Adrian Plass

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    Pilgrim

    By Adrian Plass

    Some people love the old hymns, don’t they…?

    He who would valiant be, let him come hither 
    Well, yes - quite 
    Absolutely 
    Let him come!
    I'll be along in a minute
    Not that I'm against hithering, you understand
    I'm a hitherer
    I am a hithering person - definitely am a potential one
    It's just that - well, I've had to put the old hithering on hold for a bit
    I suppose you could say I'm in the Slough of thing
    Thingy
    Things
    The Slough of things
    Hmmm...
    First avowed intent still intact, mind you
    Oh, yes, to be - a proper one
    To be a pilgrim 
    The thing is - modern pilgrimming doesn't quite hit the err...
    Well, you know, the jolly old sort of churchy High thingy thing
    Day off
    Smart casual gear
    Hope it doesn't rain
    Who're you walking with?
    Very profound experience
    Has a very special meaning for me
    Flowers are wonderful
    Go every year
    Usually get a coach together
    Very good talk
    Smashing meal
    Charming little bed and breakfast.
    Tidy prayers
    Been happening for hundreds of years
    That and the effort of the walking seems to add depth to it
    Sort of thing
    Nothing wrong with all that, of course
    Nothing wrong
    Very right
    But...
    Pilgrimming
    Pilgrimming for me
    Can we afford?
    Did I remember?
    I should have done it then
    Oh, not again
    All right, I'm sorry - I'm sorry - I'm sorry!
    It didn't mean anything, honestly
    I promise I won't
    I promise I will
    I promise I'll promise to promise that I'll promise anything
    Someone at the door...
    Why the hell should I?
    Why the hell shouldn't I?
    Yes, of course I will - you know I will
    Ow! Ow! My leg! Ow! Hurts too much to go on a pilgrimage...
    Sort of thing
    Beset me round with dismal stories?
    Dismal, abysmal - oh, yes! Oh, yes! Oh, yes!
    My strength the more is?
    No-o-o-o, no, no, no!
    Well, look, never mind - we know we at the end shall life inherit
    At least, we shall if - 
    Tell me, do your fancies seem to flee away?
    Mine don't
    Large, lazy, flightless birds, my fancies - like emus
    They just run and run and run and run...
    Do you know, I really rather fear what men say
    I suppose
    The long and the short of it is - I do labour night and day
    In a way
    But
    I'm not sure I've even begun 
    To be a pilgrim