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Posts Tagged ‘drawings’

Pilgrimage Statistics  

Consecutive Days Riding:  79                              Consecutive Days Blogging: 80  

Today’s Mileage: 6                                              Total Trip Mileage: 667  

I don’t know what it is today but I find it difficult to do anything but simple tasks.  Ride the bike, build a fire and take a nap.  Perhaps the fact that we are only three days away from a new year, the ending of one cycle and the beginning of a new weights on me.  Perhaps like old man time I am feeling the effects of an eventful year.  Perhaps the fact that in nine days I will be sending my oldest son, a young man of eighteen, off to the military and very likely war weights on me. Perhaps the fact that I spent part of the morning speaking to a youth concerned for a friend’s life or death struggles and I could, even with all my training, offer little advice or direction.  Perhaps I need to let myself just experience, just feel, “just be” in the moment.   

As I searched on Christmas Eve for family photos I came across a piece I wrote a number of years ago.  Perhaps now is a good time to share it:  

Just Is  

The sage’s measured pace came to a halt  

He bent slowly at the waist  

Till his fingers touched the flower petals  

Softly so as to not disturb  

The blossom’s beauty  

He smiled  

And stood erect  

His eyes moved skyward  

Towards the haphazard pattern of blue sky  

Silhouetted by the dark pine branches  

Drawing a deep breath  

He moved slowly forward  

As if each step  

Was measured and noted  

Drawing of a young teen!

The young girl  

An early teen  

Stood watching the sage  

She turned towards the approaching stranger  

He bore a puzzled look and asked  

“Is that the sage I hear so much about?”  

“Yap!” The girl exclaimed with a smile.  

The stranger stared for a long moment  

As the sage’s movement stopped  

As he studied something at his feet  

Among the clutter of dried oak leaves  

Pine needles and human trash  

“What is he doing?”  

“Probably nothing!” stated the girl with a quizzical look.  

“Where is he going?”  

“Probably nowhere!” she noted.  

The sage raised his head  

As he gazed off  

At the horizon  

At the wall of trees  

And flowering azalea bushes  

“What is he like,” asked the stranger?  

The young girl looked puzzled  

And then smiled  

As if she suddenly realized  

She knew a secret  

“He just is!”  

She giggled and bolted forward  

Reaching the sage  

She circled about him with a laugh  

Took his hand and skipped  

As they continued down the path  

The stranger watched for a long moment  

Before he checked his watch  

And moved towards the parking lot  

Towards his plans, his schedules  

His responsibilities, his meaningful life!  

****  

I hope you enjoyed todays posting, a break from the usual fare.  Tomorrow we return to the journey as we near several new pilgrimage sites!

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Pilgrimage Statistics

Consecutive Days Riding: 12                              Consecutive Days Blogging: 13

Today’s Mileage:  6                                             Total Trip Mileage: 123

 stage4

     I hope everyone got a chance to visit our first Pilgrimage site (click on tab at the top of the page if you did not).  As I mount the stationary bike for today’s ride I have decided to ride further up the coast before we leave the Keys and head inland.  I believe there is nothing wrong with lingering over a meaningful experience.  We will of course get the opportunity to visit other coast lines in the future and other pilgrimage sites.  But the first is important as it often sets the expectations for future visits.

     I have dried out from the underwater leg of yesterday’s journey!  My progress was slowed by the beautiful coral formations, and by the CAUTION FISH SCHOOL CROSSING signs! One of the benefits of a virtual trip is you don’t need expensive lessons and equipment to make it to the hard to get too places.  I won’t be surprised to see us “take to the air” on future site visits!

     I left my fellow travelers with three questions yesterday.  I want to take the opportunity to share my thoughts on each.  But first a disclaimer: In no way do I assume that my views hold more authority or truth than any other visitor’s to this site.  These are my views and are shared with joy, as a gift, feel free to disagree with these views.  Feel free to share your own!

Beauty at your feet.   

With respect to the question about the significance of nature, any of you who have followed this Blog will know I find a great deal of meaning in my relationship with nature. It offers me beautiful and powerful images and experiences, which I in turn cherish and honor with poems, musings and artistic images.  I will at times speak of nature the way others may speak of a deity. Nature also presents me with mysteries, dangerous situations, and challenges, much like a deity may for some people!  Nature’s most precious gifts for me has been the Nature Mystical Experiences.  I know some people experience the gifts of nature as blessings from a higher power.  I experience nature as a higher power!

     The second question asked about the significance of the Christ figure as a shrine. The use of Christ versus some other religious figure (Buddha, or Krishna) is easily understood as Christianity represents the predominate form of religious thought in Italy, where the statue originated, and in the US.  I believe many people like to be reminded of and remind others of our relationship with the divine, this accounts for the popularity of road side crosses across much of the southeastern US. So this placement represents a public display of worship and faith.  I also equate Christ’s posture, open arms and head turned skyward, as offers of comfort to anyone who might be in danger of “slipping below the surface,” anyone who might be in need of rescue.  This posture, especially on land, could be seen as a plea to the “Heavenly Father” for mercy or help for those unfortunate individuals in need.

Stain Glass Window - Amaryliss    

   The third question concerned the possible significance of the placement of the shrine, miles off shore and under many feet of water.  I believe this highlights an important aspect of many pilgrimages: they are in not easily accessible places.  Of course in the modern world with air conditioned buses, planes, 4 wheel drive vehicles and GPS devices, the challenging and often daunting travel aspects of a pilgrimage have in many cases been turned into a detour or a tourist ride. 

     Given that the work of the pilgrimage journey was the struggle with roadblocks to be overcome, both external ones like deserts, mountains and raging rivers, and internal ones like doubts, misgivings and a loss of faith in the journey,  one can argue roadside pilgrimages have robbed these journeys of real meaning. The irony of this statement is not lost on me, as I have taken on the task of leading myself and others on virtual pilgrimages where you don’t have to leave the safety of your home, office or even your bed. 

     This is where my pragmatic nature rises to the surface as I would argue that many of us have demands that can not be set aside to roam the world.  As such I believe we should journey in whatever way we can, accepting the physical challenges have been removed, or replaced by a stationary bike ride. We should confront any and all internal/mental roadblocks we encounter.  As a therapist I can tell you the most frightening and daunting hurtles most people face in their journey towards happiness, adjustment and maturity are in fact mental.  Whether that be overcoming past trauma, facing one’s fears, letting go of negative feelings, or risking to care and love others.

     So I believe that the Christ in the Deep site represents in some ways a return to the pilgrimages of old where they are more out of the way and presented the determined pilgrim with a physical challenge.  Of course the cynical among us might argue that its placement was more of a business decision to promote the glass boat and scuba diving tourist industry. 

 Todays artwork included two of my own works.  Entitled: “Beauty at your feet” and “Stain Glass Window – Amaryliss.”

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