Sunday, 22 September 2013

Walking the maze


We set off to walk the maze at Alkborough. A desolate setting, high above the mudflats of the Trent and the Humber. Strictly speaking, it is a labyrinth with a single path, rather then a branching maze, and is cut into turf rather than being surrounded by hedges. Set foot in a labyrinth and you become part of a tradition dating back to the Egyptians and the Cretans. So I did my best to follow my companion's instructions to empty my mind of conscious thought. Alas, being someone who always trips over her own feet, that didn’t work, since my conscious mind intervened every few strides to prompt me to do a U-turn if I wanted to stay upright and stay on the narrow path. Instead I thought of the mediaeval monks doing penance by shuffling round the path on their knees. On wet turf that must have been punishment indeed and more conducive to resentment than contrition.

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