ReturnIt's been precisely a month since I returned from my pilgrimage. I picked up the journal I carried with me everywhere while in France and Germany and noted that I haven't touched it since returning. It's a bit of a perfect metaphor for what's happened in my soul regarding the experience. Five weeks of the most intense life I've ever experienced, more vivid and severe and dream-soaked than maybe entire years of my life--I've need to not look directly at it, to let it fallow.
I mentioned I'd read The Art of Pilgrimage while on the journey. I must recommend this to anyone who goes on pilgrimage, or also, anyone, who wishes to experience the Other more fully through travel. It was a gift from a newly-met friend at my going-away party, rather timely and endlessly helpful, more so as guide to understanding the shifts of the soul on pilgrimage. Similar to John O'Donahue's Anam Cara, the book serves as a sort of soul-friend, a whispering, kind friend who assures you that what you're undergoing is not only transformative and wonderful, but an ancient, oft-forgotten wisdom.
To honor certain memories, they must be left alone for a time as other memories are re-established, other patterns are set. He retells another's sentiment as, "coming home means letting go for awhile so an opening is created." He also mentions the concept of the 'threshold guardian,' who must be appeased upon return. Both ideas have helped greatly in keeping at bey my tendency to excoriate myself for "taking it easy" occasionally.
WritingThe current project I've been working on, a question-guided series on Arianrhod, has been expanding far out of what I originally envisioned it. Arianrhod is an under-studied goddess, one whom plenty acknowledge and worship in practice but one for whom there's been scant recent writing. It appears I'm attempting to fill in several gaps at once. I'm pleased to do this, but I hope perhaps such a thing will be picked up by others.
There is so much unsaid, and I wonder how much of this comes down to fear, both of reprisals from others and also that we are "not good enough" to have anything to say on the matter. Vehement reactions from internet communities don't help, but remember--it's just the internet. We all forget our manners when isolated from the real people behind our words, and words chosen in frustration can cause alienation (as I was brought to remember today). My prose can be a bit thuggish sometimes.
This extends far beyond spiritual practice. Silence is great if it is preferred, but silence borne of fear is tragedy. Most writers are so-called "introverts" (I've never accepted the dichotomy, but it's useful sometimes), even though some of us talk and write too much (probably myself included), while others with important insight don't engage in conversation. Whole nations are run on the verbosity of just a few people. This is not a good thing.
Also speaking of WritingI got some very good news this week. Those who like my writing and think maybe I should write even more will be able to read me in another place, weekly. I'll provide an update once my first contribution is approved. This endlessly excites me.
And also speaking of Writing
That is, yeah...I should learn to self-edit.