In spring of 2009, I walked the Shikoku Pilgrimage in Japan.
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This is an attempt to write down the whole thing, before memory fades. Walking is an experience, but writing is an act of recreating memory, finding its holes and filling it in. This is a place for me to try out writing, in the form of a travelogue, in progress.
Why in progress? Well, draft 1 started as frantic five-minute updates whenever I found internet when walking in 2009. Draft 2 immediately after, short entries to fill in the chronology of events, just wanted a more complete blog to direct friends to.
Draft 3, perfectionist streak kicking in, the big “let’s try to practice writing, let’s maybe make it like a book!” moment. Interspersed with navel-gazing and self-consciousness and wondering why I even bother… ah well. Some experiences just want to come out, I guess. Some experiences make sense only in the writing, a post-event synthesis and shaping in structure sufficient for the brain to understand.
What’s here is sort of Draft 3.5, consolidated at various cafes over a month-long period, just before heading off to more hiking on the Appalachian Trail in summer 2011. Deadlines do work – particularly the prospect of freezing in the mountains if I start too late!
I’ve left it at there. It’s unlikely to progress further, because events have outpaced themselves. The season for remembrance is gone, and lives move on. Though of course there’s still much to improve on (to draft ten and beyond!), but that will have to wait for the next time I walk on Shikoku. And then that will be a whole different story!
Thank you for reading.
(14 June, 2011; ed. Aug 2013)