Column: a Pilgrim Before Lincoln

Pagan Perspectives

It strikes me that I ought not to be making this walk upright. Pilgrims on their journey to see the Shroud of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City are known for crawling on their hands and knees as they approach the basilica where the Shroud is kept; my father told me that when he visited, he saw a line of prostrated devotees starting miles from the church. There are no such pilgrims here, but it seems that there could be. The stones upon which I walk are perhaps among the most sanctified in the secular religion of American civic life; certainly no single mile of soil in the United States has been more consciously constructed as a pilgrim’s road. I had not intended to make any sort of pilgrimage today.

Column: A Pilgrim at Stonehenge

Pagan Perspectives

My suitcase is an antique, a big red leather monster. It doesn’t do anything that modern luggage is supposed to do. Suitcases today have wheels and collapsible handles, so that there’s no difference between carrying one change of pants or twenty. Mine doesn’t have that, and I kind of like it that way. Suitcases are meant to be picked up and carried, hefted with one’s own arms and back.