It has been almost two years since Lena and I made the journey to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago. [A refresher: the Camino de Santiago is an ancient pilgrimage pathway through Spain to the tomb/cathedral of St. James. The route Lena and I took, the Camino Frances, is about 500 miles long, from … Continue reading On Being a Pilgrim (Part 4 – Can’t Let it Go )
One of the most common—if expensive—pilgrimages known to people in the United States is a trip to the “Holy Land.” I had heard about this kind of travel ever since I worshipped as an adult in a Christian church. I have known people to use a large chunk of his or her life savings to … Continue reading On Being a Pilgrim (Part 3 – Theme Park or Holy Journey?)
I have had a really hard time writing during this past week. Mostly, in the midst of all the protests on behalf of our Black brothers and sisters, it seems like my words are not the most important words right now. It really feels like talking about any pilgrimage I have been on, whether literal … Continue reading On Being a Pilgrim (Part 2 – The Stones Will Shout)
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!