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Pilgrimage, going outside for sometime…

February 14, 2012

Gotta make it positive! (says the little sprite on my right shoulder).  Awwh *!£#@!##%! !*#&*! (says the little !*#&* on t’other)…

It must have been 15 years or so ago that I wrote “We’re going outside, I may be sometime…”

Sun sets on St Ives

Sun sets on St Ives

‘We’re going outside and we may be sometime’
Twenty-five years I grew, nurtured on cornwall and the Cornish manner, the Cornishness that is now part of me. I still day-dream, of a ‘T’ shirt that announces “i’m Cornish and proud of it…” …is that all I have to cling to? (I haven’t even got this day-dream of mine).
I spent a childhood full of Cornwall’s riches: pebbles a sand, fIzzypop in cans, wind and rain, tunnels, holes, alleys & bunkers, vast sun scorched gorse torched views, I could see both coasts from our bathroom window.
Spirits of the sea always whisper to me, the loudest whispers I’ve ever heard. I’ve heard in Leicestershire, Crewe and Nice, I saw a little red boat barely afloat.
I cried at the beauty surrounding me as the holidayers screamed and sizzled and I laughed. I sat alone at the end of the phone, I ran with the gang, at low tide, across St Ives Bay, on new years day. We drank and we sang and played in the band. Gran bought saffron buns at Sunday-school treat, and pasties and pasties and pasties. Slept in the snow on the rocks on Carn Brea, laughed at what nan a grandad would say (that’s not the grandad that died in the fishing boat accident). Ate winkles with pins and vinegar picked from Porthleven harbour, got filthy. Held on tight as the storm wind rips so hard it bites. Sat in a haystack in the sun and got covered in mites. I’ve lay for hours and been soaked up by the whole of Mounts Bay, on the clearest ever, hottest ever, hottest ever day. Walked home at midnight from to Camborne from Hayle, met a girl in Redruth and another in St Just, got drunk in Crantock, earnt a wage in St Ives ‘ saw a dream in St Austell, learnt some verbs in Fowey… grew towards man from boy in Cornwall…
…only, they’re all memories.
I return and see the most rugged of faces smile and share the day like children returning to play, waves so worn from years of scorn, skies so blue they seem brand new. A scarred town refuses to frown, yet sings and raises its glasses, everywhere I look I see me and I see pasty smiles, rugby miles, unique cornwall style saying this is us but we do say we.
I’ve moved away now, don’t know why, but I know I can’t go back. Jane’s not there, Craig’s gone, David’s moved off, So has Jon. Matthew’s in Manchester, Lisa’s in Suffolk, Richard’s in Cardiff, Kay’s in Bath, Lee is in Luton and Mark is in Crewe, and I’m in Leicester for something to do. Cornwall, in essence has everything, God and the Devil are surely within. but it hasn’t got what I’m looking for. . . . what am I looking for?
I’m going outside and I maybe sometime…

I caught a podcast recently where Ernie Rea and his guests discussed “Pilgrimage”.
Beyond Belief’ BBC Radio 4 : “Every year more than 100 million people around the world go ‘on pilgrimage’, the biggest mass migration of people on the planet. Two and a half million Muslims visited Mecca for last year’s Hajj and over 600,000 visited Graceland to worship at the shrine of Elvis Presley. Is there something in the human psyche which seeks fulfilment from… [pilgrimage]?”

I understand pilgrimage to be: a journey outside the norm or an escape to something significant – typically aiming for a place of importance central to or ‘at the heart of’ a person’s world view. A seeking to discover, understand or be healed? The ‘quest’ is sometimes linked with oracles and finding a source of counsel or understanding. It would seem this is a common human experience that has been specifically studied and written on widely.

To venture outside of the norm…
I read books to discover? escape? understand?
I watch films to discover? escape? understand?
I listen to music to discover? escape? understand?
I sing and play music to discover? escape? understand?
I cycle to discover? escape? understand?
I surf the web to discover? escape? understand?
I imbibe festival and celebrations to discover? escape? understand?
I wander the countryside to discover? escape? understand?
I feed the birds and talk to my pets to discover? escape? understand?
I live to discover? escape? understand?

Most weekends we have a holiday “Holy Day” where we make an effort to do something to discover, escape, understand or experience something out of the ordinary.
Are we ourselves on an ongoing macro-(micro?)-pilgrimage to the outside?

I wonder as I wander… outside for sometime…

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3 Comments
  1. Gilly permalink
    March 16, 2012 8:57 am

    Beautiful — so true .A lovely reflection and a pause for thought !

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