Archive for November 6th, 2009

Pilgrimage Statistics

Consecutive Days Riding: 28                               Consecutive Days Blogging: 29

Today’s Mileage: 10                                             Total Trip Mileage: 265


       I ride the bike today with a heavy heart!  I often tell my students that one should strive to be certain but humble. Certain in what you believe, but humble in the fact that your beliefs do not fit for everyone else. 

      There is an additional reason to be humble, the fact that none of us knows what the future holds. A phone call, or news story can sometimes knock us back on our heels putting our successes and failures/losses into a wider perspective.

     Someone who I love dearly, someone I helped to bring into this world and guided for the first years of his life, continues to venture farther onto thin ice!  He is either ignorant of or thrilled by the danger signs, the sounds of cracking and the ever-expanding  jagged fingers radiating out with every foot step.  I hold him in my thoughts and carry him in my prayers.  There is nothing else I can do.  My words hold no meaning for him, my love is apparently experienced as a burden.



Danger Thin Ice!


 His choices are saddening, but I have chosen to not let them be maddening!  I am on a journey, joined by family, friends, students and strangers. I hope and pray that someday my son will walk with me on a somewhat parallel path, but that is his choice alone.  Perhaps he follows a different drummer, perhaps he needs to fall through the ice ! Please hold him in your thoughts and prayers.

helmet and boots

     I also carry a profound sense of sadness for the families and friends of the soldiers killed at Ft. Hood yesterday.  As a veteran myself I know how soldiers and their loved ones must prepare for the possibility of death at the hands of an enemy or a tragic accident.  But when the death is delivered from within their own ranks, from within their brotherhood it is particularly troubling.

      We will hear lots of talk about the motives for this act. Did the Army fail to hear the attacker’s pleas for help with his personal struggles? Was he religiously motivated?  Are his actions indicative of larger problems within our society?  This will become fodder for the Ego inflated talking heads on the radio and TV, whether they are for or against the current wars.  This will be used by the religiously intolerant and ignorant, who will cast it as an “us versus them”, Christian versus Muslim issue. 

     All of that aside, let us not forget the loss and profound sadness of the family, friends, and community during this troubling event. These were our country’s brave sons and daughters, the shooter was American born and raised, he too was one of us!  We will make what sense we can of this, we will visit our churches, mosques and temples, light our candles and incense, say our prayers, shed our tears and “carry on” like good soldiers and citizens. It will be more difficult for those close to the victims and the shooter. Hold them all in your prayers and remember to forgive!



     Walking along the shoreline of Lake Hartwell several years ago I wrote the following poem.   Somehow it seems appropriate for today.

Why did he?

A single goose

  moves frantically

    across the water

      crying out

        in a pleading voice

Is he lost

  is he sick

    is he just a late sleeper

      or was he purposely left behind

        by the others

For a cadre

  of his brothers and sisters

    passed this way

      in an orderly fashion

        and leisurely pace

          over a quarter hour ago



Gone Before!


 I am steering towards the coastline, we will enter Miami from the beach and visit another pilgrimage site this weekend.  Thank you for joining me today!

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