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::: By Hand and On Foot :::

Pilgrimage: The Magazine

Regular readers of my blog will know that I am obsessed with all things pilgrimage, following my long walk across Spain on the Camino de Santiago. This fall, I was noodling around on the internet when I found a link for Pilgrimage Magazine, based in Pueblo, Colorado. To quote from their website,

Pilgrimage Magazine, published three times a year, emphasizes themes of place, spirit, peace & justice, in and beyond the Greater Southwest.

Well, that is all right up my alley, so I contacted the editors.

I am very, very pleased to say that the new issue of Pilgrimage has just come out, and it contains two of my Camino prints, along with a host of truly excellent poems and short stories. I am so excited!

The new issue of Pilgrimage Magazine.

Each issue of the magazine has a theme. The theme of this issue is “Between the Dead & the Living,” which comes from an entry in Charles Darwin‘s journals. To quote from editor Maria Melendez’s introduction to the volume:

…[Charles Darwin] expresses delight and wonder at similarities between South American fossil species and living South American animals. He’s certain ‘this wonderful relationship in the same continent between the dead and the living’ will, more than any other line of inquiry, illuminate the mystery of ‘the appearance of organic beings on our earth and their disappearance from it.'” Beloved organic beings do disappear, but they remain: in fossils, stories, evolutionary transformations, lingering memories…

To be honest, I had meant to buy a back issue before this one came out, but being a professional procrastinator, I had not gotten around to it. Let me say this now: this magazine is GOOD. I have read it through once, and I know I will sit and re-read it again …and again. And I will go and purchase back issues. You should buy a copy, too. You will not be disappointed.

Here is one of my prints, Following in the Footsteps of Generations, in place, with the magazine held open by one of my favorite rocks (picked up at the beach in Pescadero):
Following in the Footsteps, in situ.

Opposite my print is a poem by Jane Vincent Taylor, who has kindly given me permission to re-copy it here.

ASH WEDNESDAY
All our seasons come back stamped
with the old rituals and their demands:
pray the rosary and give up something
hard for Lent, said Sister Veronice, as
new snow watered the tips of crocus.

We gave up chocolate, Elvis, pizza,
movies, records, and sleeping late,
but we didn’t give up kissing, longing,
prowling the boundaries of love.

I still tend to cheat. Today, walking
like a glutton into a cold Lenten morning
wrapped in lavender, capped in Valentine
red, I will not deny myself

these Franciscan woods where passion
waits under leaves and rocks and moss.
If there must be a litany, as it seems
there always must, say: alfalfa white,
sumac rust, lichen blue; say sycamore

suede, cauliflower cloud on faded blue.
Look, here’s a spark of Jay, a rhythmic
knock of Ladderback, and a smaller
Downy flown to the blackjack brambles.
Today, I will let the cedar berries be

rosary beads; my losses and my gifts,
my mysteries. I will give up everything
except the whole loved world that never
fails to soften, break apart, and rise.

Burden, in the magazine.

P.S. Pilgrimage Magazine‘s website has not yet been updated to include this issue. I’m sure it will be very, very soon. In the meantime, you could harass your local bookstore to carry it!

2 Comments

  1. Congrats, Wandering Woman! Another worthy credit to your lengthening resume.

  2. What a beautiful and gracious post, Melissa. We’re so glad to have your work in this issue. It’s as though you made it for us–it’s that perfect. Many many thanks.

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