8 Jun 2008

Karin Jarman's amazing pilgrimage

Last night I was at Karin Jarmans' book launch at Ruskin Mill. "Touching the Horizon" is Karin's book of her 6 month walk - a 2,000km journey from Stroud to a castle near Prague.

After entertaining many doubts, Karin (see photo below) set out at 49, after her children were grown, on a pilgrimage to the 14th century Gothic castle of Karlstein (Karlstejn), built by Charles IV near Prague in the Czech republic. She made the entire journey on foot, gratefully accepting the hospitality of strangers.

Here's more from the description of Karin's book: "Her aim was not to match the feats of endurance and sporting prowess that some undertake; rather, she strove to create the mood of a true pilgrimage - to encounter the sacred through outer journeying and inner transformation. Her eventful travels covered over 1,200 miles and took some 22 weeks, during which time she stayed with over 100 different hosts. Having confronted many issues arising out of her biography, she returned a changed person with new resolves and initiatives. Touching the Horizon is Karin Jarman's remarkable story, from her first inklings that such a journey might be possible, to the arrival at the beautiful fairy tale castle of Karlstein. She also describes the aftermath of her pilgrimage and its effects on her and her family. This is a rare and gripping narrative of possibility, realization and metamorphosis."

Anyhow the evening started with storytelling and music (see photo), then Karin talking a little about her book before Hildegard von Bingen beautifully sung. Some 70 or so people squeezed into the room - the food was great - a good evening indeed and wonderful to walk back through Ruskin Mill - such a beautiful valley.

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