I had heard of Richard Rohr for years - had listened to his tapes on male spirituality over the years. He always seemed insightful and very real. He spoke to me. What particularly jumped out at me was his biblical reflections on Paul and human freedom. I was going on a pilgrimage to Greece and Turkey in the footsteps of St. Paul, and got his "Life as Participation" CDs on Paul - they really blew my mind and touched me with deep insights.
So I continued to read and listen - my life was slowly moving on. I had recovered from some setbacks. But I felt a certain empty restlessness - wasn't sure how to read it or what to do about it. In early 2005, a work-friend, who also enjoys Rohr's stuff, mentioned the male rites coming up later in the year. I quickly dismissed it as something I just don't do - sounded too tribal! A week or two later, he said he was interested in going and would go if I would. What the heck, I thought - why not! I was helping him and it might help me! So we went to the website and I started to sign up. The questions I had to answer at first startled me - and then attracted me - because they asked about what I might be looking for - they reached into that empty restlessness which seemed to define me - so I thought, this will be good - and good for me! I signed up - was relieved when I got accepted after the questionnaire - and purchased my ticket to fly to Minnesota - only to learn weeks later, that my friend hadn't done that yet - opps - I did not want to go alone. I prayed and heard nothing. I shared it with a few guys I know and they laughed - was this going to drumming naked with overgrown boyscouts? Finally my friend signed up - but it always was seemed hesitant about whether he would actually make it.
About a month before, fear got the best of me - it did sound like I'd be out in the woods, alone, naked, drumming and fighting mosquitoes.