Your morning coffee. In autumn, on the Seki River in Myoko Japan. Music is Holocene by Bon Iver.
In the back of my awareness,
I also know this:
The day will come when
I shall have to recall the luxuriant splendor of long, solitary walks,
rather than take them.
~ Katrina Kenison, Present. Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment
- SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration.
- Photo by Maxine – My Perfect Void – My october | Russia, 10/30/2015.
I fear their false urgency, their call to speed, their insistence that travel is less important than arrival
Where does it start? Muscles tense. One leg a pillar, holding the body upright between the earth and sky. The other a pendulum, swinging from behind. Heel touches down. The whole weight of the body rolls forward onto the ball of the foot. The big toe pushes off, and the delicately balanced weight of the body shifts again. The legs reverse position. It starts with a step and then another step and then another that add up like taps on a drum to a rhythm, the rhythm of walking. The most obvious and the most obscure thing in the world, this walking that wanders so readily into religion, philosophy, landscape, urban policy, anatomy, allegory, and heartbreak. […]
As a member of the self-employed whose time saved by technology can be lavished on daydreams and meanders, I know these things have their uses, and use them — a truck, a computer, a modem — myself, but I fear their false urgency, their call to speed, their insistence that travel is less important than arrival. I like walking because it is slow, and I suspect that the mind, like the feet, works at about three miles an hour. If this is so, then modern life is moving faster than the speed of thought, or thoughtfulness.
― Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking
Don’t miss Brain Pickings entire post: Wanderlust: Rebecca Solnit on Walking and the Vitalizing Meanderings of the Mind
Image: Sweet Senderipity
Notes: GIF: Life and Lover. SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration
Madison Square Garden to Grand Central.
10 blocks North — 3 blocks East.
22 minutes to the 6:35 pm New Haven Line.
Rush hour. On foot.
Doable? Let’s go.
Food cart. Pita. Gyros.
Bus tour hawkers.
Bumbin’. Jostlin’ (Sorry!)
Soft spring breeze.
Pungent marinating garbage.
WE LIVE, M. and I, about ten feet from the water. When there is a storm and the wind pushes toward us from the southeast we live about a foot from the water. It sings all day long and all night as well, never the same music. Wind, temperature, where the tide is, how the moon is tugging or shoving—each of these makes a difference. The tide going out sounds harsher than the voice of its rising, what seems like a disinclination to leave growls in it, with the sound of dark, thick-stringed instruments. Coming in, it is more playful. Every day my early morning walk along the water grants me a second waking. My feet are nimble, now my ears wake, and give thanks for the ocean’s song. This enormity, this cauldron of changing greens and blues, is the great palace of the earth. Everything is in it—monsters, devils, jewels, swimming angels, soft-eyed mammals that unhesitatingly exchange looks with us as we stand on the shore; also, sunk with some ship or during off-loading, artifacts of past decades or centuries; also the outpourings of fire under water, the lava trails; and kelp fields, coral shelves, and so many other secrets—the remembered and faithfully repeated recitations of the whales, the language of dolphins—and the multitude itself, the numbers and the kinds of shark, seal, worm, vegetations, and fish: cod, haddock, swordfish, hake, also the lavender sculpin, the chisel-mouth, the goldeye, the puffer, the tripletail, the stargazing minnow. How can we not know that, already, we live in paradise?
~ Mary Oliver, Long Life: Essays and Other Writings
Credits: Photograph – Ridiculously Photogenic Chewbacca
A remarkable true story of a blind hiker, Bill Irwin, and his 2100 mile journey of faith along the Appalachian Trail with his Seeing Eye dog Orient.
How do you know which way to go?
I don’t. I just follow him.
How does he know?
God leads the Dog. Dog leads me.
SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration
Bruce Feiler in The New Allure of Sacred Pilgrimages:
[…] (A) growing number of Americans (are) joining the worldwide boom in spiritual travel. This growth comes at a time when organized religion around the world is feeling threatened…Pilgrimage, meanwhile, is more popular than ever…the United Nations released a study finding that of every three tourists worldwide, one is a pilgrim, a total of 330 million people a year.
Last year I went on six of these pilgrimages to explore what this new phenomenon says about the future of faith. In addition to the trip to Lourdes, I bathed in the Ganges River along with 100 million people during the 55-day Kumbh Mela, trekked on a 700-mile Buddhist path in Japan, walked in the footsteps of prophets in Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem, and traveled with African-Americans to reclaim their roots in Nigeria. What I found is that pilgrimage is not merely ancillary to the modern spiritual existence. In an age of doubt and shifting beliefs, people are no longer willing to blindly accept the beliefs of their ancestors. They are insisting instead on choosing their own beliefs. A pilgrimage can be a central part of this effort.
…The most popular thing you hear in faith circles these days is, “I’m not religious — I’m spiritual.” Everyone is on a journey.
…It’s that feeling of taking control over one’s life that most affected the pilgrims I met. So much of religion as it’s been practiced for centuries has been largely passive. People receive a faith from their parents; they are herded into institutions they have no role in choosing; they spend much of their spiritual lives sitting inactively in buildings being lectured at from on high.
A pilgrimage reverses all of that. At its core, it’s a gesture of action. In a world in which more and more things are artificial and ephemeral, a sacred journey gives the pilgrim the chance to experience something both physical and real. And it provides seekers with an opportunity they may never have had: to confront their doubts and decide for themselves what they really believe.
As appealing as that destination may be, there’s only one way to achieve it. Get up off your sofa and go.
Read Bruce Feiler’s entire essay at The New Allure of Sacred Pilgrimages
Image Credit: Wayne Emde @ Pilgrimroads.com (shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage)