This week has brought into deeper focus, through repetition, the theme of pilgrimages. I am working (yes, right now it feels like work) on a writing project (notice I can’t yet claim it as a book) that on some level is a pilgrim memoir. In a sense it’s a collection of pilgrimages that include far away travels to Ireland and Istanbul, interior journeys of childbirth and mothering, death and mourning, homecomings, and all ultimately point to the larger story that I don’t yet have words for. Those connections will come as I simply write. When memoir stories are done well they invite us to reflect on who we are and how we live in the world. And then to ask – how do I want to live now that I have experienced this story?
I started reading The Wild by Cheryl Strayed at the suggestion of two friends who I consider fellow sojourners, soul sisters. The honesty of her writing opens me up, creating eddies of spiraling waters where our stories mingle together circling a universal center that all of us share.
I went to see Beauty is Embarrassing, the documentary about Wayne White. I belly laughed my way through it. The redemptive and transformational power of humor. For those who have seen it, you know what I mean when I say, It’s FUCKING awesome to be graced by that movie.
And last night I watched TheWay, directed and written by Emilio Estevez with his dad, Martin Sheen, the lead. Besides making me want to run off to do the El Camino de Santiago de Compostela (which, yes, has been a dream of mine not unlike needing to go to Hagia Sophia in Istanbul), it was in the midst of the movie that I recognized how the theme of pilgrimage is prevalent in my reading and writing right now.
My dad’s journey to Hoist Bay and mine to Common Place Farm were family pilgrimages that have honored my mom. I plan to share them in upcoming entries and the signs along the way.