I’ve been covertly writing poetry all my life, but lately it has become an important spiritual practice for me. I call it the Practice of Paying Attention. Not only has this practice been incredibly healing, but it’s awakening a part of myself I’ve always been a bit reluctant to share with the world – the part of me that delights in beauty and mystery.
The poet Paul Murray speaks of the moment as “the place of pilgrimage to which I am a pilgrim.” When I think about how I want to live my life, the word that always comes to mind is as a pilgrim, in the most ancient sense of the word.
To live as a pilgrim is to live simply, purposefully, and expectantly. To have a clear destination in mind, but to take what comes day by day. It is cultivating the art of paying attention to the fullness of the life around us.
Every moment is transparent with possibility. Each person we meet is a fellow-traveler with a story to tell. The question is: Can we remain open to being changed?
The more I’ve thought about what I wanted this 28th year of my life to be about, the more I keep coming back to this. And so, I’m taking a deep breath and “going scared” and inviting you to journey along with me. I’m calling it the Pilgrimage Poetry Project. For the next year I’ll be writing poetry following the ancient Church calendar and seeking to find God in the moments of every day. Afterwards, I plan to publish a small collection of poetry and art (eek!). It would be a delight to have you journey with me on Instagram, Facebook, and right here.
Originally I thought I should wait and begin the project at Advent, the official beginning of the Church calendar. But then I thought – if this is all about finding God in the ordinary, then what better time to begin than Ordinary Time?
In that vein, I’d like to begin by sharing my first poem with you. My hope and prayer is that this project will help us all to practice the art of paying attention to our lives and find God present there.