The Evolution of Pilgrim Factotum

Standard

pilgrim

noun

A person who journeys to a sacred place for religious reasons

  • a person travelling to a place of particular personal interest
  • chiefly literary a person regarded as journeying through life

verb (pilgrims, pilgriming, pilgrimed)

to travel or wander like a pilgrim

factotum

noun (plural factotums)

an employee (person) who does all kinds of (things) work

i.e. jack of all trades

I have never been able to make up my mind.  About anything at all.  At the onset of every decision I have a vague feeling that I’m deep in the nostalgia of a choose your own adventure book.  I have chosen to relate to life as a nanny, a college student, a copy editor, a project manager for a document restoration firm, a farmer, a hitchhiker, the manager of a backpacker’s hostel…I’ve studied poetry, translation, eastern religions, politics, mythology, journalism, dance, physiology, homesteading, field botany, and medicinal herbs.  These actions, these decisions, are not a means to an end.  They are my exercises in livelihood.

I am interested in the mythical ‘I’ expressed through everyday actions.  Authentic living.  I am whole because of my parts…these parts are interesting in and of themselves.  It’s in these parts that we will see ourselves through Whitman’s glasses.  We are not what we’ve done, what we’ve done can give us the tools to relate to ourselves.  This becomes clear with reflection.

For me indecision is directly related to the amount of time I spend judging myself by other people’s standards.  Cultural standards.  Family standards.  Peer group standards.  The projection of what I think other people’s standards might be. At my worst I can see a hundred ‘me-s’, fractaled like the reflection in a dressing room mirror.  That vision is paralyzing.

I want to use this blog to remind myself (and hopefully others) that having individual integrity in the face of homogenization is worth cataloging.

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