Maria-Hélèna Pacelli

The road less paved, with feet engraved

September 8, 2011


I enjoy the common metaphor of roads and travel as a way of alluding to the many lessons we learn on our journeys through this earthly realm.

I have been thinking lately about how central this is to the way we construct narratives of our life. We talk about the way we journey through this life, the way we travel on the road of life, the way we cross paths with someone, the way we come across a fork in the road, have to choose paths, or meet people on our journeys through life.

This metaphor, much like the image of a road or travel itinerary, speaks of a linear progression through time and space where the two correlate and meet up in mutually exclusive intersections.

I wonder if this metaphor is intended to account for the reciprocal relationship between our bodies and the land on which we travel. We leave traces, surely, on the land beneath us, but it also leaves traces in our bodies. As we move, our bodies carry the trace of the land to which we belong.

This process is not linear. It happens simulteanously for all the land and does not account for forward motion as we move through life. The road is a very narrow and simplistic sinnew vision of the outwards and inwards flux and flow of knowledge, memory and growth that happens at all stages, in all places, all over the map.

Our bodies, no longer crystallized movable parts, can be fluid, absorbing the plasmic wisdom of the land, and offering in exchange the humble offering of human situated experience as we move towards a glimpse of understanding unity with the world that hold us within its breast.

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