Stanford is a Catholic and the content of his book is heavily weighted towards Christian routes and shrines such as Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes, and Rome. Nevertheless, he treads a balanced and respectful line across the wider religious terrain.
While the media may be wrapped up in immediate concerns of contagion, we can only assume that the millions flocking to the Kumbh Mela are taking the long view.
During his lifetime Philip Mountbatten was known variously as Prince, Duke, Consort. Some of his titles were honorary others, were earned. In this latter category we might include Influencer – a person who through his trusted position was able to amplify ideas and inspire others to act.
Experiencing that unique synaptic prickle that comes from fresh conversation and a new perspective on the world, my encounter with award winning podcaster Jeremy Bassetti made me nostalgic for that special quality of life in the city currently lost to lockdown. Not least the serendipity of the chance meeting.
While the government contemplates the logistics, costs and implications for personal liberty of introducing quarantine for travelers, and hostile states whip up anti-vax sentiment, we might take a peek at the link between faith and pestilence, as sadly the two often travel hand in hand. Amongst the largest gatherings on the planet is the Hindu pilgrimage … Continue reading Forty days
As the days get ever shorter Deepavali carries hope with it into the darkness which lies ahead. On the darkest night of the new moon in the month of Kartika, Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs will celebrate in their own way, but for each, over the course of the five days of festivities, the lighting of candles and … Continue reading By the light of the Moon
Books are a key to the future - time to get back to the library to look for clues about tomorrow..
Trees and pilgrimage have been linked since ancient times, not least in the autumn
During the research for my book We are Pilgrims I encountered many pilgrim travellers but none quite like Martin Gray. Over the course of 38 years, this photographer and anthropologist has visited thousands of pilgrim sites and sacred places in 160 countries across the globe. His web-site World Pilgrimage Guide is an essential source of information for anyone contemplating … Continue reading A Life of Pilgrimage
In the late afternoon I walk on the heath. A stonechat perched on a plinth of gorse while a hobby circles overhead, patient, unrelenting, waiting for a chance to pounce. A silver birch tree buzzes with a flurry of finches, continuously moving and impossible to glimpse for more than a second. At the end of … Continue reading The Cardboard Age