Where we go when we die

I’m heading out on my first-ever Boundary Water Canoe Trip tomorrow; Griffin agreed (?) to come along. Thought I would check to see what else Parker Palmer has said about his ritual trip to the area, knowing that he opens A Hidden Wholeness by identifying the BWCA as his sacred place.

A Wilderness Pilgrimage: Where We Go When we Die was both exactly and ominously what I expected to find.  Agot added to the ominous by saying, “If you die, at least you will be with Griffin. You can share a coffin.” Palmer says, equally typical of him: “It’s not tranquility alone that makes this wilderness a place of healing for me. It’s the patient, resourceful, resilient way nature heals itself, showing me what it takes to heal my own wounds so I can be in the world as a healer.”

I’m heading out unsettled. I’ll miss the World Refugee Day celebrations on Monday; my summer work is going slower and slipping away more quickly than I expected. I expect to be invigorated but also exhausted after 6 days of paddling, camping, and sleeping on rocks. I doubted the value of the inner work Palmer is so famous for when I started taking it up about two years ago, but it has helped me clarify my values–community, family before work–and it has made my work–in the community, teaching–stronger. I should be trusting the trip; maybe I can burn my doubts in a campfire (again) and return to life with new growth and energy again.


Lake Vermillion, MN, on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area




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