Category: Pilgrimage


Embracing the Night

The darkness embraces everything, It lets me imagine a great presence stirring beside me. I believe in the night. -Rainer Maria Rilke in Book of Hours I write to you from the beautiful city of Vienna. I am in the middle of an amazing time of pilgrimage and journeying to the heart of myself. After many months of hard work writing and writing, I am now taking time to be and receive the gifts that move in me in response to the landscapes I am visiting. My first week was spent in Rome for the World Congress of Benedictine Oblates.

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Blog Sabbatical

Tomorrow I will fly off to distant landscapes to begin my time of pilgrimage and be attentive to the summons between heartbeats.  I will carry with me my camera, my journal and pen, and most important, an open heart ready to receive whatever gifts are offered. My blog and the Abbey Shop will be on sabbatical for most of October (although I may pop back in with a link or two).  I carry you with me as well, dear readers, because you are a part of the community which I am called to serve.  When I return I will share some of what I discover. What

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The Vulnerable Body

One of the most amazing places we visited during our summer journeying was the bone chapel in Hallstatt, Austria.  The link to the article provides some more information, but essentially in this beautiful little village tucked between mountain and lake, bones from the cemetery used to be removed to make room for the newly dead.  The skulls were bleached in the sun and then lovingly hand-painted by family members with names, dates, and decorations.  I had read about this place before our trip but standing in the room with 600 skulls was an transcendent experience.  I was brushing against my own

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Packing Lightly

  Instructions Give up the world; give up self; finally, give up God. Find god in rhododendrons and rocks, passers-by, your cat. Pare your beliefs, your absolutes. Make it simple; make it clean. No carry-on luggage allowed. Examine all you have with a loving and critical eye, then throw away some more. Repeat. Repeat. Keep this and only this:    what your heart beats loudly for    what feels heavy and full in your gut. There will only be one or two things you will keep, and they will fit lightly in your pocket. -Sheri Hostetler, A Cappella: Mennonite Voices

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Complexity and Layers

In this family systems work I am doing every time I make a new discovery it leads me down a whole new trail of inquiry.  Every question leads to a dozen more.  Each thread I follow leads to a whole new landscape for exploration.  It is exciting work and speaks to me of the complexity of who we are as human beings. Layer upon layer reveals an inexhaustible depth to our stories if we consider them rooted in the spiral of stories I spoke of the other day. My father was born in Riga, Latvia, the city of his father’s ancestors. When

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Sacred Stories

“All the great voyagers return Homeward as on an arc of thought; Home like a ruby beacon burns As they crest wind, scale wave, soar air; All the great voyagers return…” – from “The Homecoming,” by Barbara Howes Thank you dear readers for the many warm comments and emails I have received as a welcome home.  I am truly blessed to have such a supportive virtual community.  A special thank you to Laure who shared the above quote in her comment on my previous post.  She wrote that she imagined me on the other side of an arc of thought.  These words provided

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Returning Home

I am home once again from my month of travels, glad to be back among familiar things, my own bed, and most of all with my sweet Tune.  It was an amazing trip through Austria, Latvia, Germany, and Belgium. I have much to unpack, both literally and metaphorically. My heart is very full, there is so much stirring within me. Plus over 5000 photos to sort through! The jet lag has hit me hard and so this weekend I will be resting and recuperating, trying to reconnect with this space and time back home. But I am eager to return here

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