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