8. Day 24: Ancient (& Modern) Tourist Lore

Posted by on Nov 24, 2014 in All-One, Fear of Not-Knowing | 0 comments

8. Day 24:  Ancient (& Modern) Tourist Lore

It was rather thrilling to be standing in front of the possible grave of a person of great historical interest, namely King Arthur.  That he may or may not have existed is entirely beside the point.  Or maybe that is my point.  We were standing in the threshold of the Lady Chapel at the Abbey at Glastonbury chatting with two locals on “King Arthur:  Myth Or Mystery?”  Apparently it is thought that the legend of King Arthur is based in some facts of actual persons but the legend itself was started by locals hundreds of years ago to promote the region.  Ancient tourist lore!  The message of love, strength, survival and friendship persists.  At over a thousand years after the legend or myth or reality happened it doesn’t really matter what it is as the story itself persists.  Story is and always was very powerful.  It moves us, encourages us and inspires us.  Story can illicit fear, wonder or laughter.  We love to tell and hear stories.  I think the story of King Arthur and his Roundtable and his ultimate love of Guinevere is such a hero’s tale we want it to endure.  Standing at the Abbey at Glastonbury with the Tor in full view I am sure that the story might as well have happened.

Paddington Bear at Paddington Station

Paddington Bear at Paddington Station

Paddington Bear is another story that endures until this very day.  It is a story of love and travel and friendship, full of wonder, adventure and marmelade.  All over London right now are marvelous Paddington Bear statues designed and sponsored by all sort of people from the Mayor of London to Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville, from Kate Winslet to Stephen Fry.  Eventually the statues will be auctioned off for charity but right now they publicize another story:  Paddington Bear, The Movie.  The statues of Paddington have become huge favorites of tourists who are all posting pictures (#paddingtontrail for those of you who know what this means).  For some reason being a tourist, doing “touristy” things, I feel rather cherished and planned for rather than tweaked or taken advantage of by these stories and legends and statues for me to enjoy.  It is lovely to feel like a local and go to a BNI meeting and do laundry and ride the Tube but it also fun to be the tourist and take a hundred pictures of a thatched roof or a Paddington Bear statue or thrill over a maybe real burial place of King Arthur.

The thing about legends and myths is that they feel bigger than you are and they point toward something or someone bigger than you are.  And maybe, just maybe in that looking beyond who or what you think you are you see the Bigger Picture.  And in that Bigger Picture is a Not-Knowing far beyond your ken.  And there is the juice and the joy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.