We're going on a pilgrimage. We just realized that our train passes are valid starting today, so we need to take a long trip to start it off.
Fourteen hours to the island prefecture of Shikoku sounds about right. In Shikoku there is a traditional 88 temple pilgrimage through the countryside and woods that covers 993 miles. Most people do it in 40-60 days on foot, although others wimp out and take the bus.
We don't have time for that, unfortunately, but we're going to head out tonight and walk for a day or two.
For more info, check out this page. I've got to get ready!
Wow! That temple tour just made it into my 101 Things I Want To Do In My Life. Also, the wiki for travellers is awesome. Thanks!
@Tynan and Todd: I'd be really happy to finally see that video of you guys packing everything in that tiny Deuter backpack. Come on, you can do it :-) Pretty please with sugar on top.
When I was ten I went to a Christian summer camp called Camp Calumet. We stayed in cabins with our counselors and a dozen other kids.
By a stroke of luck my best friend Ryan and I ended up in the cabin with the cool counselors. I don't remember either of their names, or even what they looked like, but I remember that one of them had a sticker on his guitar case that asked, "Y B Normal?"
It was a cheesy sticker, of course, but as an impressionable kid it made me think. My counselor was probably the coolest guy I knew at the time, so I instantly equated being not normal with being cool.
Busy these days but trying to respond to the prompts at Carpe Diem now and then, here is a quick one.
This month Kristjaan's prompts take us on the Shikoku pilgrimage. Today's stop is a temple dedicated to the Medicine Buddha, whose twelve vows included this one that I think is beautiful: "to help beings follow the Moral Precepts, even if they failed before."
And now a haiku on this theme.
I know you will fall, and you will fall again, and you will rise once more.