Friday, October 30, 2009

There Are Santiago People, There Are Holy Land People, There Are...

I was reading this story by Jan Benzel in the about the kind of people we are:

THERE are beach people, and there are mountain people. The first long to be barefoot on a wide stretch of sand by an ocean; the second live to wake up with the sun, pull on thick socks and lace up mud-crusted hiking boots. My daughter Becca is the second.

The article was about hiking mountains along and among the Adirondacks. Some people groove hitting the open trails of mountainscapes; others love the ocean and bare feet, the sound of the shushing waves.

I'm pretty certain the same is true with pilgrimage: there are those who are Santiago de Compostela-type pilgrims, and there are Holy Land-pilgrims; Celtic-pilgrim people; Nepal-pilgrim people; Machu Pichu-pilgrim people...we tend to find our groove, our group, our place along a certain pilgrim path and stay on this for some time.



Sunday, October 25, 2009

An America's Journey to Mecca!

Fascinating article from the Financial Times on an American's pilgrimage to Mecca!

Get a load of this:

Mecca has been home to a pilgrimage in one way or another since before Mohammed’s birth – as far back as the second millennium BC. Pilgrims face myriad obstacles and small triumphs as they complete the rites, which swallow you in ancient stories that link Islam and the ancient struggle for survival in this desiccated country: Abraham’s near-sacrifice of his son; Hagar’s desperate search for water; Abraham’s confrontation with the Devil. As it is now performed, hajj dates from Mohammed’s farewell pilgrimage to Mecca, three months before his death in 632AD in Medina.

I neared our gated compound and ran into Wessam, our tour group’s guide. An Australian of Lebanese descent, the 25-year-old had come to the kingdom to become an imam. Like all effective preachers I’ve heard, Wessam had a plaintive tone to his voice. In his serious way, he told me that he hadn’t seen Abel in quite a while. He then scuttled off to plan our night in Muzdalifah, where we would sleep under the stars.

Click here for more.



Friday, October 23, 2009

Bicycyling as Pilgrimage

Read this interesting article in the about bicycling through West Virginia, and was struck by the language used in the article, because it sounds like, well pilgrimage:

"Soon afterward we came face to face with the 3,294-foot-long Big Savage Tunnel. Inside, the tunnel was dreamlike, like a Roman catacomb or a secret passageway between the Great Pyramids. Every hundred feet or so a pale yellow light hanging from the ceiling showed the way."

I know on the Camino to Santiago de Compostela you can bike along the way, along with horse riding, though the walkers who walk (and don't ride on buses or put their luggage on buses going before us) sneer at these folks.

Can there be a pilgrimage by bike?

Click here for the article.



Monday, October 19, 2009

Abraham Path: The Israel Link

News from Israle: the Abraham Path--tracing the steps of Abraham--has made it to Israel!

Go to the link by clicking here.

From the website:

Our staff in Israel has identified a 60 km route from Be'er Sheva to Arad City. The route includes Abrahamanic sites such as Tel Sheva, Tel Arad, the Bedouin village of Rahat, the Falahin village of Drijat, and Abraham's Well in the city of Be'er Sheva. We are planning to open this section of the path by the close of 2009.

This trail follows the steps, the path of Abraham and Sarah.



"Where Would You Wish to Wake Up?"

This is from, via, and the simple question (and a pertinent question to pilgrimage) is "Where would you wish to wake up?" This is a question that is a great pilgrimage question in determining if one is a wanderer, a pilgrim, who wants to hit the open roads of life, or someone whose pilgrimage is at home.




Fifty People, One Question: Brooklyn from Fifty People, One Question on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Another Bedouin proverb or two

"In the desert of life, the wise one travels with a caravan...the fool travels alone."

"Whoever walks in the desert is never the same person he was."

"When bad things happen to us, write it in sand. When good things happen to us, carve it in marble."

"Planning is half of living."

"Do good to people, and you'll enslave their hearts."

"He is a good storyteller who turns a person's ears into eyes."

"Leading by example is better than advice."

Pace, B

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Trust in God...

...but tie your camel up first.

This is a Bedouin proverb that was handed to me today through Dean;

It has stuck with me throughout the day.

Then there is this one: there are three classes of human kind: those who are immovable, those who are movable, and those who move.

Or: ask the experienced over the learned;

Or: what the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

More to come!



Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A T.S. Eliot Moment

Read this verse from T. S. Eliot's "The Four Quartets":

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

Everyday, as I set my foot down on the floor from the bed in sleepy steps, grind the coffee, feed the dogs, take the dogs out for our morning pilgrimage, I am aware that the pilgrimage is "on."

When I go on an actual pilgrimage, and come home, I realize that I am more alive, recognizing anew parts of life that I missed before.

And this is the focus of the School of the Pilgrim: to aid people to know the place they come from "for the first time."

Bravo to Eliot!