Barely There

Night falls and I am restless. "I'm beginning," I think. And my mind crowds with details.

What to bring? What to hold? Release? Who will I meet? Where will the road take me? Does it matter? Maybe the road is my destination?

And this...

"Not you. You aren't even a real artist. Worse yet, you don't want to be. Your own daughter, only twelve years old, is a better illustrator than you. Someone will notice how flimsy, how barely there you are, how totally unsuited for this journey. They will laugh, or show you the exit ramp."

Do all pilgrims feel this way?

I wake to a new day, rain-heavy. Is this a good day to begin? Maybe I should stay inside just a little bit longer, rethink things.

But Joan, Christine, Joelle, e l k, Erin, and Stefani have already waved hello, as if I was really going, as if I was not the impostor I feel myself to be.

Sculpture by Maureen Connor, 1990.

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I know.

When you go on pilgrimage, you're supposed to start walking. Somewhere. The truly faithful might even journey on their knees.

So what does it mean when you go on pilgrimage, but you have no particular destination? No map, per se? Just a sense of 'this is it' and a few stray bread crumbs thrown into the path by life, or God, pain or dream, hope or confusion?

Looking back over my journals, I was struck that there has been this quiet idea in me for a while. It's been so quiet I couldn't even hear it until now, when a few things disappeared from my life, and a few other things showed up unexpectedly. Anyway, I'm going on pilgrimage. What kind?

Just this...


Oh, I have almost no idea what it means right now. But this space will become my studio and journal, my walking stick and resting place. And you are invited to linger with me.

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Alone tonight, beside
the open window,
I hear trees moving,
whispering to the wind.

Would that in my dark
places, I could lean in,
let you tender move and
make me whisper too.

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