An Exercise in Wandering with Intent

I enjoy wandering, ambling along paths draped by moss-laden branches, listening to the whispers of the past. I like to dodge the tourists, the students - rushing, always rushing - and slip into a coffee shop, a cafe, gather provisions and continue on.

What am I looking for? Experience, really. I wander for the experience of discovery by happenstance. Though I don't believe in coincidence, I do believe that when we put ourselves "out there", we align our bodies with our intentions and with the things in life we're meant to find or accomplish. Sometimes we run into people who become life-long friends or we may exchange words with someone briefly, words that solidify a decision we've been ruminating.

I'm a homebody by nature. Though I love to travel, I also love to be at home, ensconced in my cottage of books and ideas. I love the clink of my own tea cups and the sound of my own coffee pot percolating in the corner next to the back door. This comes from my battle with chronic illness and the need to hoard energy for the days I go into work. Were I to work at home, I'd be more inclined to venture out of doors and into the great wide world that surrounds me. Perhaps that's an excuse; it is, however, the truth.

Perhaps one can take a pilgrimage without leaving home. Perhaps one doesn't have to don leather sandals, book a ticket to Spain and hostel with a thousand other searching souls. Yes, there are still religious pilgrims, but I believe that we also need pilgrimages in our day to day lives; journeys of intent towards something that holds meaning for us. It could be a place, a grave site; a record store carrying a vintage album you lost once in a move and would love to have back. It could be a bookstore, a coffee shop, a hidden beach or lost woodland path. How? Easy. It all depends on what you're looking for.

A bookstore in itself can be a holy site, true. A shrine of silence and intelligence passed down between pages through time. But don't step out and drive to the nearest B&N; stop a minute and ask yourself WHY. WHY do I feel drawn to leave in the first place? When I get there, what will I look for?

It's a practice, you see. An exercise in wandering with intent. Our own personal Camino de Santiago.


The next time you've got a day off, think about something you want for yourself, your family, someone you love. It sounds selfish but I suggest you start with yourself. When we take care of ourselves, we're better able to take care of those we love. What are you after? Not a thing, mind you. Something internal, external, something that can build you up, resurrect those buried dreams?

Don't be afraid of sounding silly. If you want to go back to school, think of what you'd study then pilgrim to the library for a little research. If you want to lose weight buy a bag of carrots and eat them whenever you think of chocolate (perhaps this is more purgatory than pilgrimage but you get my drift...).

The point is to start, to leave the comfort of your armchair and go: across the street, across the Internet, into the library, the cafe, the admissions office. One step is all it takes to set off an entire journey.

Choose your first step wisely. You never know where it might take you!
Happy Monday, Dear Readers. Where are YOU headed this week?








xo

"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door," he used to say. "You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to."  ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." ~ Lao Tzu

Comments

  1. I've always loved that Tolkien quote. Nothing quite like wandering in a bookstore with no time constraints. No schedule.

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    1. Oh I know! I need to take a day off and ramble into the two indie bookstores we have in town.

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  2. We have to take care of ourselves if we want anything to give.
    Those of us who write can wander every single day.

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    1. That is so true! And yes! That's one of the reasons I love writing. I get to wander and wonder as much as I want.

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  3. Lots of wisdom glows from Tolkien and C. Lewis (they were good friends) writing.

    Writing is truly a way to go traveling in front of one's computer.

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    1. I discovered Tolkien and Lewis' friendship while doing research for a term paper on Tolkien years ago. I really enjoy their writing.

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  4. Replies
    1. Oh I know! Even on days I dont go into the day job, I'm still working (writing). Of course, even if I wander, get away from the laptop, I end up constructing stories in my head!

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  5. I love this! Thank you for sharing your insights, Jen. I like the idea of wandering with intent.
    As for what I've started - well, I'm taking a wandering job search with intent and I'm taking a free course online to remind me how to "work" at something other than my own self-motivated projects.

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    1. You're so welcome!
      Best of luck with the job search and the online course. Right now, I'm intentionally wandering through personal essays. It's been enlightening so far.

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  6. Wandering with intent! What a great idea. Thanks for this post.

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm very glad you enjoyed it :)

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  7. Wandering feeds the soul. Odd you mention the El Camino Santiago. I remarked to Margie just a couple of days ago that when Dagmawit was grown I would like to do that. I've bookmarked the link you give above.

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    1. I agree! Some days I just drive downtown and wander about streets I've never been down. I need to do that more often.

      You should definitely do The Camino if you get the chance. I think it would be a wonderful experience; very communal from what I've heard, with all the other pilgrims.

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Well hello there! I'm happy you wandered by. Make yourself comfortable and I'll pour the tea. Cake? Chocolate? Take your time, meander, and don't forget to join in. Be sure and check back later! I respond to all comments here :)

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