on the other end of our journey

currach @ Cahersiveen


Want some fun?

Open an additional window in your web browser, copy the link above and paste it into the second browser.  The link will take you to a recording by Liam Lawton.  It is called Glendalough Theme.

Play the music and read on.

God’s Steadfast Love Endures (Psalm 100:5)
Wisdom for Aging as Gleaned from Celtic Spirituality and Ireland

As an older pastor of an aging congregation I want to create a resource of renewal for those who say, “Getting old is not for sissies!” and for those who ask, “Has my life made any difference?” I want us to know God’s love endures even in the harsh places of growing old.

There are spiritual “wells” of strength, courage, vibrancy, balance, and love to make the aging journey one that includes grace and loveliness. I want to be refreshed, and want to invite others to be refreshed, by those “wells.” 

So began a ten page application to Lily Endowment from St. Andrew UCC for a clergy renewal grant.  We began writing it in the fall of 2010, submitted it in May of 2011, and received word the grant had been awarded in September of 2011.  The journey you have been reading about officially began in August of 2012.

It has been a long and wonderful journey turned pilgrimage.

The Lilly application included the following paragraph:

Toward the end of each day of the sabbatical, Patricia and I will, stay in touch with our families and St. Andrew through a blog entry that will share an image, a song, a poem, a reading, or a prayer from our experience during that day or night. These images, music, and/or words will be incorporated into the first of two multimedia resources created upon our return from Ireland. The DVD will be given free to members and friends of St. Andrew and to churches in the Florida Conference of the UCC who express interest in receiving a copy. 

Patricia and I are working on that DVD this week.  It will not surprise many of you that the theme of the meditation is “labyrinth.”  Listeners will be invited to imagine themselves walking or wheeling into a labyrinth, staying in its center for the time it takes to listen to and meditate on Glendalough Theme, and then walking or wheeling themselves on out again.  The “in” and “out” of the labyrinth’s three parts will each be guided for you to the sound of another Liam song that both he and Moya Brennan sing titled, Labyrinth, (imagine that).

So you are getting the first listen, read, look at what we are creating for you and for ourselves.

We confess to some sadness about nearing the end of a most remarkable pilgrimage. When I told Patricia what I was doing and the name of the blog, a wave of tender nostalgia washed over her and then me .  Wow.  This has been a very good time in our lives.

Here are six pictures from among the many you will see in the meditation:

Rossbeigh stones at Kells house

hole in the rock - now cleared of debris by Bruce - lighthouse beach, Valentia Island

Celtic drummer, Sir Ben's - Duluth

Jeff joy at Seal Rock in Oregon

Purple flower - Victoria's Garden - Kells

a gaggle of family ones - Pizza Luce - Duluth

currach @ Cahersiveen

Oh . . . okay, so that was seven pictures rather than six . . . just to give you a hint of how hard it is for us to choose from an abundance of images.

Now on to the harder part of relearning how to put it together in Final Cut Pro X.

And then the harder part yet, which is to complete the second of two multimedia resources as described in the Lilly application:

I want to develop greater competence in the creation of multimedia presentations. This desire led me to take the course, Adobe Illustrator, at Ringling College of Art & Design. Through the course, I’m learning about the mystery of “points and paths and layers” in vector graphics. These realities of vector art are philosophically akin to the mysteries of aging well and Celtic Spirituality, as in: Point – wholeness is better known when we are clear about the salient points of our grounding (God’s love for us). Path – we are connected to each other in ways we both understand and don’t comprehend. Layer – our lives can be used to either obscure, or reveal, wisdom.  . . . Toward the end of October we will create multimedia presentation #2 through Final Cut Express – a teaching resource for living with vibrancy into old age. This video will be shown in February or March of 2013 at St. Andrew and then mailed to all the UCC churches in Florida. 

That was a more ambitious goal than will be possible.  We have the outline of our idea for the second DVD, but it will take us several months, perhaps even as much as a year, to  create the resource.

May music fill you.

May you embrace both the joy and sadness of remembering.

May creativity flow within.

Siochain   (Gaelic for “peace”)

Published by philandpatricia

we live in Northport, MI

4 thoughts on “on the other end of our journey

  1. Oh, Phil. I need to drink from the well. I need to be refreshed. It will be wonderful to see you and Patricia! God bless you.

  2. What a great inspiration your time away has been for me!. You have shared so much with photos, poems, meditations and your joy through out the whole experience. Thank you for letting me be part of your e xperience! Eager to have you back soon!

  3. O.K.–remember that at least we are friends of St. Andrew, and therefore qualify to receive the DVD. I will be sending you some pictures soon of our trip to Greece, Dubrovnik, Italy and Turkey. You won’t want to incorporate them, but you might want to see them. Miss you.

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