A 23-minute pilgrimage

A few weeks ago I was emailed the following instructions:

You are invited to make a Pilgrimage on 12/11/20.
To where and what is up to you.
Choose a place or let one choose you.
Make the pilgrimage only 23 minutes long.
At the end of your Pilgrimage, create a small ritual of completion.
Film a 23 second video sharing whatever feels right.
Post it online at 7.23pm.
Best of luck. xx

The route I chose for my pilgrimage was along the Hove Promenade. It was not exactly 23 minutes, but it was near enough. As I walked, I recalled the CERN pilgrimage from Easter 2019. I carried some of my pilgrimage relics with me, including cards from the tarot deck designed for the trip.

In her book on Banaras, Diana Eck writes about how “The symbol that condenses the whole into the part is common in the Hindu world”. One of the holiest pilgrimages in Hinduism is to visit the Char Dhams, a trip to four sacred sites in the different corners of India. According to some, the same benefits can be attained through a certain 5-day pilgrimage on the Panchakroshi Road, which encircles Kashi. The same pilgrimage in different places, at different scales. In a similar way, I wanted my 23-minute pilgrimage to condense that longer pilgrimage from last year.

So many memories returned on my walk. Sika Deer. Delaying to eat food before heading to the ferry. The Bricklayer running the Pilgrim Opera rehearsals. The machines at the CERN museum – and the world’s first web server. The Lion’s valiant work to stitch the dress for the ritual. Getting a group of pilgrims lost in Switzerland looking for the restaurant.

I ended my pilgrimage on a manhole cover, the very same one from Mathew Street in Liverpool. Like the single electron travelling back and forth in time through our universe, this manhole exists in many places simultaneously. This manhole in Hove is now connected to a strand of the inter-stellar Ley line.

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