The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown where I live in France, as well as in other countries where I have friends and family, meant that our lives became very different and quite scary overnight. As I write, the most up to date figures of deaths from the corona virus stood at above 277,000 people, every one of them with a family and friends who are now grieving. My heart breaks for them and all the suffering and distress caused directly and indirectly by this teeny tiny microscopic organism which is in its own way just fighting for its own survival….. We all know that our lives have changed, the way we view the world has changed. I’ve noticed many ways in which I’ve become more connected. I live far away from friends and family. My job is all about travelling around and I often get to meet up with folks because of that. But now that noone is travelling and everything is about the Zoom-o-sphere or the Skype-o-matic ways of being in touch, I’ve seen my sister and my close friends who live in various different countries more often than normal, and I’ve had at least one collaboration really get going in spite of the fact that our rehearsals and concert all had to be cancelled! Plus I know someone who suffers badly with anxiety who was able to participate in music therapy because being able to do it from home hugely reduced the fear. I also took part in Feldenkreis sessions given by a friend which I’d fancied doing for ages but there’s been this stretch of open water between us called The Channel which was quite prohibitive….
So, I feel like we are currently open to new ways of being and thinking, new ideas, that hackneyed old ‘thinking outside the box’ and I guess that’s where my idea to do a pilgrimage to nowhere came from. I’m an experienced pilgrim. Not quite of Margery Kempe like proportion, but I’ve done a few. My first was from Aire-sur-l’Adour via St Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela, around two months and 1,000 km, but then I also walked from London to Canterbury (around 140 km), then on an ‘artistic caravan’ from Celle San Vito to Monte Sant’Angelo, then I returned alone and walked from Benevento to Monte Sant’Angelo, and my last one was in September 2019 from Porto back to Santiago with my husband (who I met on my first pilgrimage that I complete 8 years ago today).
This is quite simply my blog about my pilgrimage to nowhere.