Pilgrimpace's Blog


easter journey – walking

I was hoping to do at least a day of walking last week as I had a few days off to recover from Easter.  Unfortunately I picked up a bit of a lurgy which meant my body commanded me to rest completely.  I’m back to fitness now – in time to return to work – but I did manage to read a bit.

Here is a very good piece by Lucy Ridsdale on The Medicine of Long Distance Walking for the Twenty First Century Soul which is definitely worth reading.

I’ve also started Kathleen Norris’ Dakota: A Spiritual Geography.  I will post more on this book when I have finished it, but it is wonderful – something to treasure and to be fed by.

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a dark age?

I was struck by this post by Lucy Ridsdale:

How to minimise the impact and duration of a dark age?
1. Build Community
2. Radically simplify
3. Maximise creativity
4. Maximise non-violent solutions
5. Resacralise life
6. Store knowledge
7. Adopt a supportive financial system.

I’ve been inspired by John Croft (via Emski) to consider the very real possibility that we’re heading into a global dark age. These are seven ways we can keep it as short as possible.

This seems to me to be a very good manifesto for living, and is of importance to those of us living in what seems to be a very dark time in Britian at the moment.  I appreciate Lucy’s insights because I know they come from the tacit knowledge that is trod out in the painful miles of pilgrimage.  I am also reminded of Alasdair MacIntyre at the end of After Virtue:

It is always dangerous to draw too precise parallels between one historical period and another; and among the most misleading of such parallels are those which have been drawn between our own age in Europe and North America and the epoch in which the Roman empire declined into the Dark Ages. Nonetheless certain parallels there are. A crucial turning point in that earlier history occurred when men and women of good will turned aside from the task of shoring up the Roman imperium and ceased to identify the continuation of civility and moral community with the maintenance of that imperium. What they set themselves to achieve instead – often not recognizing full what they were doing – was the construction of new forms of community within which the moral life could be sustained so that both morality and civility might survive the coming ages of barbarism and darkness. if my account of our moral condition is correct, we ought also to conclude that for some time now we too have reached the turning point. What matters at this stage is the construction of local forms of community within which civility and the intellectual and moral life can be sustained through the new dark ages which are already upon us. And if the tradition of the virtues was able to survive the horrors of the last dark ages, we are not entirely without grounds for hope. This time however the barbarians are not waiting beyond the frontiers; they have already been governing us for quite some time. And it is our lack of consciousness of this that constitutes part of our predicament. We are waiting not for a Godot, but for another – doubtless very different – St Benedict.



one step at a time is good walking
October 24, 2010, 2:47 pm
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Lucy Ridsdale, who is working on a fascinating thesis on pilgrimage and gratitude is embarking on a thousand kilometre pilgrimage through Western Australia.  She is blogging about it here.

Lucy’s exploration of the question, What will it take to bring forth a sustainable, just and fulfilling human presence on the planet? speaks to my heart.  It is one I have been touching on in one way or another in this blog and in my own thinking and working.  I’ll be spending some time soon reading On Pilgrimage by Dorothy Day which I hope will take me further with this.

In the meantime I’ll be keeping Lucy in my prayers and following her blog with interest.