These days I think a lot about what it means to be a pilgrim. Yet it has only been in the last 10 years or so that I have really begun to get the concept. Growing up, all I knew of pilgrims is that they had something to do with American Thanksgiving and wore funny … Continue reading On Being a Pilgrim (Part 1)
Two weeks ago I went through boxes of old files and threw out many folders worth of paper. The files weren’t simply old bills, warranties from devices we no longer own, or instructions for assembling IKEA furniture (I know, who would save those?). I threw away a large file box full of sermons I wrote … Continue reading Never Going Back Again
When I began this blog a few months ago, I proudly (even a bit self-righteously) proclaimed that the best travel is about “disorientation” and that it is a life practice we should welcome. You can see my original blog post here. It is true that I can look back fondly on many experiences of travel … Continue reading Disorientation as Life Practice (Part 2 – When Things Fall Apart)
Recently I came upon an old hand made “guidebook” that Lena and I created for my parents and brother Nick when they visited Chicago to attend my graduation from seminary in 1981. As we knew they would be around for about a week—we wanted to be prepared with ideas of places to visit, restaurants to … Continue reading I Wish I Had a Good Tour Guide
Travel is a privilege. Many of our ancestors (and many people today) traveled no more than a few miles from their homes in their entire lifetime. Today, many of us might do as much in one afternoon. Of course, some of our ancient ancestors also made long journeys that took many months or years. (Remember … Continue reading What if Travel Stops?
I asked my friend Eileen Sedilko if she would write about the night with her family (mentioned in the previous post) at the Salthill Hotel and she graciously agreed to write a post. Enjoy her thoughts... Jim asked me to reflect on a visit we had with my cousins in Ireland last September. I really … Continue reading Kiss Me, I (Really) Am Irish! Thoughts From a Friend
I always thought I was Italian. That is the only heritage I really considered operative in my life. I knew my father’s father (Ignazio “Jimmy” Zazzera) immigrated from Italy through Ellis Island. His wife (Mary Kasara) was born of first generation Italians here in this country. My last name was Zazzera. And the Zazzera’s and … Continue reading Kiss Me, (I Think) I’m Irish!
Music is important to me. It is a way to travel to places I have never been—emotionally, spiritually, physically. Since early adolescence recorded music has been a kind of companion. I'm not much of a musician and live music wasn't always very available growing up, so records and tapes were my source material. The lyrics … Continue reading John Prine Forgives You
Since I chose to critique our president in my last post, I thought I would offer a positive outlook on what I think a good leader looks like. This is another piece of writing from Irish teacher and writer John O'Donahue, called "Blessing for a Leader." (from To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book … Continue reading Traveling Without My Ego (Leadership Edition)
Wherever you go there you are. It is impossible to leave oneself behind when traveling. But one thing I would really like to leave behind is my ego. Not the good self-defining core of who I am—but the false self, the pretend Jim, the protective shell. In that light, I have always both loved and … Continue reading Traveling Without My Ego