Pilgrimpace's Blog


The excellent Solitary Walker Blog has recently asked What are you reading?

I would like to ask the same.  I have a pile of books in front of me.  I intend to read some of these over the summer – which is a time when there is a bit more space for reading.


These include a collection of Neruda’s poems – I want to see what comes of reading The Ascent of Machu Pichu alongside John of the Cross; Andre Louf’s The Cistercian Way will give insight into Cistercian life and spirituality before I walk the Welsh Cistercian Way; similarly, Sacred Britain by Martin and Nigel Palmer will help me reflect on landscape and pilgrimage; Rita Nakashima Brock’s Journeys by Heart will help me think further on some of the things suggested about transformation and energy by Teresa of Avila.  Solea is an excellent European detective novel.

What are you reading?  I would love to know.

advent journey – in the mind
December 16, 2015, 12:33 pm
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There are those lines of poetry that stick in the deep in the mind and heart and bob to the surface from time to time for more enjoyment and reflection.

One of those for me is from the poem Camino Fever by Robert Wilkinson who writes the excellent The Solitary Walker blog.

How dark the soul in the dead of night! But how bright the morning sun!

This is so true of pilgrimage, and – as is so often the case – speaks from pilgrimage to the rest of life.

It speaks to me of the immersion in so much human suffering at the moment

of how the truths of Christmas do not shy away from this, but enter into it

of Advent and winter

of journeys

of longings and desires.

I did not have a chance to write a post on Monday in honour of John of the Cross’ Day, but I hear echoes of purgation and union, of nada and fullness, of the journey of love.IMGP0564

You can read the whole poem here

thank you
November 19, 2013, 3:03 pm
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My blogging comrade Robert at the Solitary Walker has come up with a wonderful idea which I am shamelessly pinching:

As part of a brilliantly life-enhancing practice of mindfulness, awareness, and thankfulness, he suggests we write a list of ten simple pleasures.  It should be done quickly and without thinking about it.  The joy then comes in reflecting on the list, giving thanks for the things, reading other people’s.  You can read Robert’s post here along with some others.  Here’s mine – I’d love to read your list.

1. the smell of grass after rain
2. a strong cup of tea after a long walk
3. followed by a pint of good bitter
4. picking up an egg that is still warm
5. a fishfinger sandwich
6. being up early when the house is quiet
7. a surprise packet in the post
8. Hail Smiling Morn
9. rubbing Grangers Wax into my boots
10. waiting to listen to the Ashes on Radio Four

the camino and the via negativa
August 12, 2013, 8:48 am
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There’s an excellent post by The Solitary Walker here on the Camino and the Via Negativa.

October 26, 2012, 4:03 pm
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Robert of The Passionate Transitory and The Solitary Walker is publishing quick interviews (and it’s quicker to type his wonderful term ‘quinterview’!) with the poets published in the first issue.  My enormous ego demands you read mine here but please read the others.  I love the playful seriousness in them – and there are some good insights to be gleaned into the workings of p0etic minds.

the passionate transitory

Robert at The Solitary Walker and Turnstone is launching this new online poetry journal: poems about life, landscape, travel and pilgrimage.  I am full of anticipation and will submit some poems.


dizzying distance / difficult solitude

The Solitary Walker has an outstanding post with this title here.  It brings back to me all the toughness of those solo, often lonely, miles on the Levante, but the harsh, rewarding beauty and depth of it at the same time.  I’m not sure I would enjoy a busy route like the Camino Frances, although I did enjoy the company of Jose Carlos, Michael, Belinda and the few other pilgrims walking beyond Zamora.  But there’s something about being, day after day, in the middle of a flat open landscape on your own.  You are so deeply exposed.  It is walking deep into self, deep into God, deep into nada.