Beginning in May, I will walk nearly 600 miles on the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage route beginning in France and crossing Spain to the Atlantic Ocean. I will carry my cello, performing and recording Bach's Suites in ancient churches along the way.
What if we chose not only to recognize the power of storytelling, but to genuinely value all stories -- anecdotes, objects, memories, causes, narratives, critiques, impressions, the little things we so often overlook?
A group of thoughtful clergy is taking it upon themselves not just to talk the talk, hold the hands, and hug the grieving, but to walk the walk -- and in this case take the flight and try new approaches to preventing gun violence.
However complex the causal linkages, religious actors and leaders are central figures in many world conflicts. Understanding what lies behind the contrasting perceptions and the complex realities is a vital (and sadly neglected) part of international relations, in all its dimensions.
Do we, in fact, speak "Muslim"? Heading by car from Medina south to Mecca, about a four-hour drive, I had time to consider. The Muslim language is spoken worldwide in unique communities. And here in Mecca it is lingua franca.
She traveled without money, slept outdoors and relied on the charity of others for food. When she was not on the road, Peace Pilgrim gave lectures and gathered signatures for several peace petitions, one of which was a plea for immediate peace in Korea.
Where to go when in search of a LGBTQ-friendly higher power? Believe it or not, they are out there, but you have to know where to look, and how to peel away layer upon layer of spin doctoring to get to the fundamental truths.
Recently I returned to Spain. It was a holiday but also a pilgrimage, a search for something not located in geographical space. I was tracking my parents' dream of Spain, of each other; my own dream of Spain as a place where we'd all been together.
Instead of traveling to some remote part of the world, we seek a remote part of the self. We seek a quiet mind, inner peace. People of all religions and no religion are making a pilgrimage into silence. They are making a silent retreat.
Always choosing the comfortable option might not be what brings us the most satisfaction; especially because the comfortable route frequently reduces the amount of contact with other people - beautiful, hurting, hilarious humanity.