Monday, August 11, 2014

On not being a Canterbury pilgrim

I had planned to go off to Canterbury on holiday today, but my mother has gone into hospital here in Leicestershire so I shall have to be around for a while.

Still, here are the lines from Emeric Pressburger's screenplay for A Canterbury Tale that I had planned to post this morning:
Well, there are more ways than one of getting close to your ancestors. 
Follow the old road, and as you walk, think of them and of the old England. They climbed Chillingbourne Hill, just as you. They sweated and paused for breath just as you did today. And when you see the bluebells in the spring and the wild thyme, and the broom and the heather, you're only seeing what their eyes saw. You ford the same rivers. The same birds are singing. 
When you lie flat on your back and rest, and watch the clouds sailing, as I often do, you're so close to those other people, that you can hear the thrumming of the hoofs of their horses, and the sound of the wheels on the road, and their laughter and talk, and the music of the instruments they carried. 
And when I turn the bend in the road, where they too saw the towers of Canterbury, I feel I've only to turn my head, to see them on the road behind me.

No comments: