Pilgrimage to Begin with Madness

I feel that I must be mad. After spending the day in London hopping in and out of different art galleries– the National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery (both house a few pieces that I have been wanting to see for years and now I can check them off of my list)– as well as picking up a few items that we need for our walk, we left for Canterbury. But walking to the underground we decided to take the long route and go for a stroll through Hyde Park. We saw the impressive and gaudy Prince Albert, gold and mighty, and we also came across a massive collection of swans swimming about in a body of water. We were carrying our heavy packs through the park and I had a thought: If someone were to ask me where I was going right now I would call back, “I am walking to Rome!” and they would certainly think me to be mad. I do not think what I am doing has settled in and been properly understood just yet. Everyone else around me seems to see the insanity in this pilgrimage, but I remain immune to their sight. I must say that this is perhaps for the best or else I wouldn’t be in Canterbury right now writing all of this. If I understood the toll that this will take on both my body and my mind I would be missing out on what it will be like once I have reached the end of this pilgrimage. I feel like every mile, every step, will be worth the blisters and the backpain and the lack of a proper shower. I am already walking with three friendly blisters nestled between my toes, and I am still pushing myself forward because that seems like the only thing to do.

I have only seen Canterbury in the night after our train arrived so I have a mystical and picuresque view of this town. The hostel we stayed the night in was cozy and everything here feeds into the daydream of what you expect an old English town to be like– the buildings (!), the people, the streets. We are going to the Canterbury catherdral around nine and then we will officially begin our pilgrimage.

Me and my three blisters look forward to telling you how we fair on the first stretch of the journey to Dover. These are city blisters, so take a moment to imagine the blisters I shall develop throughout the countryside. I look forward to it.

Signing off for now. Think of me sometime! I miss you all.

J.

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