Have you ever been to a ‘holy place’? If you are currently living, or have lived with family, or have actually travelled relatively even a little bit across this country, chances are that you have gone to a ‘holy place’ to pay homage. And if you have, you would know that is nothing holy about these places. They are, to not mince words, filthy. They have the offal and garbage of millions of travelers from across the nation, and a smell which is a mixture of one part opportunism, one part devotion and most parts carrion.
Tell me, if you were a god, would you choose to live in a place like that?
Why should we be proud of having visited these places? Why should they be on my bucket list? You know the places I would like to visit? The ones where I was happy. Recently I went back to a neighborhood which has given me some of my happiest moments. I walked around for about an hour, brought frozen yogurt, sat at the beach and stared at the sea. Did all the things I used to with a long forgotten love, and I was happy. I walked into that place and found peace, even if it was only an hour. That is more than could be said of most of these aforementioned godly abodes. If I had to define pilgrimage, it would be a journey which makes me learn, makes me grow, and makes me happy. I would rather do that with fond memories and joyous tears and solitude than with bone crushing crowds and snatched moments of prayer.
I would rather worship my relationships, and I would rather light a figurative candle in thanks.