June 8, 2009

The long last pilgrimage post 1

Been thinking it's time to wind up my travel posts as a way to move on to (the already advancing) new stage.

My last post told the story of our ancestor feast, which marked -at least- a kind of pinnacle of my pilgrimage experience. All that happened before was a gathering - of resources, intentions and knowledge - which lead me to feel I was prepared to speak to my ancestors with the proper respect, diligence, care and clarity required. I think, with Jim's help, I managed at least our first contact well. It will get better and easier, I think, as contact becomes more habitual. That's what Sal said, anyway..."speak to them like you're speaking to me."

A few days after our feast, Barack Obama was elected President and it was an extraordinary time to be an American and in America. The collective sigh of relief was almost audible and the dark and foreboding mood that had shrouded the country for years lifted in an instant.

Before I left, Jim showed me some bronze plaques imbedded in the sidewalk at the Ft Collins bus station. They seemed particularly poignant. I am ready for home. My wanderer's soul needs the soothing comfort of my own backyard. My mother's soul needs to wrap itself around her (grown-up) boy.

The last few lines of poem I wrote when Max was young sums it up:

The challenge:
to walk both the undulating
dance of my own life and the embracing
stride of a mother. Can I do both? I

travel on with you. Holding
pieces of our attachment in
my pocket. My longing for the sweetness of your scent
close to the surface. My loneliness for you
a bruise. My love for you
a home to which we always return.

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