dear friends, j and b, walk in michigan
getting ready for the big walk.
they leave tomorrow –
i wish them both the best of luck on their journey
and look forward to their tales from along the way
knowing they will return somehow changed forever.
the portuguese way/caminho português
The Portuguese Way (Spanish: Camino Portugués, Portuguese: Caminho Português) is the name of the Way of St. James pilgrimage routes starting in Portugal. It begins at Porto or Lisbon. From Porto, pilgrims travel north before entering Spain and passing through Padron on the way to Santiago de Compostela.
The Portuguese way is 227 km long starting in Porto. The way from Porto was historically used by the local populations and by those who arrived in the local ports.
In the contemporary period, most pilgrims are foreigners, and of the total number reaching Galicia between January and October 2017, only 4.27% were Portuguese. Roughly 30,000 pilgrims per year walk this path.
Arrival of queen Elizabeth of Portugal to Santiago de Compostela, after finishing the Portuguese Way around 1325, after the death of her husband, Denis of Portugal.
“a path is a prior interpretation
of the best way to traverse a landscape.”
-rebecca solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking
one kinder opens the door for another after making sure it is safe for him to go
the bittersweet feelings of being part of our multi-age class
most of the children don’t see themselves as being
different ages or stages
and may not yet see
that some will be moving on
to the higher grades
where they will have the chance to grow
in ways they have yet to imagine
and some will stay with us
for one more year
where they will have the chance
to be the leaders and teachers
to the new little ones joining our class
what we all know without any doubt
is that we are one
we will always keep an open door for all of them
to safely come and go as they need
and as some leave and as some stay
our journeys continue another day.
“if I look back when I begin to leave, will they remember me?”
― adam young, owl city
and on the last night they’ll ever spend
in the only house they’ve ever lived
before moving to their wonderful new location for their wonderful new adventures
we celebrate by finally getting to eat in the living room without sneaking.
“your journey never ends. life has a way of changing things in incredible ways.
“One day you finally knew what you had to do,
and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice —
though the whole house began to tremble
and you felt the old tug at your ankles.
“Mend my life!” each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do, though the wind
pried with its stiff fingers at the very foundations
though their melancholy was terrible.
It was already late enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen branches and stones.
But little by little, as you left your voice behind,
the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds
and there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own,
that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world,
determined to do the only thing you could do —
determined to save the only life that you could save.”
credits: papercut by annie howe papercuts, poetry by Mary Oliver – ‘Journey.’
mark at home on the water in his boat
i connected to this adventurer, mark slats,
through an old friend in the netherlands.
read below to see what he is currently undertaking.
He was about to row to The Netherlands here, never rowed before in a boat like this.
Now Mark is leading the field in the Talisker whisky atlantic challenge with Row4Cancer
with just two teams of 4 rowers ahead of him.
This is a 3.000 mile journey from Europe to America.
Mark’s mom has cancer and this gentle giant is raising money
for cancer and for the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Cancer hospital.
UPDATE: (early January) Mark Slats is rowing solo across the Atlantic Ocean for 28 days now and with this blistering pace he’s on schedule to break the World Record with a stunning two weeks!! Mark is competing in the solo class, but he’s ahead of the leaders in the double and trio classes as well. Currently, the Gentle Giant is on the 4th place overall with only fours around him. Be prepared for his arrival, which is expected on January 14th!
UPDATE (January 8th)
World’s most bizarre rowing competition is approaching denouement:
Does Dutchman Mark Slats crush the world record ocean rowing?
Mark Slats participates in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge , the toughest rowing event in the world, to raise money for the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Foundation.
The route runs from Europe (the Canary Islands) to America (Antigua). He is rowing solo and nonstop.
Until last year, this carpenter from Wassenaar had never rowed. Mark is rowing for his mother who is seriously ill and all those other people who fight cancer every day.
Despite the hardships of the race, Mark remains positive, he enjoys the ocean and feels good. His physical and mental strength are extreme. Blisters, abrasions and contusions do not bother him, he is determined to crush the record. He rows around 100 miles a day and the expected finish date is currently being tested on January 14th.
After his three previous world voyages as a sailor, the sea has few secrets for Mark, yet every day is new on the ocean. Mark talks about birds, flying fish and dolphins around the boat, even a collision with a whale. He can not heat the freeze-dried food because his gas bottle has been thrown overboard. Cold is not tasty so it is a task to get enough calories. He no longer has a feeling in his fingers but jokes that he no longer feels the blisters on those fingers.
Mark has to finish his boat before January 18 13.03 to break the record of 35 days and 33 minutes. Then he has to walk an average of 2.6 knots, he has rowed an average of 3.4 knots from the start and now has 581 miles to go to the finish. He is in the lead in the Solo class from the start and 4th in the overall rankings. Still, the race has not yet run, a technical defect or sudden whirlwind can still be decisive, it remains exciting until the finish.
More about Mark and the race:
More about the charity:
“and so in time the rowboat and i became one and the same-like the archer and his bow or the artist and his paint. what i learned wasn’t mastery over the elements; it was mastery over myself, which is what conquest is ultimately all about.” ― Richard Bode, First You Have to Row a Little Boat: Reflections on Life & Living
credits: michel porro, magic marine, talisker whiskey atlantic challenge, mark slats
steps in the parks somewhere in the middle
my last step in the parks in my last pair of shoes
with all of this stepping into the parks
i thought it was be easy and interesting
to look back and see just how far i had walked
using multiple sources
and multiple attempts
it turned into quite an impossible task
as each park was shaped differently
i had walked in no particular pattern
and converting the 2061.6 total acres into distance
proved to be a bit more complicated than i expected.
(having dinosaurs on the paper seemed fitting)
scenes of me asking the big questions
i went to my daughters
who tried to create an algorithm for me
but they again pointed out that i had no consistent shape of the acreage
nor did a have a consistent path of travel through them
i then went online to an international group
of physicists, mathmeticians, engineers, etc. to seek their answers
here is a sampling:
after walking 2,061.6 acres of parks, how far have I traveled in distance?
can’t convert an area into a distance… If you walked the entire area of the parks so as to pass within 20m of each point, this would be 250 miles at least.
While metric units are usually easier to work with, an acre represents an area of a chain (22yds or 20m) x a furlong (220 yds / 200m) which is 1/8 of a mile. If you were a medieval ploughman, an acre (from the Latin ager = field) would be a strip 22yds wide and 220yds long. But now it’s any shape at all with that area of 4840 sq yds or 1/640 of a square mile.
Best way to work out your distance will be with a gps app. Download the Viewranger app, get it to record your track, then it’ll tell you the exact distance. Other gps apps are available.
There is no way to tell. You tell us areas but not distances, nor do you give us times or velocity.
i have decided that according to my calculations
my final answer is that i traveled pretty far
during the time i spent covering the 2,061.6 acres
and interesting coincidence
the last park on the list
the last steps i took
were in a park at the top of the very street
where i first lived in ann arbor
in my rattletrap apartment with no money
when i moved here at age 40
having quit my job to go to grad school
and change the course of my life
this long journey with it’s twisty and immeasurable path
had somehow led me straight home.
‘only those who will risk going too far
can possibly find out how far one can go.’
– t.s. eliott