On Saturday, K and I leave with a group of young clergy and their spouses (many of whom we are already close with; the rest of whom I assume we’ll be close with by trip’s end) for Israel for just about two weeks.
In perhaps unprecedented verbosity, I’ll be attempting to post notes about each day of the journey. We’ll be in Galilee early on and spend the rest of the trip staying within the walls of Old Jerusalem and making various day trips to bibliohistorical sites (not sure whether I’m inventing words here). I’m told we’ll be hiking about 100 miles over the course of the two weeks.
It’s been a while since we made the decision to go on this trip, but it’s only now feeling real. In previous posts, I’ve expressed some of my thoughts as I’ve done the preparatory work for the trip. I hope that the mini-travelogue of the journey will bring some clarity to those thoughts and inspire new ones to share. As with K, I think my biggest fear is that the journey will not be so profound as we expect and hope for it to be. Only time will tell, but I have faith.
My second fear has been dispelled just this morning–the Church of the Holy Sepulcher had closed in protest of a tax issue in Israel, but has reopened today.
I will be spending what (little) downtime I have during the trip (that is not spent enjoying the company of my fellow pilgrims or posting my daily post to the blog) continuing to work on my novel in-progress and other creative endeavors, though I don’t expect to be posting any of that during the trip. It’s also high time for another Avarian short story to pique the interest of prospective readers, so I’ll likely be devoting some time to that after my return. I am also working on a pen & paper roleplaying game for Avar Narn, pieces of which will likely be posted to the blog (or a “living document” as I’m writing and working out the kinks in rules). In addition to providing an innovative ruleset and deep setting for fantasy roleplayers (that’s a high bar to set, these days), it will provide a resource for the background of the setting as well.
But for immediate future, I hope you’ll join me on my pilgrimage to the holy land and finds something worth considering as my progressive and existential theology meets the geography and history of the place were the Bible took form, where the Israelites became a people and where God came to Earth. I hope that you’ll leave comments, thoughts and questions on the upcoming travel posts–I will endeavor to respond to anything posted to an entry by the day that follows (in local time).