Travel Journal, Three

September 11, 2013 — Leave a comment

September 9th

I had what should have been a bad day, except, well, no. 

I wandered around the grande ville again for several hours and found myself getting oddly lost, like I was walking in a labyrinth.  Mostly, I’d been trying to find that pool again, with the severed head.  I wanted to think and read tarot and journal at it, because it felt oddly sacred…but no.  No luck. 

I walked for HOURS, getting progressively more lost, finding myself each time turning back upon the same alleys.  But here’s an interesting thing about labyrinths: they are mazes on the outside which walk you through similar, strange twists internally.  Anyone who’s walked a labyrinth as part of a ritual understands this, I imagine. 

Where my mind was going, I’m not quite sure.  I was everywhere and nowhere, stumbling repeatedly upon the same cathedrals, the same chapels. 

Later, I went to ameliorate what was the most pressing problem of mine: lack of cooking fuel.  The campsite shop (every municipal one has this) had none, and I’d heard of a strange shopping center, about a mile and a half away from the campground, that would sell it. 

From the center of the city I took a bus, listening to the conversations around me while still turning within my head.  And I arrived, and oh gods….

Malls in the US terrify me.  I’ve been to one in the space of maybe 6 years because of this, and that was with a fellow druid, and we were only there to get a sandwich.  But I was now in another, except in France, and oh–

Culture shock comes for me when I go shopping for groceries.  Upon return from europe each time, I break down when I enter an american grocerystore.  And at some point it happens in Europe, too, surrounded by configurations which make NO sense. 

Still, found what I thought I was looking for, left, and cut across some back alleys and a Chemin (trail in French, in Bretagne the word usually refers to the Old Tracks).  There, I gorged on elderberries and blackberries and strolled with less care than before back to the campground.

But–oi.  Gas canisters used to be standardized in Europe.  The same one from the same company fit in everything they made, but it seems, unfortunately, they’ve caught on to the ridiculous absurd shit America does, where you ALWAYS IMPROVE and therefore ALWAYS MAKE OLDER STUFF OBSOLETE. 

I had to go back to the mall, this time to get a different cooking stove (the new and improved one which fits the three canisters I’d bought). Normally such a journey to undo something that didn’t go correctly the first time really pisses me off, but at least I got to walk by more berries. I picked up a bottle of Breton cidre while I was at it, gathered more berries and flowers, and returned to my site, finally getting to make myself tea, and then dinner, and then a mulled cidre with the berries I’d gathered. 

I’m not fully certain what happened next, and some of it is not for this conversation, but I found myself out in the woods, not exactly drunk but most definitely intoxicated by something intensely different from what I normally experience.

September 10th.

There was a transit strike, so I spent most of the day at my tent, reading, thinking, and organizing.  Also, drinking more tea than one really ought (it’d been DAYS, you know). 
Most of the day I was in my head, dreaming, attempting to make sense of the world around me.  No–this isn’t quite true.  Actually, I’ve been attempting to make sense of the world I left behind, now that there’s a continent and an ocean between myself and it. 
Returned to the city, bought my train tickets for the next leg.  In about an hour I leave for Carnac/Plouharnel, where I’ve been before.  This is the place I’ve dreamt the most about, and the dream which compelled me to return to Bretagne took place there.  It’s littered with standing stones and wells and old tracks and chapels, and though I’ll be there a few more days than I was here, I’m not sure it’s going to be enough time. 
I finally found that fountain with the severed head again.  I’d circled it repeatedly the day before.  This doesn’t surprise me.
I may not be able to update for a few days, as the closest internet will be a 45 minute walk away, and I’ve much to do there. 

Many of you are in my thoughts, by the way.  I miss knowing there are people close by to talk to who know me. I’ve little time to reply individually to emails, but I’ve been reading ’em all.

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