I promised myself for Lent I’d write.
But what to write?
The Urban Monastic is on pilgrimage. Okay, yes, but technically????
I’m homeless. And have been. Since the beginning of February.
Roving from shelter site to shelter site (literally a different site every night of the week) while the shelters last (we have no year-round shelters, so only ’til the end of March) is a pilgrimage right enough. Granted it seems a bit like the kind of pilgrimage Pooh and Piglet took around a tree — following their own tracks in the snow and looking for what made them — but time is moving in a forward and linear direction, whether I seem to be moving in anything but circles or not.
Circumstances are complicated, nuanced, and more than I really want to get into on so many levels. 2013 broke me, plain-and-simple. It is what it is, but the question remains how to find something of a phoenix in the ashes.
“Dad, you don’t choose a life, you live one.” — Daniel Avery, The Way
This journey is a pilgrimage.
It’s not a marathon, it’s not a happy little hill-walk for leisurely enjoying the wildflowers. It’s not a thing to be rushed, sped through, escaped as fast as humanly possible.
That would be…
…that would be like arriving at a busy transit hub and getting on the first bus or train to leave — regardless of destination — merely to escape the location of the transit hub.
That would be stupid.
At the same time, you can’t take up residence in the transit hub and never leave — that would be equally stupid.
This journey is a pilgrimage — the only way out is through, it has a beginning and an end, but it is a journey of deliberation and contemplation as much as it is a journey of destination.
I have a passion for urban ministries. A friend of mine joked that this journey is like an urban missions internship.
It is what it is, and what it is…is a pilgrimage.
I forgot to credit my source for the shell image — http://tatianasbowl.wordpress.com/