Friday, March 8, 2013

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry...

I wonder what photos Harold would have made?
  I just finished reading this delightful and inspirational book by Rachel Joyce.  It seemed fitting after yesterday's post to write a few words about this unlikely hero, Harold Fry.

  Now, Harold was not a photographer but he has a lot to teach the contemplative photographer.  The first, and perhaps the most important Harold-Lesson is to follow your heart even if it tells you something your head doesn't agree with.  Inspiration is often obscured and suppressed in the day-to-day living experience but sometimes there is a tug on your heart you must listen to.

   The next Harold-Lesson is to travel light. You need far less than you think you do. Each trip I make I seem to leave more and more at home. This includes my camera gear. I've pared down my packing to the absolute is quite liberating!

   The final Harold-Lesson I learned, which I really always knew, is that traveling solo is essential for the contemplative photographer, even when you are forced to travel with a group.  When Harold is joined for a time by people eager to share his pilgrimage he finds the burden of all their personalities too heavy to carry.  This summer, when I traveled to France with friends I learned that in future, no matter where I go and with whom, I will rent my own car so I can travel solo during the day. I must be free to explore the world in my own way and on my own schedule.  Everyone travels differently.  I am no longer a "tourist" when I travel...every trip is a kind of pilgrimage for me.

   I recommend The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry for all of you who are seekers at heart. It will make you laugh and cry at the same time and you may find that from now on you too will no longer be just a tourist in your travels.

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