Sara Alonso, 1981, Spain / Exploring the transitory nature of the temporal.

Shikoku, 88 temple pilgrimage, Japan

四国遍路 Shikoku Henro 
Completed, 1250km August - October 2019

Although I completed this pilgrimage in October 2019, COVID and the passing of my father because of the virus, got me in a place where I couldn’t focus on the wonders I experienced during the pilgrimage. I was grieving.

It is now, two years later, when I can look back and take a look to the universe I was placed for a month and a half. It is too, through the island, how I start to look forward to new beginings, and understanding the new cycle I am in.

Three years after the last pilgrimage to Muxía (Camino de Santiago, Spain), put my body again under awareness.

Thoreau, Nietzsche and Kant are considered walking philosophers. I’m not a philosopher but I use walking as a clarifier tool, and, I reflect on the notion of how I relate to the world, where is my presence. Maybe some of us, the ones that find difficulty on settling down, are still thinking nomads, and need to put body and mind on its natural moving state to clear 
the vision of ourselves.

One more time, despite being agnostic, I chose a religious route for a long distance walk. Reason why, is because I believe on the transition of the body through different stages; religious routes base their difficulties on the preparation of the body for the state of clarity.

The pilgrim's journey through Shikoku is linkened to a symbolic path to enlightenment, with temples 1–23 representing the idea of awakening(発心 hosshin), 24–39 austerity and discipline (修行 shugyō), 40–65 attaining enlightenment (菩提 bodai), and 66–88 entering nirvana (涅槃 nehan).

Following the structure of the travel journal written by Isabella L. Bird (“Unbeaten Tracks in Japan”, 1878, series of letters to her sister and a circle of personal friends). I find myself now making visual narratives about cycles and loops, and the relation of the island and me; the relation between my body and the current environment in which it is placed.


“We feel ourselves
part of wild Nature,
kin to everything

John Muir
What I am reading at the moment?.

©Sara Alonso 2021