Saturday, May 30, 2009

Off to Chimayo I Go

Off to Chimayo later today.

Can't wait to see what will open up on the journey.

Your prayers are welcome.

Buen Camino!



Thursday, May 28, 2009

Feelin' Good About the Shoes

Silly: I've fretted about the shoes and walking 100 miles, and I think I found what works: double socks...or triple. I bought a pair of double socks at REI, and along with another pair of socks over it (3), voila!

Though I must say that after walking in sandals most of the spring months it is hard to put on the shoes. I'll bring the Keene and Chaco sandals too.

I also bought a pounder (1 pound) sleeping bag (Marmot) today. This is my one big purchase for this trip. Salesman Rob, who has become a kind of friend over this bag at Townsend Bertram and Co. in Carrboro, and I had a great conversation: turns out he is a Presbyterian from Charlotte. We had a great conversation about pilgrimage and the School of the Pilgrim. He thanked me for buying the bag: times have been hard for the store, especially April. We talked about ways that his Co. and the School of the Pilgrim could work together.

Getting ready to be lost in the pilgrimage.



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Creating a Happy Median: The School of the Pilgrim Learns from Chimayo and Santiago

I am getting myself internally prepped for the one-hundred plus mile pilgrimage I am taking next week to Chimayo with my brothers from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. I've done this pilgrimage. I walked it successfully in 1999. I look forward to this well run pilgrimage that allows me to rest in the knowledge that all will be well, that food is taken care of; that the housing is taken care of; that leadership is taken care of; that prayers, songs, rituals, and other practices are taken care of; that water is taken care of, as is health care. I will fall right into the practices as they instruct. It was a pilgrimage of "we."

This is so not like Santiago, where I was on my own, back pack and all. Along with my friend Jaqui and others I had to negotiate food, housing, health care, prayers, rituals, practices, length of walk, etc. By the end, it was a pilgrimage that was more dependent on the "I" than the "we" though Jaqui was great.

For the School of the Pilgrim I look forward to carving out our "niche" between the two of "we" and "I." My hope is that we will give a little bit more freedom and responsibility to the pilgrim per se than the organizers.

And unlike these two pilgrimages, my hope is we follow folks up for 6 months as they learn to be a pilgrim right where they are.

Buen camino!

Pace, B

p.s., putting on my walking shoes now for the rest of the day.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A week away: Pilgrimage to Chimayo, NM

I am a week away from my pilgrimage to Chimayo.

I've been wearing my Vasque walking shoes daily, toughening the feet (so far so good) from blisters, wearing double socks.

My heart, mind, and body are ready to be elsewhere.

Buen camino!

Pace, B

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Getting ready for Pilgrimage

I put on my Vasque walking shoes today in preparation for my pilgrimage to Chimayo, NM. I will walk 100 miles to Chimayo from Escandia June 1st-6th.

Get ready....set...go...

Buen camino!



Monday, May 4, 2009

On a Vacation

Going on a vacation for a week!

See you soon!

Buen camino!

Pace, B

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Seeing the School of the Pilgrim Today

I walked along the route of the School of the Pilgrim today.

It was exciting.

I keep getting glimpses of it along the way of life, and today, another chunk came into place.

It was at a sculpture garden show at the home of Tinka Jordy and her husband, between Hillsborough and Chapel Hill, NC. They have 16 acres that they open up to sculptors to show their work in beautiful surroundings in the middle of forested land.

Outside of the usual bits of glorious sculpture work in a well-built and well-maintained garden was a wild and woolly "Sculpture Trail," and we walked down that path, and that made all the difference. At certain bends of the woodsy trail were pieces of sculpture that caused one to stand, sit, and meditate. The trail went down toward a pond that was still and silent. Walking by small white arrows leading the way (like yellow arrows from Santiago), we walked deeper into the woods, and life became quieter, more peaceful, restful, amid God's sculptured woods.

This is it! This is what I needed to see, walk, feel, smell: the sculptured garden and then the wood trail.

So architecturally the School of the Pilgrim will have a "Meeting House," which will house a kitchen with a large table in the middle of it for people to gather around, a small chapel (round), and main offices. There will be a square table, with sand in the middle, a butane torch keeping a kettle of water hot for tea and conversation.

Dotted around the property will be a studio for art, a studio for music, a studio for writing...

And a labyrinth...

And a place for pilgrims to stay and be at home...

And a woodsy trail with sculptures placed at points for reflection.

What we are in need of is the land. This garden was on 16 acres, with pond access. A body of water is necessary.

And money.

But I saw the School today, from which we will venture forth into the world to traipse around the world, coming back to discover the trail we walk on in our very lives.

Buen camino!



Saturday, May 2, 2009

I Saw the School of the Pilgrim Today!

I saw the School of the Pilgrim today!

On 16 acres outside of Chapel Hill, NC, nearer to Hillsborough, there was a sculpture garden show at the home of artist Tinka Jordy and Mark Donley. What was incredible was not only the scupture, but the sculpture trail: we could walk in the forest amid the acreage, and here and there were statues planted in just the right space that would inspire one to meditate. The trail didn't have too many sculptures. They were poignantly placed, near trees and a large pond.

The idea of the School of the Pilgrim includes a chapel for worship; a meeting house with kitchen and meeting area for meals, coffee, and tea, and trails around the acreage for walking, giving people space to breathe and sit, talk with the Spirit and meditate, in God's sculptured forest/garden.

Here's a tid-bit behind the garden:

Tinka Jordy and her husband, Mark Donley, bought their cottage on 16 acres between Hillsborough and Chapel Hill in 1987. Jordy grew up in New Orleans, Donley in Massachusetts. "The climate here appealed to us both, and I needed more room to build a studio and kiln," Jordy said. She's been a professional artist for 32 years, working in high-fired stoneware clay.

Their garden has evolved slowly. "Mark had a very different concept of gardening than mine," Jordy said. She was used to the small, controllable patio gardens of New Orleans. He had more experience with large spaces and believes in developing the "bones" of the garden first. The bones of most gardens consist of the evergreens, trees and shrubs that form the basic structure and serve to enhance and showcase seasonal plants.

As her garden's bones developed, Jordy used open spaces for sculptures that could be moved once the space was needed.

Time to get this place up and running.

Click here for more.

Buen Camino!



Friday, May 1, 2009

Catholic/Orthodox Churches Get Pilgrimage, While We Protestants Struggle

In reading a bit by Richard Rohr this morning in the book, Radical Grace, I was stopped in my tracks when reading this line:

On the walls of our Catholic churches we have fourteen stations...It's movement, stages, and phrases: First this hast to happen, then you have to go through that; you have to remain on the path in all its stages and relationships. The path itself will be your teacher.

That's process theology. It's not the static theology some of us unfortunately grew up with.

Of course, I was taught static theology, and not the kind of process theology, which I equate with pilgrimage or pilgrim theology.

Rohr ends with the affirmation that God will always give us friends who will support us on the journey.

The line that stuck out and is in me is: "the path itself will be your teacher."

So this is what I must write and be about: a pilgrim theology, in which the path is the teacher as we follow the Pilgrim God.

Buen camino!