The Devil’s Coach Road, crazy-pavement of some dark god’s guilty pleasure, is hewn of many obstacles. Some, are there on arrival, some, one carries in, in ones backpack, head or gut. Scree at the outset denotes the footing, (vultu mutabilis albus et ater) its twin, the image of desolation.
Walkers, Thoreau said, have the genius of sauntering. The original saunterers, being folk, (generally of an idle nature) about the Middle ages who asked for charity on the pretence of making their way to the Holy Land, a la Sainte-Terre, till the children cried their goes a Sainte-Terrer, a Saunterer, a Holy Lander, or perhaps that other derivative, from the word sans terre, without land or having no particular home, its see-saw balance, that of equally being at home everywhere. So the collective saunterers sat in the dark ones gully atop the scree, below the yawning gap of the dark one’s gullet and as is wont to do at such a point, pondered.
Our naviagators, Bleck Cra and Newton, lay it out. There are choices. We go up or we go down. One must not be a hero on the Devil’s Coach Road, we are merely sauntering up, attentively. Deep in Beg’s well of despair, comes a soaring notion of crusade. Not an abstract one, but a rather rocky embracing by Beg. Cra puts it out that no-one has died off this road, so it is as if she begs one to try, seduces one in and up. Some saunterers are class acts, nimble, graceful, strong, assured, gentle giants, some are not. Cra says, ‘now watch where I put my foot, and follow suit’, and swings his leg above his ear, and materialises some two metres further up. One does it hands, knees and bumsi-daysies, until one uproots an entire slab of supporting platform, and is ushered to move quickly for this moment, anywhere, but preferably onward. Blinkered by fog and mist can be no bad thing either. Today it was a consolation.
And then.....out of nowhere, the glorious ascension into heaven. Moments of ‘sans terre’. Comes a point where language doesn’t cut it dear reader, nor would the emotion permit a voicing, and one looks into the eyes of one’s five companions and there it is, mind, spirit, and loin, ‘home’, via the Devil’s coach road.
P.S. To complete this walk requires no more than putting one foot in front of the other, knowing where to put one foot before the other, and in my own experience is best completed in the privileged following of the heels of the like of jackill and Cra. Would I give them their dinner (stew) to mind on a Friday night, no, but Saturday morning I’d give them the keys of the kingdom. Excuse the gushing, test the climb yourself, and do your best to post your results to M.V. in a more objective opine........... if possible.