Not all who wander are lost – J. R. R. Tolkien.
Take Odysseus, it took him 10 years of wandering to get home from Troy. He, however, was not lost so much as waylaid. The same distinction sadly does not apply to our pilgrims.
Wednesday. Day four. Our pilgrims are lost in the wilderness of Spain’s most verdant countryside. There remains little hope that they’ll ever find their way again. Many members of the troupe, having become overwhelmed with despair have embraced their previously established, now re-emerging delirium.
Along the way they met some locals, each more confused than the last.
Someone had the bright idea to ask a dog charmer for directions…
But they were barking up the wrong tree.
Saint Jeremy Corbyn, Snow White’s eighth dwarf wasn’t much help either.
Oh dear. Although, perhaps, not knowing where they are doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t exactly where they want to be. Somehow I get the feeling this isn’t the case.
They arrived in the medieval town of Portomartin after a grueling 24 kilometre odyssey, having passed the 100 kilometre mark. Somewhat ironically, in the 1960s the entire town of Portomartin was moved from its original location to make way for a reservoir. Even the towns in Spain get lost from time to time.
“Now, where’s that bloomin’ pub? Even the much-traveled Odysseus enjoyed a good drink or ten after his long vagrancy.”
It could be said that idea of being lost presupposes that the purpose of travel is to arrive somewhere specific. But, if every footstep is a destination, a deliberate deceleration of one’s presence then “lost” loses all meaning and the journey itself becomes the purpose, the reason for travelling.