I see here the figure of a pilgrim putting one foot in front of the other, heading westwards perhaps, a low-lying hill in the background, carrying a backpack, which may be protected by a waterproof. There is a paradox here: the only way we bear fruit is by staying in one place, literally or metaphorically. If we keep moving about, we will not achieve many things, we will flit from one place or activity to another. And yet, at the same time, as humans we are obliged to make progress, to learn from our mistakes, we cannot stay still or rest on our laurels, it seems the ups and downs of life, the blessings and temptations, force us ever onwards. So we work away at our surface. Perhaps this is where the two things meet: in the act of pilgrimage, we are wearing away the ground, polishing the surface, there is a constancy, one foot in front of the other. The journey is not so much about arriving – that will come later – as about finding company and fulfilment on the way.


Meanwhile, in language, the act of walking involves placing the heel on the ground and rolling forward on the sole. The sole is like a cradle or a blotter. We cannot walk without making this movement, heel-sole, and this may tell us something about the purpose of walking, of moving forward, of staying alive: to heal our soul.

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