Pilgrimpace's Blog

the accidental pilgrim
June 9, 2013, 6:08 pm
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I have been enjoying reading The Accidental Pilgrim by Maggi Dawn, which I thoroughly recommend.


I posted a couple of months ago (here) about what pilgrimage might mean when you cannot go due, for example, to poor health.  Maggi’s book gives great insight into this.  She stumbles accidentally into pilgrimage – as so many of us do – but at a time when circumstances change or limit the possibilities.  She is mother of a young child and then she is ill.  The book is very personal, insightful and a pleasure to read.  It has given me a great deal to chew over and I know I shall read it again, as well as using it in my thinking and praying both alone and with others.

Maggi has kindly given me permission to quote a couple of short extracts.  Here is the first:

For me, there was, perhaps, a touch of irony in falling accidentally into pilgrimage only just at a point in my life when circumstances began to limit my freedom to travel.  As a result, it seemed to me that even as I was learning the rules, I was rewriting them.  But I have come to the realisation that pilgrims have always rewritten the rules.  The impulse to travel and the urge to find transformation have collided in different ways, so that a great patchwork of interpretations has given shape to the idea of pilgrimage both as a journey to illuminate life and as a journey through life itself … The common thread is that every kind of pilgrimage pushes us into uncharted territory, either mentally or physically, and the end result is a transformation of a kind we couldn’t have anticipated.  In the end, whether by accident or on purpose, it’s not where you go but who you become that makes you a pilgrim.


2 Comments so far
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I love this quote, Andy.

Comment by The Solitary Walker

thanks Robert – it’s very good isn’t it? I really enjoyed the book


Comment by pilgrimpace

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