Welcome to the Sojournist.
“Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?” — Rumi
Let me just say what this is, first by telling you what it’s not:
It’s not a hyper-clever virtue signaling rant platform (though I do reserve the right to rant occasionally, and almost always about the current state of the organized Christian church, which is one of the few things I have some authority to rant about).
It’s not about living in a van, or about writing, or about coaching, or about menswork (though I am currently doing all of those things and will, as it serves the moment, write about them here).
No … the flow I want to tap into here runs deeper than any of that.
I write to explore the deeper truths that live beneath the surface of our lives, and with them, the deeper questions, the inevitable contradictions, and the real-world implications they hold for what it really means to be alive, to be human, and to be here, now.
I write to inquire, to encounter, and to be changed by what I find. As Diane Ackerman put it, so cleanly, "Writing, which is my form of celebration and prayer, is also my form of inquiry."
You might think of my posts as wilderness hikes for the mind, and for the heart.
Now, a few disclaimers and explainers:
I write every day. I will not post everything I write, but I will post much of what I write, and most of that will be offered freely without any cost to you.
Most of my posts are short. A few of them are not.
Some of what I post will be available only to paid subscribers. I’ll curate these posts on a case by case basis, but in general they will be the more personal, the more vulnerable, and the more controversial ones. (After all, not all trails are safe; in fact, I would argue, the best ones usually aren’t.)
You’ll see a lot of quotes from other writers in my work. If my posts are wilderness hikes for the soul, then quotes are my trailheads, opening new paths of inquiry for me to explore. I think of writing as a conversation across time, and I regard the people I quote as mentors and friends with whom I am having a very real conversation … In fact, I believe it is often the most real sort of conversation humans can have with one another.
You’ll notice I try on ideas as one tries on clothes in a clothier’s shop. I will wear things in earnest to see how they feel. But that doesn’t mean I will buy it in the end, or that I will ultimately agree with everything I write.
This entire endeavor is an experiment in communal exploration. If you have thoughts or insights on anything I write here, please do comment and share them. But keep in mind: I’m here to explore, not to engage in heated, pointless debates. If that’s what you’re looking for, you can easily find it just about anywhere else online.
If you’re the type who revels in hiking new trails, exploring new ideas, seeking out new expressions of beauty, including those that require dangerous traverses along very high cliffs, all with no ambition other than to discover the truth of what is there, then I think you’ll like being a part of this unfolding adventure.
I would certainly be delighted to have you along.
We look with uncertainty
Beyond the old choices for
To a softer, more permeable aliveness
Which is every moment
At the brink of death;
For something new is being born in us
If we but let it.
We stand at a new doorway,
Awaiting that which comes...
Daring to be human creatures.
Vulnerable to the beauty of existence
Learning to love.
— Anne Hillman