If you have ever read or watched the Lord of the Rings series, there is a specific chapter in there that has been on my mind of late – the Breaking of the Fellowship. This is my longest post, so before I delve too deep, if want the bulleted version of what’s happened, you can scroll to the bottom.
It would seem that our Aragorn has been summoned to the world of Men, and has left me and Samwise on our road to Mordor. Pat had to leave today.
You may be asking why I have opened with such a strong Tolkein reference, or you may just be thinking I’m a nerd (which is very true), but I assure you that such overdramatic tones are justified. It seems that the Universe and I have developed an understanding of late, and here’s my few pieces of anecdotal evidence:
– When Pat left, he was wearing a green jacket (hood up like an elven cloak), green scarf covering his heavily bearded face, and his black ranger pack on. As he left he says, without knowledge of my train of thoughts, ‘I feel like Aragorn with all this on!’ While that first comment most likely was purely casual slumlord dialogue, a second validation came to me just moments ago as I sat down. As I asked for internet guidance from the guy next to me, I noticed his desktop wallpaper was a screenshot from LOTR- more specifically, the scene where Boromir breaks the Fellowship. Actually upon further reflection, I will admit that I am just crazy about LOTR, but I can offer a few more cosmically coincedental anecdotes from the past days that in my opinion seem more interesting.
1- On our journey to Stonehenge, I had expressed to Pat my desire to meditate inside the monolithic circle because of the supposed significance of its location (intersectining laylines of the earth). Upon our arrival, Pat and I discovered that it was closed due to time and season. All we could do is sit at the fence and stare as I scarfed down my 12th scone since the last post. Pat seemed disappointed and seemed to sense my own disappointment; he asked how I was doing. I simply said ‘I guess its not meant to be, perhaps it’s a lesson.’ As we returned to our cab, the driver said he wanted to take us to the Salisbury Cathedral (apparently the second tallest one in all Europe) rather than back to the train station. We agreed, he dropped us off, and to make a long story short, we left the church almost 2 hours later. The magnificant images, the choral music, the Evensong was all truly inspiring (Pat wrote a poem). And best of all, amongst the silence in between, I had one of my best meditations there. It seems the universe gave me a meditation after all.
2- After the uplifting experience in Salisbury, I mentioned to Pat in London’s train station that I was feeling a bit emotionally drained due to the temporal nature of our lifestyle on the trip. More specifically, it seems my good memory can be a curse when you meet a dozen people a day. Many times I sit and wonder about how people are doing and missing their company and perspectives, having only met them once. I told Pat it’s difficult because I know most of these people will probably not remember us, let alone ever see us again. As we finished up this conversation and checked into our new hostel, we walked into the kitchen only to be greeted by 5 friends we had met on our first day in London! Pat turns to me, wide eyed and goes, ‘Dude! you gotta thank!’ – so we both nod our heads upward, to gesture our thanks to the universe for again, working things out.
3- Yesterday evening after another day of touring London (Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Abbey Road etc), Pat had two major cravings. The first was a need for Parkour or Capioera. He had been jumping around in Abbey Road (see photos) and realized that he had basically done nothing of that sort the entire trip. So naturally, as we walked the banks of the Thames, we come across a group of 4 boys, all of which we practicing for their ‘free running’ club. Pat runs up and joins them. Boom, desire fulfilled. I have video of some of the shenanigans these guys pulled that I will show once I am home. The second desire is one I cannot relate to at all – McDonalds. The scene of this desire’s fulfillment is outrageous: Pat is on the escalator leaving the London Tube, vocalizing his distress over a lack of calories and fast food since we have left. While asking the Universe for a McDonalds, he turns to find a massive advertisement for a Big Mac, which is positioned on the edge of Kings Cross station, RIGHT BETWEEN NOT ONE, BUT TWO SEPARATE MCDONALDS ON THE SAME BLOCK. Pat was needless to say, thrilled.
I feel I must apologize for the less structured, less punctual style of this post. The internet has been rather sparse the past few days in London. To recap, in case some of you would prefer concrete locations and activities:
– A brutal last day in Dublin culminated by a 1.5 hr walk from our hostel to the ferry port at 630 AM in the cold. whoooo
– Arrival in Wales, where we returned to Mark’s internet cafe for scones and cream
– From Wales straight to London on a whim, because we decided we wanted more of such a cool city
– Met some cool Australians and Canadians at the Hostel
– Next day Salisbury and Stonehenge (awesome cathedral), David stayed behind to attempt grad school apps
– Next day London (Abbey Road, Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey)
– Next day Pat leaves, David and I see the British Museum (Rosetta Stone, Parthenon sculptures), as well as the fictional address of Sherlock Holms (221 Baker St), and attend an Evensong at Westminster (which included walking on the graves of Sir Newton, Kelvin, Maxwell and Faraday – ah dead physicists!)
Well, tomorrow is our last day in the UK, then we are off to Spain, where we will begin with a relaxing couple days in the much warmer city of Valencia.