Saturday, May 5, 2012


pilgrimage |ˈpilgrəmij|
a pilgrim's journey.
• a journey to a place associated with someone or something well known or respected

I'm not sure where the dividing line is between determination and obsession.  It's been the story of my life up to this point.  I can't quiet the unsettling shriek that's pushing me toward burning to the ground the entire life I've built in the last 5 years to attempt a 6 month walk that I pray will offer some degree of redemption and absolution.  It has been a life of relative stability that I'll be abandoning, at least in contrast to the chaos and self destruction of the previous decades, but I can't shake the feeling that at this moment I am just 'not dying'.

“Life is occupied in both perpetuating itself and in surpassing itself; if all it does is    maintain itself, then living is only not dying” Simone de Beauvoir

I'm also not sure where the dividing line between selfishness and salvation lies.  Why would I be willing to trade the comfort and safety of the life I've assembled here in NY/CT for something far less certain?  The answer lies, at least in part, in the question.  Comfortable and safe leave me numb.  There can be no change, at least in my life, without seismic shift; no transcendence without a good deal of mental and physical suffering.  It feels like there is nothing left to learn here.

Maybe at the end of my journey to find someone well known or respected I'll be able to find some version of myself that can prove to me that my life hasn't been one of wasted potential and enormous regret.  It sounds so fucking trite and just typing it out makes me feel like I'm writing some fucking self help book, but thats what I'm hoping to find. Whether I find it hiking from Springer to Katahdin or some other as yet undiscovered pilgrimage remains to be seen, but the trap has been set.


Green Tunnel from Kevin Gallagher on Vimeo.


  1. Your writing resonates with me - that fine line between selfishness and salvation. I say, go. Tell us what you find, what you see.

  2. Hey Stephanie-Thanks for the compliment and encouragement. I'm always stunned to find that people actually read this blog. It appears that I may have a plan for a 30 day hike this Fall in Vermont. Considering the fact that I haven't camped out more than 3 days in a row since the 1980's, maybe a 30 day test run will be a good idea. There should be plenty to learn in 30 days inside the rusting tilt-a-whirl that is my head. Thanks again.

  3. For some reason, I didn't get an email notifying me that you had replied to my comment! Anyways, my father is from Vermont (in fact, we were just there a few weeks ago), and I know you will love it. I'm eager to see the photos that will come, and good luck on your 30 days of camping. I myself just applied for a residency program in Montana that is all about Primitive Skills and living in the outdoors. Anyways...

    I know you are preparing to leave, and I wondered if you might be willing to consider participating in a project I'm working on. It's called "Opting Out" and it's a book that features the stories of people who have opted out of the security and stability of the daily grind and traditional workforce in order to seek something... transcendent, perhaps. Something that makes them feel alive. It's a photography book, and so each 12x12" page has a 2-page spread of each author along with their story. I think the meat of this article would fit beautifully in the book. Part of what I'd like to do is to get a KickStarter campaign together to fund the book, and so right now I'm just trying to find contributors. Anyways, I'd love to include you, if you were so inclined, and come photograph you in a place that made you feel alive.

    Anyways, if this was something you might be interested in, shoot me an email -

    Best of luck to you on the trail. If you go through Franklin, VT, say hello to my family :)