Pilgrim Path

This blog is the work of a seeker and poet. Walking stick in hand, I head out into the world, not of the world, but in the world. My words and my friends carry me along and light the pilgrim path of spiritual journeys.

Monday, January 29, 2007


A young male came before us,
tall and thin with tousled blond hair,
boldly standing astride the two worlds
of adolescence and adulthood;
belonging to neither but part of both,
in liminal space, he sought
an ancient gift from this company of men.

No macho, bravado,
beer-swigging, crotch-scratching gathering this.
No, men, truly men, who lean into their beings
and bravely help each other stretch their souls.
This young male came looking for ritual
to heal what is past,
to share what is present,
to seek what his future can bring.

And so it begins as he lies on the floor,
men standing in circle around him.
A holy man and his father
hold a black pall over his body,
and we hear words of a necessary death.
Slowly lowered, the pall quiets
the voices of men. Lit candles placed
'round the body bring prayers
to our hearts and our lips.
I stand and watch this boy's father,
my deep friend who I long to console,
when a vision of my own father comes
quickly recalling the two sons he buried
as I feel for the first time his pain.
The dry wells from which waters rarely arise,
spring forth with tears from a deep place of pain.
The pall lifts off a man's body this time.
He stands and faces the circle,
greeted by half-smiles as we struggle
to recover from mourning
to celebrate his rebirth.

Sitting now, cups are passed
to each man in holy circle.
Water is poured from a jug
as the story is told
of Lakota offerings; water to those
in their year of mourning,
replenishing tears they have shed.
As I drink from this cup, I choke
on the taste of salt. But stifle the urge
so to keep holy silence.
After sharing words among brothers,
the ceremony ends with our welcome
of this young male to manhood.

Steve has taken his place,
shoulder to shoulder,
newly formed a man,
as the teacher of a lesson on pain.



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