I became fascinated with pilgrimage journeys about six years ago when I took a Humanities class about journey narratives. I began to view my own life as a journey, and this worldview helped me to make sense of my mortality.
From all of this reading and soul-searching I realized that the pilgrim motif resonated with me. By seeing life as a journey I could more fully live each day as part of that process. It made me less afraid to take steps towards my goals. It made me believe that I could achieve something heroic.
One of the very hardest parts of my life were those days during my cancer treatments that I couldn’t even take a step by myself (or I couldn’t even push myself in a wheelchair anywhere either). More than anything I feared the loss of mobility, of progression, of autonomy, of freedom. Perhaps that is why I now feel so happy to be walking on my ‘own two feet’ and to be making progress in my daily journey.
The little twist of irony in my blogname is that John has since begun his own pilgrimage (I guess that makes him ‘pilgrimboy’ or ‘Mr. Pilgrimgirl’). What’s cool about this is that we are fellow travelers now. We’ve both taken up the staff of the pilgrim and are charting our course through the terrain of each day together.