A few years ago, while living in a one-room cabin in a forest on an island in Washington State, I cut a trail system through the woods during the day, and cut sentences on wood sheets (paper) by the woodstove at night. Those trails of words became books, including Meditations of Margaret Fuller, Meditations of John Burroughs, Life After Faith and the book I’m probably most proud of–because it tells the stories of 25 years of “wilderness living” as a chaplain–My Address is a River.
Post-theological studies, post-church and post-faith, I “got schooling” from people who live on the edges of communities, consciousness and real rivers, streams and canals. For six years, I was an ad hoc chaplain in a private school for adults with disabilities. Then, for ten years, I “did my time” in a County Jail as a very rich county’s very first Interfaith chaplain. For another ten years, I “hit the streets” to bring another form of “compassion in action” to home-challenged urban refugees (“homeless”) as an Interfaith street chaplain.
Needless to say, I learned a few things!
If you read the seventy odd (Very Odd) stories in My Address is a River, I can almost guarantee you’ll walk away with a smile, a tear, and a whole lot of wondering–wondering about all the wandering we all do, until we find someplace to call “home”–a place to belong.
A funny story about the making of the book: when I submitted the photo above to the publisher, an email came right back: “The photo is upside down. Could you please send a corrected image.”
I laughed at that one! (the photo was taken by the Russian River in Sonoma County, CA)
You see, it’s really all about Reflection. . .and then, maybe, really, hopefully doing something hopeful, creative, meaningful!
I still go to the rivers, as much as I can. There’s always something to get me thinking. . .or simply remind me to let the thoughts drift away. . .