Odysseys for the Soul:

Travel and Transformation

Index | Further Reading Suggestions

Farther afield

Ron Pevny
“The Art of Pilgrimage: Meeting Ancient Wisdom in Copper Canyon”

Elderhood, conscious aging, wisening up — it doesn’t just happen! How might we prepare? Some suggestions from a wisdom tradition in Mexico

Frances Wood
“How Far Must We Go?”

From a brush with death, on a bus in Bolivia, to brushed by feathers, at home with the guillemot

Tom Trimbath
“One Man’s Search for Joy - or at least a Guinness”

Trekking across Scotland — what comes of letting go

Penelope Bourk
“Crossing Hecate Strait”

Four older women hit the trail — travel and travail in the Pacific Northwest; croning, the hard way

Dianne Shiner
“The Dogs of Bhutan”
Reincarnation and the Incarnate. How it feels to breathe where Buddhism is “in the air”

Kendall Dudley
“The Mirror of Travel: Seeing Myself in the Face of Morocco”
The travel guide often has as much to learn as the travelers he guides, and the desert has many lessons to teach

Jan Phillips
“Changed by the Way”
Deeply moved by her experience in a small African village, a traveler resolves to work with the village leaders and her own network at home to right a social wrong.

Nearing home

Margaret Bendet

Emerging from decades in a spiritual community far away, a vital and age-conscious woman returns to America, on a pilgrimage all her own

John Sullivan
“Each Life a Journey Each Journey a Way to Deepen Life”

Metaphor and meaning hit the road together on this thoughtful trip through landmarks, history, and memory in the Northeast. And the wheels on the bus still go round!

Molly Brewer
“Solo Journey in a Coupled World”

After a sudden, late divorce, how to pick oneself up, patch the tires, and get on the road again?

Kurt Hoelting
“The Circumference of Home: One Man’s Yearlong Quest for a Radically Local Life”
Taking a serious look at carbon footprint? Follow this journey by foot, spoke, and paddle exploring the ins and outs of the Salish Sea

John Robinson
“The Long Journey Home: Homer’s Odyssey as a Parable for Male Aging”

An ancient story with a modern message for men and the people who love them (with visuals of sculptures by Penelope Bourk)

Tony Whedon

A teacher’s long-term journey to understand the quest of a former student and to witness for himself (and for us) the even longer road to social justice

Penelope Bourk
“The Untended Path”

Walking a labyrinth, a tangled traveler encounters an unexpected question. How deep? On taking one’s turn

Skills and Trills for the Elder Rucksack

Ann Kirkland
“Pursuing the Classics: A Personal Journey and Beyond”

How lively discussion of the Great Books led to guiding others around the world, following the classics, step by step.

Colin Stuart
from“ The Captain’s Table”

Tra’verse’ with the active imagination and phonetic wit. Follow the flow of language to the sea.

Ellen Ryan
“Writing Exercises to Engage the Spirit of Travel”

Support your intentions, take your measure along the way, and share the bounty on your return.

Jan Hively and Moira Allen
“We ARE the Ones, Working Together”

Are the elderly “over-entitled takers and obscenely costly social burdens”? An American and her Parisian colleague tackle changing the paradigm.

Linda Beeman
Four poems for travelers



Penelope Bourk
“Antique oddity to welcomed ambassador”

For the “ususally invisible older traveler”... the times they are a-changin’

Further Reading Suggestions

Beyond the books mentioned in essays in this issue, consider — for further reading, writing, and rounding out, for travelers, readers, thinkers, and writers — Pico Iyer’s inclusive essay, “Why We Travel,” available on the Web at http://www.salon.com/2000/03/18/why.

For how the metaphor of life as journey can overwhelm a culture’s sense of home and the values of hearth and table, read Sharon Daloz Parks’ contextual essays on “Home and Pilgrimage” (Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol. 72(2-3):297315, Summer/Fall 1989) and “To Venture and to Abide: The Tidal Rhythm of Our Becoming,” in Developing a Public Faith: New Directions in Practical Theology, 2003, pp. 6178).

For penetrating witness during foreign travel, try Tony Whedon’s A Language Dark Enough: Essays on Exile.

Following on from Ann Kirkland’s pursuit of the classics, Ellen Ryan’s encouragement for reflective travel journaling, and John Robinson’s response to the Odyssey — Homer’s ancient/retro manual on gender reconciliation — consider

Jean Huston’s The Hero and the Goddess: The Odyssey as Pathway to Personal Transformation,

Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, following the paradigm of Joseph Campbell and George Lucas;

Helen Luke’s Dark Wood to White Rose: Journey and Transformation in Dante’s Divine Comedy (a Jungian’s integrative commentary on the inner journey); and

Maureen Murdock’s The Heroine’s Journey: Woman’s Quest for Wholeness.

In concert with John Sullivan’s essay on life as journey, in honor of our poets, and for a different sort of travel, try Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poems, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and the unfinished “Kubla Khan,” or Attar’s visionary recital, Conference of the Birds, about a pilgrimage to ultimate being.

As Donovan sang on his album “Fairytale,” “When I look out my window, so many sights to see . . . When I look in my window . . .” Safe journey!