write about more of them, but I think I will only put a few of them here for now:
  • What has been the most challenging part of being married?
  • What do the Writings say about sexuality?
  • How can we make sexuality a healthy part of a marriage in so disfunctional a culture?
  • What is the purpose of the sexual drive?
  • Hey, Marielle, what is this plant? (ok, technically not about marriage or sex, but it was asked a lot)
We also explored the metaphor of climbing a mountain, which seemed to me so appropriate given the conversation. Discussing a healthy expression of sexuality within a marriage, in the context of a culture in North America that is so disfunctional in its sexual identity, seems like trying to climb a mountain.

It was initially suggested that climbing through the different eco-systems was a metaphor for spiritual transformation, but then we realized that there wasn't really much transformation occurring. There were still trees, and they were still mostly pine.

So then it was suggested that it may be a metaphor for spiritual growth, but that was challenged, too. The trees at the base were much taller and wider around. There was a greater diversity of undergrowth. We even saw a beautiful orchid! As we move up the mountain, further along the trail, the trees got shorter and much thinner. The air also got noticably colder.

Was this a sign of growth? Was it true that moving up the mountain meant growing? We were not sure. As we "moved closer to the sun", we got colder, not warmer. As we ascended, the trees seemed to get weaker, not stronger.

But then again, there was a demonstration of strength in their survival at that altitude (mine, too).

We spoke of the analogy of the Covenant as a pyramid and how when you are closer to the top, there is less room for latitudinal movement before you step out from under its shadow. Perhaps something similar is at play here.

We never did finish that train of thought, but then again, it seems like we never will. It is the discussion that is important, not necessarily the conclusions.

It is like the fortune Shoghi received in his fortune cookie the other night, which was all too appropriate for the circumstance: It is the journey that is important, not the destination.


  1. Good Morning! I really do enjoy reading about your experiences, thoughts, perspectives and observations. Thank you for sharing...but then again, that's what this blog is about! LOL!

    Great topic and one that every couple needs to delve into. Sheila gave me a book a few years ago called Pure Gold. It touches on character qualities...have you read it? Well, I believe each couple on their journey should and needs to explore the deeper meaning of marriage and sexuality and hopefully be able to remove taboo's and challenge old beliefs...because there are many!

    Drive safe!

  2. The Australians have a desert named "Great Sandy Desert".

  3. The name originates from a town on the northwest shores of Scotland named in honor of King Malcolm III of Canmore

    1. Awesome! Finally got an answer to that one. thanks. (Any chance of figuring out where Banff got its name?) (I'm too lazy to google it. i'd just love it if someone actually knew this off the top of their head.)