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23 The Journey

hexagram-23-journey‘YOU’RE STILL PLANNING your reckless adventure, pondering what you’ll need?
Just take half the clothes and twice the money, and go.’

He has a key but no door now: the airport needed a buffer zone. After
the boat, should he try train or car? Paid up front, would the driver show
up? Better to risk the timetable’s hieroglyphics. Native newspapers serve
as your passport. On the cover of Charlie Hebdo Kate Winslet rises like
Aphrodite from a boat packed with migrants: ‘Un Titanic par semaine.’

1st – The Delayed Journey
Behind the station are two small public gardens – hopeful bosky
depositories for anyone travelling with a dog. Stalled in your circuit you
miss train after train, mocked by whistles in the steam. The lilt and tang
of your curses prompt sudden friendship among silent drifts of blossom.

2nd – The Hazardous Journey
The technician who prepped the engine normally works on motorbikes
and mopeds. Our souls, in their sky-rush, just clear the corrie’s rim, the
volcano below us streaming with wrathful lava. Our pilot, crack batsman
of the upper school, paid in rare autographs, is contagiously gung ho.

3rd – The Journey of Dutiful Compassion
This mercy trip is a holiday in a handcart, the gift of a pineapple from
the oasis of well-being – as if a doctor had asked you to sit still for your
own good. A luxury free of guilt protects against sandstorms. You can buy
camels on arrival if you need them: for now you just drive, unshaven.

4th – The Journey in Winter
Snowflakes flurry and accumulate, as if flung onto graves from an angel’s
shovel. This reminds the kids of angel wings, so in a lay-by we allow them
their heart-breaking frottage of innocence, willing the whole crew north –
though what we really need is grit some devil’s grudge withholds.

5th – The Assisted Journey
The planet is mapped and the maps refreshed by their users – a karmic
system, saving us hours we might have spent peering at roads rubbed out
by folds and swivelling flapping sheets in our cramped capsules. You boldly go
to the lighthouse – driving across sands, breasting the rising tide.

6th – The Long Journey Homewards
There’s a bus stop and bench (a German innovation) and at the bright end
of homecoming an unlocked wardrobe. Packing takes many more hours
than waiting – most of the refugees are soon distracted, tricked back into
the lounge for a cup of tea. The general strike ends tomorrow.

All six – The Sacred Journey
Nodding wheat-ears hosannah pilgrims on mules, whose tall tales are
rumbustiously secular. At night they spill their souls in whispers. Given
the pliability of the medium, why has the revered face of the shroud never
flattened itself into a cornfield? Why all those sacred geometry clichés?

Introduction to Six-Way Mirror | The Index of Hexagrams and Cantos



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