Bringing Back the Boon

Guest House & Painting Studio

I’ve returned home from my journey to Taos, NM and Point Zero, and taken gentle and necessary time for re-entry and integration.  A massage (wisely scheduled a month ago for the day after my return), long deep sleeps and naps, walking our dog in weather remarkably like that of Taos, eating simply.  Tending to laundry, buying groceries, paying bills.  Bringing all of me home from a journey into the “land of enchantment” – the dream world of process painting.

Witin minutes of posting my piece on the Taos Pueblo, I heard from S, my other “Halifax Sister,” who wondered “so” what came of my time painting, given its great significance to me?  Another friend of mine put it well when writing in her blog about her recent return from a writing workshop (an experience that meant as much to her as this Master Class did to me) – “too deep for words.”  A heartfelt communal response to a pilgrimage, I’m learning. 

Quoting René Daumal in The Art of Pilgrimage’s final chapter,“Bringing Back the Boon”:

In the process of putting so much pressure on language, thought ceases to be satisfied with the support of words; it bursts away from them in order to seek resolution elsewhere.  This “elsewhere” should not be understood as a transcendent realm, a mysterious domain.

This “elsewhere” is “here” in the immediacy of real life.  It is from right here that our thoughts rise up, and it is here that they must come back.  But after what travels!  Live first; then turn to philosophy; but in the third place, live again. (216)


I completed nine days of a Master Class in the Point Zero painting method, under the guidance of its founder Michele Cassou, thereby realizing a long held and deeply cherished dream. 

I learned from both Michele and her assistant facilitators that I have the makings of becoming an effective teacher. 

I met several remarkable women who welcomed, encouraged, supported and loved me throughout our time together. 

I painted several paintings that, when I looked at them last night to photograph for my journal, the first time since painting them (remember you paint and put them away), I was in awe. 

I left three simple gifts of gratitude in the labyrinth’s centre before I departed.

Santa Fe's Famous

So…we made part of this trip, from Phoenix to Santa Fe, with our dear friends, another dream come true and a miracle given his brush with death earlier this summer. 

So…I came home remembering the power of this place, living in what I fondly call “the heritage heart of Sherwood Park,” having determined that while New Mexico is a nice place to visit, we wouldn’t want to live there…

…that I have my very own “land of enchantment” right outside my front door…

…and that “the path around our home is also the ground of awakening.” (Thich Nhat Hanh in The Art of Pilgrimage, 225)

About Katharine Weinmann

living and leading with courage, clarity, compassion and creativity
This entry was posted in Feminine Wisdom, Pilgrimage and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Bringing Back the Boon

  1. Kathy T says:

    It has been lovely to follow your thinking through this trip/pilgrimage. I especially appreciated when you wrote in the middle of your confusion, without clarity as to the meaning of the moment. Jean Clandinin says that our narratives are “necessarily incomplete.” Thank you for sharing from the place of incompleteness, and also for bringing it back home, where most of our journey is lived.

    • Thank you for this touchstone of wisdom, Kathy.
      Just today I was gifted with a brilliant YouTube that I’ll be including down the road about the great “boon” of excruciating vulnerability. Of course, what you write makes perfect sense, in hindsight, yet in the midst I grasp at the “straw dog” of wanting certainty and knowing.

  2. heatherplett says:

    This is so beautifully written, Katherine. And it doesn’t surprise me at all that people saw you as having the ability to be an effective teacher.

    I look forward to hearing more when we chat!

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