Cancer: Journey or Pilgrimage?
Presented by Michael Eselun, BCC
About the Lecture
Michael Eselun, BCC, Simms/Mann Center Chaplain, will share and weave stories to explore the experience of cancer as a pilgrimage. Many would describe a diagnosis of cancer as the beginning of a journey- a journey which of course, no one would ever choose to take. There is much written about “the cancer journey,” language that can contain and frame the experience of cancer. Similarly life itself is often described as a journey. But what is the destination? The common wisdom is that, “it’s all about the journey and not the destination.” But is that always true? The poet T.S. Eliot tells us: “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” What if cancer is a pilgrimage-a pilgrimage to that place “where we started,” to our essential self? This lecture uses patient experiences and personal travel stories as metaphors for our internal and external pilgrimages through life, in all its messiness.
About the Speaker
Michael Eselun, BCC, has served as the chaplain for the Simms/Mann Center since 2009. He speaks extensively to doctors, nurses, social workers, patient populations and faith communities about his work-weaving stories with insight, vulnerability and humor to wrap around the larger questions of life, mortality and meaning. He has a TED talk and has been published widely in journals and periodicals.