Yes. Well. So the following link leads to the post where, at some length, I made my preliminary musings re: a Pilgrimage (so-called) to see/hear some Irish people (et al) play the Beacon Theatre in New York this past Friday night.
Some Pull-Quotes So That You Don’t Have to Take the Trouble to, You Know, Actually Click the Link or Whatever:
- “I have done this before.”
- “I am a pilgrim. And a misfit.”
- “This is what I do.”
- “And then I write about it.”
- “Turns out, I’m writing a Bigger Thing about it (who knew?) — one that will take a while, that has already taken a while — and it may never see the light of day.”
- “This Bigger Thing is about misfits and pilgrimages, of course. So it’s about our gods and monsters, about our gurus, avatars, and muses. And our music. It’s also about our fathers and sons, brothers and sisters, mothers and daughters.”
- “Which is really just to say: this Bigger Thing is about the bigger versions of ourselves. And the Place(s) in the World where we find Ourselves.”
All of that was — and remains — true.
Turns out there’s a new truth that this Pilgrimage uncovered. Or I don’t know if it’s new exactly, but I felt it in a new way on this trip.
- If you’re doing it right, a Pilgrimage is the exact opposite of a vacation.
Which is to say:
In the earlier post, I also made this promise specifically re: the NYC trip –
In the meantime, as all that gets sorted out (or not), I am gonna write a plain record of this latest crazy junket cum Misfit Pilgrimage. As plain as I can make it, anyway, which maybe isn’t very plain, but this might help: I’ve decided to do it in the form of a series of 30 Things(es) I Love Right Now. In “real time” (sort of). As it happens. 24 Hours at the tail end of June in the Greatest City in the World. Complete with Gurus. Muses. And Music. Etc.
That’s what makes these pilgrimages Pilgrimages for me. The noticing-and-documenting part. The heightened awareness. The going and the putting it down, in words and sounds and images.
And I did that. Man. Did I ever do that. But I wrote it, sometimes slow and contemplative, other times pretty fast and furious, in block letters in my notebook. Which now requires transcription. And time. If I’m going to share it here. “Publicly.”
But there’s a bigger bug in the ointment. Yes, what makes these pilgrimages Pilgrimages for me is the noticing-and-documenting, and, yes, I dutifully noticed-and-documented. There’s something more intrinsic to these trips, though. Perhaps it’s something enabled or even engendered by the noticing-and-documenting.
I don’t know…or maybe not…
Maybe it’s wholly separate from anything I myself can be or know or do or say or (most of all) write.
What I (Think I) Know Is This:
The intrinsic part has everything — or actually: nothing at all — to do with your (my) intentions.
What makes these pilgrimages Pilgrimages is that they are always — ALL. WAYS. — such powerful reminders that intention is vastly overrated. And anything is possible.
So by now it’s possible you’re saying/thinking this:
“Yes, yes: we have been known to get a chuckle out of your vague but soaring rhetoric in this here space. That’s why we pop on over every two-to-six months to see what you’ve got to say for yourself. But. I mean. In all seriousness. What have you got to say for yourself?”
What I’ve Got to Say for Myself:
So down to brass tacks. I’m going to post some (not all) of my NYC 30 Things(es). In due time (sooner rather than later). In drips and drabs, maybe an odd spatter or two. Not one big chunk of a post (probably not even numbered because I didn’t number them in my notebook), but in episodic succession. All told, way more than 30 Things too.
Taken as a whole, it’ll be a mega-mess-0-30-Things, line-item veto style.
The reason for the stylized redaction is simply this:
(As always) I got a short ways into this trip and it dawned on me: “Oh. I wasn’t kidding. This really is a Pilgrimage.” And a Pilgrimage is the exact opposite of a vacation.
On a vacation, you’re trying to turn everything off. On a Pilgrimage, you’re trying to turn it all back on. When the spigots start to flow, it can be a little like trying to get a drink of water from a fire hose. All that water, nary a refreshing drop to drink. Or something.
Said another way:
Sometimes the Places in the World Where You Find Yourself/ves are (paradoxically enough) (A) completely random and unexpected, mind-bogglingly so, and yet they also (B) really do make all the sense in the world. So much sense it kind of hurts.
So then, amidst all that buzz and boggle, it turns out (understandably) (C) you aren’t as ready to find yourself/ves as you might have thought you were. And, in the fumbled finding, you struggle also to find the right words to mark the moment, to connect this version of yourself with that one, which gets really messy because there’s almost always other Selves (corporeal and otherwise) involved — some yours, but most not; some past, some present, some future — and making any logical sense of that jumbled collection of emotional/spiritual drips, drabs, and spatters is a lot like staring into a Pollock painting. The first one you’ve ever seen up close, in person. In a fourth-floor gallery, crowded with beautiful people, in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. (A place, a moment, you had been quite sure you’ve been [still are?] waiting to fully inhabit for an awfully long time.)
Which is to say:
In a situation like that, logic isn’t the organizing principle anymore.
So. Yes. I had a completely random, unexpected MoMA moment on this trip. And from there, my 30 Things(es) got way more personal and introspective, with all manner of shorthand and inside jokes/laments that only I can understand. (If even I can understand it/them. Which, newsflash: I can’t.)
I’m here to report that not all of that can — or should — be shared publicly. Not raw, anyway.
Yes. You’ll get some snippets. But they’ll be lightly edited and liberally redacted (which means, alas, as we all suspected, it’ll be a record, yes, and it’ll be accurate [a certain kind of accurate, anyway], but, no, it won’t be very plain).
If that’s your cup of tea,
stay tuned have a go at the several/sundry linked rabbit holes set out below…