“When she is walking the pilgrimage route of the Camino Victoria Field meets the figure of Mercury (the messenger); there is nothing fanciful about the encounter. It has an authentic and down-to-earth magic to it, which exemplifies the nature of her book. She meets many other pilgrims along the way, and brings them all vividly into our view. As she recounts her journey, she also tells the story of her marriage and divorce. She weaves these two accounts into a living tapestry of her life: here is the numinous, the sexual, the spiritual, the poetic, the humorous, the sorrowful. Her writing possesses those qualities drawn from the four functions of human experience, working in harmony, which Jung distinguishes as needful for wholeness – feeling, intellect, intuition, sensation.”
“As she struggles with the demands of the walk she also struggles to comprehend the rueful ending of her marriage and of the process of ageing; she reflects on her past life: on the spiritual and creative tensions and blessings that sent her on her pilgrimage. This is an utterly-absorbing and enlightening book, of great value to anyone concerned with understanding what it is to be joyful, to be troubled, to be (above all) receptive to everything that makes us human. Follow Victoria Field every hard-won step of the way as she reclaims her life from the depredations of life, love, and love relinquished.”
“In our secular times, the ancient Camino – or pilgrims’ way – across northern Spain has become increasingly popular. That fact alone reveals that something else is going on in what is supposedly a secular age. But the genius of Victoria Field’s engaging, intimate, painfully honest and often moving account of her own ‘mid-life muddle’ of a pilgrimage rests in how in Baggage, past, present and future combine spiritually and creatively.”
“How does anyone survive the ending of a marriage? In Baggage, both Victoria Field’s sense of wonder and awareness of loss continually fascinate. She packs her bag and joins hundreds of other pilgrims, but only a poet could depict so acutely how a marriage fails. Tough, lyrical, devastating, Baggage is a courageous achievement.”
About the Contributors
- Victoria Field was born in London in 1963. She has lived and worked in Turkey, Russia, Pakistan and Cornwall and is now based in Canterbury. She is a prize-winning writer of poetry, fiction and drama and is a former writer-in-residence at Truro Cathedral. She works as a poetry therapist.