Saturday, January 26, 2013

the Journey

I am currently reading Robert McFarlane's book The Old Ways: a Journey on Foot.  I am slow reader, always have been, but what I tell my students is that it just makes the story last longer.   I am intrigued by McFarlane's book. It is a book that tells the story of the characteristics of human foils with a little about his own journeys along some incredibly old paths. A foil for those of you that don't hunt is a animal track. We easily forget that we  are just like any animal in the sense that we create tracks because we spend so much time on non-impressionable surfaces or for that matter with our feet off the ground. I am going to hoof it a daunting amount of miles to get ready for this journey in the mountains. I am, at times, overwhelmed by the sheer size of the task, that is until I remember that the reason wayfarer clubs started in England  in the 19th Century was because of George Borrow, who was said to have covered the 112 miles from London to Norwich in 27 hours on a pint, a sip of milk, a few apples, and a roll. He was dressed in a suit.

Wayfarers Creed:
"There's night and day, brother, both sweet things; sun, moon, and stars, brother, all sweet things; there's likewise a wind on the heath. Life is very sweet, brother; who would wish to die?

I don't plan on taking this journey lightly. I plan on having it be infinitely more enlightening than any blister I pamper. So when I am told I am wasting my time on a quest that may never be realized, I turn my head into the wind and drink in the smell of the air, the sound of my breath, the feel of the ground beneath me and softly remind myself that they obviously have never stopped long enough to listen, to ponder, to experience their own sense of occupation of space. They have not yet been blessed with the quest to be a wayfarer. To them I say it's not about the miles, its about the views on that ridge and the experiences, both wonderful and difficult, along the way.

Shortly I will be setting off for my own exploration of Philadelphia today. I am excited about experiencing the city once again at a pace that allows me to understand its neighborhoods. I am on a quest to see as much of the public art as possible. Philadelphia is a city of murals, sculptures, and mosaics. It's a place that is so proud of its existence that it celebrates by blanketing its world with these beautiful visual accolades. The goal today, Philadelphia for free! I am looking forward to that brotherly love!

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