Monday, August 11, 2014

Thin Places and Mountain Tops

(A sneaky beginning to a glorious story of a tribe of women, buffalo women, who finally met each other face to face after years of interacting online. Actually, this is just a teaser. . .)

These are pictures from one of my favorite "thin places," a small open-air chapel. I've posted pictures of the building before. It had been a very long time since I'd been here, and I needed the visit.

I googled and found this article that did a decent job of writing about thin places. I've included some of my favorite parts below:

"I’m drawn to places that beguile and inspire, sedate and stir, places where, for a few blissful moments I loosen my death grip on life, and can breathe again. It turns out these destinations have a name: thin places. . .

Thin places relax us, yes, but they also transform us — or, more accurately, unmask us. In thin places, we become our more essential selves. . .
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." Eric Weiner
I can think of several places right now that qualify for me as thin places. Most of them are simple places: the Baptist camp where I spent weeks in the summer and later worked as a teen and an adult, the retreat center where I did my first silent retreat, often our place in the country qualifies, and sometimes, oddly enough, I feel it in a cemetery, mostly when I also have my camera. There are other places, come to think of it, where I experience the feel of being in a thin place, mostly when I have my camera. Like the author says, the thin places are where we become our more "essential selves."

Speaking of becoming my more essential self, let my say here that being with my tribe of women on that weekend in Caprock Canyon was both a "mountaintop" experience and a "thin place" experience. It feels, in some ways, disrespectful to write too much about the experience. I will say here, now, that I had high expectations for the visit, and it was way more than I ever could have expected. Using the word "glorious" would not be an exaggeration in describing it. I have pictures, and I have more to say, but I am still savoring the whole glorious experience.


  1. What a wonderful description of "thin places", Annie. Good to hear you renewed and refreshed. Good to have you back...

  2. I have never heard of thin places. I love that. I'm sitting here at my desk crying again...damn it. It was holy ground wasn't it sweetie?


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