Thursday, July 29, 2004

Pilgrimage

We shut down our room with our internet connection in order to paint. My wife and daughters have worked hard. I've tried to help during the evenings. My book during the evening has been a book by a post-modern man who makes a religious pilgrimage. He walks on a ancient road to Santiago. He spends a lot of time explaining that he is not a religious sort of guy, but he is none the less, taking a pilgrimage.

One of the interesting points of the book is the fact that in the Middle Ages people on a pilgrimage had an international status. Pilgrims had special rights. They had special clothes which identified them as pilgrims. There were laws against impersonating a pilgrim. Today we take vacations, not pilgrimages. Vacations are about relaxation, pigrimages are about discovery and dedication. A book I read many years ago was Walk Across America. The author Peter Jenkins walked with a purpose of discovery. As he walked it was a discovery of his country. Peter Jenkins walked part of the Appalachian Trail on his walk. The Appalachian Trail of course is the great American unattainable hike. Most people don't make it. Bill Bryson's book, A Walk In The Woods actually was about walking just parts of the Appalachian Trail. Walking the whole Appalachian Trail was just too much really do.

I'm trying to plan my own sort of walk. I don't have a quest or a destination, but I know I want to do this. Any suggestions are welcome.
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