Cairns have decorated the landscapes of cultures throughout time. Piles of stone-one stone placed on top of another-are set in place all over the earth to recall battles, identify burial sites, mark trails, and spur hearts and minds to remember sacred, noble, and critical events. They are landmarks. They are sacramental presences in space and time. Our lives are littered with markers of meaning. They all reveal who we are, where we have been, and offer us a jumping off point for the future. In the true mystic tradition, everything straddles meaning and is potentially available to reveal the inner life, God Himself, and all that Is. My hope is that we will begin to look at the markers of meaning in our lives and notice how we store that meaning in our heart. My hope is that we will reconstruct our prayer life and the shape of our interior world, that we will recognize the impact things have on us and discriminate toward health. Our journey in this book will be more like an amble or a wandering. We will hop from pillar to post looking for meaning and attempting to infuse things with meaning. We will look at our practices and the practices of those from our shared human past. We will begin to notice that there is a hidden depth to how we live-one that reveals we live in layers or dimensions, not simple and flat lines.
N. Thomas Johnson-Medland
N. Thomas Johnson-Medland is the Food Services Manager for Pocono Plateau Camp and Retreat Center in Cresco, Pennsylvania. He is the author of Turning Within (1998) and Bridges, Paths, and Waters; Dirt, Sky, and Mountains (2010). Tom currently serves as chaplain for the Orthodox Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, and is a Brother in the United Methodist Order of Saint Luke.