Why “the PathKeeper?” There’s no particular reason I chose this for the site and domain name. I’m intellectually attracted to the notion of paths and pathways as a metaphor for life. The metaphor morphed reality by my attraction to hiking and hiking trails, beginning with my first hike on a section of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia when I was a Boy Scout back in the mid-1960s.
When I was a freshman at the University of Georgia in 1971, I purchased and listened to Paul Stookey’s solo album, Paul and… I very much enjoy all his songs on that album—yes, I still play it—but the closing lyrics to one song, John Henry Bosworth, struck a life-long chord (if you will):
And I was wondering if you had been to the mountain
To look at the valley below?
Did you see all the roads tangled down in the valley?
Did you know which way to go?
Oh the mountain stream runs pure and clear
And I wish to my soul I could always be here
But there's a reason for living way down in the valley
That only the mountain knows
Perhaps it’s because my soul belongs to the mountains but my body lives below, in towns and cities. Perhaps because I see in the eye of my memory an early morning from the summit of Blood Mountain. Or, maybe for no reason at all.
Each of us travels paths, often several contiguously. We have our professional, or work, path. We have our life within our families, no matter how “family” is for us defined. We have our avocations or hobbies (I prefer “avocation;” it’s so more evocative of my commitment to my hobbies.)
Each of our paths, I think, are inextricably linked to and influenced by other pathways. For instance, if we acknowledge and profess a faith, does that not affect how we treat others and our relationships? How can it not? Even those who disavow any particular religious faith, I believe, have faith in something, even if it’s in themselves and their ability to interact with others.
Yes, you’re correct: much of my musings are driven by the never-ending questions and explorations of faith and faithfulness.
Not only do we define our paths, we define our pathways, too. That is, we determine or accept the means by which we follow our paths. Do we strive to be truthful? Is our sense or application of truthfulness nuanced by the character of our relationships? That is, do we have different standards for truthfulness that we use with family, friends, and business acquaintances? If so, do we ponder and review our standards or application of our standards? If so, what triggers that review?
Is This About Religion?
Absolutely not. I don’t pretend to be a theologian or wish to convert anyone from any path or pathway to another. Since this is my blog, though, you may read something every once in awhile about my faith and its expression, since that’s what I allow to help guide me.
Is This About Politics?
Well, in some articles I tend to touch upon, however, lightly (or not) the dreaded sphere of politics. However, I do not wish to convert anyone from any political party to another. In fact, I don’t much care for political parties. Unlike Washington and Adams, I accept the existence of political parties as a necessary evil. I enjoy the discovery of their dichotomies and paradoxes and peccadilloes, though.