Hardship and Awe

After walking through the same countryside for over a week everything begins to look the same and you cannot help but become disillusioned. It seems that there are stages to a pilgrimage just as there are stages to grief. I want to preserve the precious moments so that these difficult times are held in comparison to the beauty and the awe that I know also follows around hardship (or is it hardship that follows around beauty and awe– which eclipses which?).
I am in Péronne at a campsite just south of the city. My ankle is swollen and is in numb pain and we are staying here for another night in the hope that all will be better tomorrow. Regardless of how it fairs, we leave tomorrow for Seraucourt-le-Grand. 

I do not think I have missed home so much before in my life, but not just home but also everyone I love deeply. This morning I was looking at the calendar and October (the month we hope to reach Rome) feels so far away. I fear that by the time I get home everyone I love and who once loved me will have slipped away and forgotten that I move through this world. Here I am, unable to forget and yet I am being forgotten. This is not a holiday and I do not feel carefree. Anyone who is reading this and thinks that I am having a ball, I would like to inform you that most of the time I am caught in an endless loop of reflection. I walk for hours each day and I walk in silence usually. I have so much time to think about the things that I would usually rather ignore. I am detached from the ‘reality’ of the world I once belonged to, but now I am more attached to my own self (maybe a spiritual self, or an energy).

I feel heavy today and I want to spend sometime alone with Borges. “Today we play at separating[..].” I hope that we may meet again– and I hope that we recognize each other.

J.

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