Who Knows

This will be my last post for a while. I began this blog, when my children were not-quite-7 months old and 3 1/2 years old, out of a desire to catch some of what I wanted to think and write about in those days that would otherwise pass through me and leave no trace. At that time, writing a blog post was better than writing nothing. But now, nearly three years later, I find myself often on the far side of that feeling, wondering if I’ve rushed something into form that should have been given its time in the dark to accrete and grow and become a thing forged by craft and time and effort into something less ephemeral. An essay, more than a post.

So I’m going to take a break from showing up here, and see what comes of this. I’ll have to let more of the perishable gifts go. I’m okay with that. It’s lovely to see what’s accumulated here in the last couple of years that otherwise wouldn’t have been nudged even this far into form. And now I want to see if I can take certain of the gifts that arrive and nudge them a bit farther.

As Flannery O’Connor said, “No matter what form the dragon may take, it is the mysterious passage past him, or into his jaws, that stories of any depth will be concerned to tell.” To write less, perhaps, to collect fewer of the gifts that arrive, but to do justice to the depth of the passage past, or into, the dragon’s jaws. This is the part of the path I have found myself on lately, heading toward my mountain. I’ve been thinking a lot this past year about pilgrimage. About exile, and setting out, leaving one’s former home. About intention, sacredness, danger, purpose, accident, injury, rest, perseverence, companionship, ascent and descent, steadiness. Beginnings, destinations, journeys. Our companions arrive and we walk with them for a time, then we part ways. Some are guides, some are fellow pilgrims, some are not the right travelling companions for us at all. Sometimes we walk alone.

One day I want to walk the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, the Way of St. James, perhaps with a dear friend, perhaps on my own.

Maybe next year, maybe once my children have grown: who knows.

Who knows! The pilgrim’s mantra. Make it a hashtag, a T-shirt, a prayer. Spray it on the bridges you cross over, or under, as you stand there doubting, or ecstatic with hope.

You can walk wounded. You can heal as you go. This is what pilgrims do: they put their feet on the path. They go.

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