Fresh from a pilgrimage to Iona, ReverendMother gave us five ways to imagine pilgrimaging:
Hello friends, I am just back from a lovely time of pilgrimage in the isle of Iona, "cradle of Scottish Christianity." It has provided much food for thought, to say the least, and so, to keep the pilgrim mojo going:1. Have you ever been on a pilgrimage? (however you choose to define the term) Share a bit about it. If not, what's your reaction to the idea of pilgrimage?
Clearly RM isn't looking for the stock biblical answer that every moment of life is a time of pilgrimage. I've never been on a formally designated pilgrimage, but the pic I've posted is from Ramsey Canyon Preserve, one of my favorite places in the Tucson area. I love, love, love the desert, and being there even for a few hours strips me clean while refreshing me like almost nothing else. Right now I live in a coastal desert, and spending time on the beach, especially in winter when fewer people are there, revives and renews me in similar ways. About my reaction to the idea of a more typical pilgrimage, I'd want to go with someone else, whether or not it was new to them, so we could share reactions, experiences and surprises.
2. Share a place you've always wanted to visit on pilgrimage.
I've been to several of them more than once, but today I'll name the Marienkirche in Lübeck, where Dietrich Buxtehude was organist and the destination of J.S. Bach's famous pilgrimage, where he stayed far longer than he'd announced he'd be staying (intentionally, or not). There are other tourist and related places I've wanted to go, have traveled to and hope to travel to in the future, and I consider my journeys to those buildings, cities, churches, museums and towns as sacred as any Wittenberg, Rome or Geneva.
3. What would you make sure to pack in your suitcase or backpack to make the pilgrimage more meaningful? Or does "stuff" just distract from the experience?
Always a new 70-page spiral bound, wide-ruled notebook for writing and notes as well as another book of almost any size for actual journaling. A few dozen sheets of unlined 8.5 x 11 white bond for sketching; HB pencils and a sharpener, an eraser and a collection of fine-tipped markers.
4. If you could make a pilgrimage with someone (living, dead or fictional) as your guide, who would it be? (I'm about this close to saying "Besides Jesus." Yes, we all know he was indispensable to those chaps heading to Emmaus, but it's too easy an answer)
In a previous Friday 5, someone answered "Martin Luther," almost taking his name right out of my mouth (don't recall who I picked for that play), so I'll choose Martin and Katie Luther and I'll be very, very curious to discover how they react to the state of the Church and the churches in this 21st century.
5. Eventually the pilgrim must return home, but can you suggest any strategies for keeping that deep "mountaintop" perspective in the midst of everyday life? (don't mind me, I'll be over here taking notes)
I'm relatively adept at hanging on to memories, but I'll mention my sketches and whatever words I record in my notes and journaling that later may become part of something more substantial.