Here is the next installment of Beatrice Allen Page’s unpublished manuscript, Landscape With Figures:
“Evening. It has been a strange day. I have not ventured beyond my own yard. If any friends had dropped in on my, they would have found me behaving normally and looking perfectly calm, I think. But inside I have been running furiously to escape the ‘unhurrying chase and unperturbed pace’ following me. Yet at the same time, I was hoping to be caught. There were even times when I turned around to run toward the Pursuer instead of from Him, having first been careful to set up several barriers between us. How ambivalent can one be?
I must have had some naive notion in the back of my head that the conflict was going to be resolved all in one day. If I could not longer keep God out of my life, then I suppose I looked for a sudden ovewhelming conversion or illumination or rebirth. All at once I would be filled with joy and peace and the love that passeth knowledge. I would become Saint Somebody, in short.
Now that the panic of my predicament has worn off, I can think a little more calmly and clearly. I am no longer running, either from or toward. I feel as if I wre beginning a long pilgrimage that will take years, perhaps the rest of my life. I shall very likely get lost many times, and stumble from weariness, and be tempted to turn back – and may well turn back unless I can find more courage and patience, more faith, hope and love than I’ve ever discerned in my character up to date.
There is an old saying that to undertake a journey of a thousand miles, on begins with a single step. Perhaps I took the fist step unwittingly when I was drawn back here. I’m not sure in what direction to take the second step. It is not a journey that can be planned out ahead of time with road maps and advance reservations at comfortable motels. It has, I think, to be moved out like a dance, which is neither an intellectual procedure nor a random miscellany of steps and gestures, but rather the evolvement of one movement out of and into another, all of them related by an underlying intent. It requires discipline and balance and devotion, and the stamina to endure periods of discouragement. Like the dane, moreover, it should never be undertaken in a spirit of plodding drudgery or dogged determination but with a basic bouyancy and trust and sometimes joy in spite of temporary defeats. And like making a dance, it requires constant awareness, the ‘listening attitude’ of Mrs. McCaig, if one is going to hear the music to which one dances.”