I have been part of group of women who seek ways to “reframe” their vision of things. For me, reframe means to “re-see,” to look again, and to change my perspective at the same time. I go through my days often doing the same things as if I’m on autopilot. I watch the same TV shows, read the same kind of books, walk in the same places. Things become routine, not boring, but simply routine, comfortable—and safe.
Lately, though, something has been nagging me, or nagging at me. There is a call. I am supposed to do something, but I resist. I want to be like Jonah and run from this calling, but I’m afraid I may be swallowed up by a whale. And if I learned anything from Jonah, it’s that I can’t ignore the call forever, and sooner or later, I’m just going to have to “do it.”
So, today, on Friday, June 12, I am going to answer at least one part of the call: I am writing a series of prompts for a private Facebook group, and I will be sharing my journey here in this space as well. I am calling the series “A ReFrame Pilgrimage.” In part, it is based on Christine Valters Paintner’s book The Soul of a Pilgrim as well as on concepts from Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey motif. Both the pilgrimage and the hero’s journey begin with a calling or a longing for something that would take us out of the ordinary and known (and comfortable, routine) world into the unknown and the uncomfortable and perhaps even dangerous world. Fortunately, we are not alone in the journey, for there are mentors and helpers and guardians. We face obstacles, some of which we overcome, and others to which we concede defeat. We land in an abyss where we seem to “perish” for awhile until we rise to the challenge of getting out of the mess and moving forward. It’s not easy; there are still obstacles and challenges, but these get easier because we’ve become stronger. We have learned a few life lessons, and we are ready to go back. We cross that threshold one more time, but even though we re-enter the known world, it is different because we are different. I would imagine a religious pilgrimage works in the same way. Journeys must change us.
So, this weekend, I invite you to begin your own journey. Begin with a time of meditation and prayer to invite intention and contemplation. What is calling you? Receive words and images that speak to you of these longings, and write a seven-word prayer. Anoint yourself for this inner journey. As Christine Valters Paintner would say, receive the images through your camera lens or express it through some other artistic expression—writing, art journaling, music, dance. You aren’t limited to photography here. And if you feel moved, share your intentions and prayers in the comments.