Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Pilgrimage 27 days without email

Pilgrimage 27 days without email.

Just finished a 27 day pilgrimage in Ireland. I walked about 100 miles the first 10 days. The remainder of the trip was spent using various forms of transportation across Ireland. With walking always being the best way to see into the soul.

The anticipation of the experience made it difficult for me to be present here. My soul wanted to travel across the water before my body could leave Arizona. Once in Ireland the attention to intentional presence was easy to give in to.

Initially I didn’t intend to ignore my email. Figuring it would be inconvenient, I just thought I would sit down once a week and pick through the mail. Computers were available in most everyplace we stayed and every town we walked through. The first few days I was just too tired to care about it. Then the longer I didn’t check it the more intent I became on staying away from it. I never checked my email or even used a computer for 27 days. Actually I rarely used a phone. Each day I felt the better for the detachment.

At one point I entertained the thought of simply giving up my computer and email once I would return home. Obviously, I didn’t do that. But, in some sense I have made some serious decisions about my use of the internet and email.

When walking I was able to see things I could not have seen otherwise. Some because we were in the forest and walking was the only way to get where we were. Some though was simply because in walking we had the time to stop and look at new born sheep, wind toppled trees, perched hawks, long forgotten ruins and to talk to pilgrims traveling in the opposite direction. Life at three, two or one mile an hour has a much different view.

Walking pilgrimage has affected my prayer life and slowed down my work pace. Praying without ceasing seems more plausible and multi-tasking feels obscene. Taking a picture is good. Drawing pictures causes for reflection. Prose tells stories. Poetry tells the soul.

Our host and Good Samaritan in Roundwood told me that he had to scroll down to read my posts and sermons they were too long – it takes away from the walking.