One week has passed in what seems like a heartbeat on the trail. Is it the long days or sleepless nights? Have I fallen into a fatigue-induced haze and am unable to measure the passage of time? I think only that busy hands, or feet as it were, leave little time to feel impatient. Which is to say no time at all. In pain Tuesday and Wednesday with the onset of blisters, I’ve since adapted and been blessed with no serious deterioration of health other than a mounting number of insect bites on my face and hands, despite my best efforts. My back also feels remarkably well and I suppose I can attribute this robustness to my strength training with Christoffer. I’ve slept outdoors enough to know all the pitfalls, and the weather report suggests my last challenge may be the next thirty six hours.
I passed through a tenth of all the temples on the trail today, the hearts sutra is forming itself in my memory. I did not speculate much today given the number of temples, but I meditated fifteen minutes at morning and night, a practice I hope to hold throughout the rest of my journey.
I have been thinking that all the afternoons here in Kagawa feel the same. is it the season or the climate? The region ior just experience? Somehow each phase of my pilgrimage has a different smell and sensation in my mind. This time is is heat and the strength of the sun. It’s not a smothering humidity like last summer, but an oppressive force that beats on my reddened skin and drains my energy.
Perhaps in fear of my adventure ending, I regrettably find myself thinking of life back in the city. Like the days of vacation before returning to work, the depth of my experience is at risk of being lost. Kerouac seemed to echo similar periods of distraction frequently in his extended periods away from the city. I hope I can delve into my physical energy surplus and convert it to a sort of sterner mental fortitude.