I Would Walk 500 Miles...

...but I don't know anyone in Pittsburg. So I'm going to stick with the 250 or so between Goshen and Colombus.

I wrote on Monday that the way I generally do life is about as hectic as it gets. I put fifty irons in the fire and as a result neglect every one. Multi-tasking will be the death of me. I mean that sort-of seriously. As laid back as I am, my attempt to do everything at the same time will probably shorten my life considerably. That sounds a little dramatic, but I've learned in the past couple of months that: a) I'm not very good at dealing with conflict; and b) I am excellent at distracting and intellectualizing my way out of it. This folks, is what we call emotional self-destruction.

And so I'm going for a walk. A very long walk.

I started biking a couple of years ago when I realized that downtown Goshen, was only a five or so minute pedal down the road, as opposed to a five to ten minute drive depending on traffic. Cheaper than driving? About the same travel time? Health benefits? Why not? Eventually I added walking to the routine, it was only a couple minutes longer, and on colder days the wind chill wasn't as bad as biking. With the exception of this bitter Michiana winter, I mostly walk or bike in whenever I run sound at a concert at the Goshen theater, roast coffee at the Electric Brew, or write. How hipster of me.

Walking slows me down. It gives me no choice but to keep taking steps and think about whatever is on my mind. Most importantly, when I start to feel the raw edge of unsettled emotion, I can't find something else to distract it away. I have to wrestle with these invisible knots, working at them like a pair of overtied boots caked in mud. At first I'm pulling at immovable loops, scraping away dirt, till something finally loosens a bit. It's a laborious process that only walking gives me the focus and presence of mind to do. I am, for the duration of whatever jaunt I'm on, trapped with myself with no quick way out.

I've spent much of my life tying myself in knots upon knots without giving myself sufficient time to untie them. So my Midwest journey is a start.

I'm making it a bit more grandiose than it really is, and there are other more practical reasons for such a long and scenically mundane pilgrimage (such as my health) but part of me is looking forward to nothing more than the simplicity of taking one step after another, after another, after another.

May He guide you through the wilderness May he protect you through the storm May he bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you.