Empty hours and empty days threaten me with meaninglessness. Between jobs, or simply at loose ends, I might feel guilt, shame, or the fear of not being real. In fact even my empty minutes need to be filled with reading, TV, or some other distraction. Waiting for the bus, I have to check my phone. There’s a nameless anxiety lurking in that unoccupied space.
My friends have been on pilgrimage. They’ve walked the Camino and hiked the Himalayas and climbed Glastonbury Tor. They've made it to Dharamsala and Rishikesh. I haven’t done any of that. But I have been to the ocean in Maine. And I have walked back and forth between two points twenty feet apart for long periods. Those are my pilgrimages.