Hello! I’ve been away for a while.
“No shit.” I hear you say.
Actually, I have a fairly legitimate excuse.
There’s been some of this:
Some of this:
Some of this:
And lots of walking up this:
While I looked like this:
It’s all now much clearer, right?
Yes, I went to Japan for a work trip (which was a complete cluster fuck that I don’t want to talk about) but after the work was done, I took some time for myself and did a temple pilgrimage known as Ohenro on the island of Shikoku.
I think I may have mentioned the pilgrimage here many, many years ago, saying it was something that I would love to do one day. So after the events with M’s health and my resulting mental state, I thought a few days climbing mountains and chanting the heart sutra would do me good.
The whole pilgrimage is about 1200kms and it takes a good 45-50 days to travel to all 88 temples, and I couldn’t take that much time off, so I did the first prefecture, Tokushima, around 2250kms in 7 days and visited 23 temples.
I’m planning on doing a blow-by-blow account of the whole thing here on the blog and I have something like 500 photos that I took on my phone to share, so prepare yourselves, photographs are coming!
M has been good (thanks to everyone who was concerned!) Things are pretty much back to normal as far as his health is concerned. We skyped every day while I was away and I skyped him a few times from the pilgrim trail so he could share in my experience (most of the time, I was just too breathless to talk and skyping really wasn’t an option.) He went to the doctor yesterday and got a reasonably clean bill of health. We’re still working out what combination of meds will be best for his diabetes, but the doctor wants his kidneys back to normal before we play too much with that. He was brave while I was away: cooking, showering and even feeding himself! It’s cute. He still plays the, ‘I’m sick!’ card when he wants something i.e. “Change the HDMI cables over for me?” “Change them yourself.” “But I’m sick.”
The pilgrimage was awesome. I really don’t have words to describe how great it was. Serene. Magical. Restorative. Those are some of the words I have thrown around when talking to people about it. And the people I met during it were just wonderful and giving. So friendly and memorable.
Of course, it was tough, super tough, physically. Every part of me hurt and a couple of mornings I woke up and wondered how I was going to walk at all, let alone walk 30kms to my next lodging. I was tired to the point of delirium on one evening and I spent a great deal of time in the foetal position after finishing my distance for the day, curled up, on the floor not able to move. But I did it and you know how I love me a good challenge! I’m really looking forward to when I can go back and do the next section/prefecture.
So yeah, that’s what’s been happening. Stayed tuned for temples, temples, temples.