Riminating: Looking Beyond The Rim Into The Unkown

Riminating: to stand on the rim of the known. To look out towards the big blue unknown. To dive into the sea of what is to come, creating ripples sweeping us into the future. New ideas, new possibilities, new lives await us when we cross the Adriatic and make new landfall.

This week we have reached a milestone in our pilgrimage from London to Jerusalem. We have walked from sea to sea. We have walked from Calais after crossing the English Channel. We journeyed through France, into Switzerland and over the Swiss Alps into Italy, before continuing our south east progress to the edge of the Adriatic Sea at Ancona.

The blue Adriatic – a sea to be crossed, to let go of what is and be open to what can become. Mondolfo, Italy.

First Glimpse

We first caught glimpse of the endless blue expanse of the Adriatic as we approached Rimini. Before reaching Rimini we took a side trip one evening up to San Marino. From here we got our first glimpse of the blue sea we soon would be traversing.

As I was on the rim of a sea I was about to cross it felt strange being a pilgrim walking along a sea of umbrellas and deckchairs dressed in my walking gear. Fano, Italy.

On The Rim

Then next day we entered Rimini and made our way through the old city to the seashore. The seashore was a sea of colourful summer holiday umbrellas and deck chairs. The following day we walked from Cattolica to Fano walking along hilly roads with high views of the Adriatic Sea.

Standing on the beach, peering out to sea, soon to cross my point of no return. Fano, Italy.


With twelve weeks of walking it may seem that I have had ample time to ruminate. To be able to reflect upon the past. Yet I have found myself continually in a state of present motion that any profound breakthroughs I had imagined may be happening on a much deeper subliminal level that I may not be yet totally aware of.

R. S. Thomas, a Welsh poet and Anglica priest wrote the following about travelling, that Nuil, a fellow traveller had quoted in a morning reading:

the point of travelling is not
to arrive, but to return home
laden with pollen you shall work up
into the honey the mind feed on.

Pebbles along the shore of the Adriatic. A pebble dropped in the water creates ripples, an idea, a thought can create waves of change. Marche, Italy.

Gathering Pollen

I am still gathering pollen along this journey. The great epiphanies I have been waiting for may take time to reveal themselves. The answers I have been looking for have always been in me no doubt, I just need time for this to turn into sweet honey.


To gather pollen one needs to wander. One must go beyond what we know to new fields filled with flowers. One must look beyond to the distant horizons. We must go beyond to become a beyonder.


Yondering takes a fair good amount of wondering. When we wonder we wander. Our minds, our bodies are given the pull we need to push us over our edge, our rim, into the unknown.

A sea of possibilities awaits us when we peer from the rim into the great blue. Adriatic Sea at Parc Regionale del Monte San Bartolo, Italy.


Wandering allows us to illuminate the unknown. To make the unknown known. When we walk beyond our edge we enter a blue ocean of possibilities. These possibilities are often unseen, unknown, until we take the journey across the blue.


I remember as we made it to the ocean and took a photograph celebrating our milestone of walking sea to sea I became reflective. Gazing out to see I saw an blueminating expanse of nothingness. A nothingness filled with great potential, new thoughts, new adventures awaiting.

Statue of Julius Caesar in his famous speech as he was about to cross the Rubicon and his point of no return. Rimini, Italy.

Crossing The Rubicon

As we neared Rimini and where we could gaze over the Adriatic, we passed the Rubicon River. This is where the saying ‘crossing the Rubicon‘ comes from.

This saying comes from the historical event when Julia’s Caesar crossed the Rubicon River in 49 BC, which caused the Roman Civil War.

Caesar had been appointed to a governorship over a region that ranged from southern Gaul to Illyricum (but not Italy). As his term of governorship ended, the Roman Senate ordered Caesar to disband his army and return to Rome. He was explicitly ordered not to bring his army across the Rubicon river, which was at that time a northern boundary of Italy. In January of 49 BC, Caesar brought the 13th legion across the river, an act that was considered insurrection, treason, and a declaration of war upon the Roman Senate. According to some authors, he is said to have uttered the phrase “alea iacta est” — the die is cast — as his army marched through the shallow river. [1]

This has come into the English language to mean the point of no return or burning one’s boats. As I stood on the edge of the sea, even though I am still no doubt processing where I have come from I know that there is no turning back.

A thought once thought cannot be unthought. It ripples outwards with its influence. Senigallia, Italy.

Mind Altering Experience

The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Similarly, once we cross the Rubicon of experiences our mind cannot go back to where we once were. Experiences create ripples and these ripples expand, each wave creating new change.

The Ripple Effect: an idea, like a drop of water, spreads into ever increasing rippling waves, with each ripple it extends its influence. Architectural decoration on a building in Fiorenzuola d’Arda, Italy.

The Ripple Effect

As we walked across Europe I began to see the points along the journey of the outer influence of Ottoman and Eastern architectural ideas. Little changes – a point where the shape of a church dome changed, or the ornate brick breezeway in a barn, the intricate decorative brickwork on a house. One could literally draw a perimeter marking the rim or edge of the ripple of influence, as ideas met their furthest point.

No doubt as we journey further east the influences will be more distinct and numerous. Our lives are expanding little by little in successive waves with new experiences, thoughts and ideas.

Crossing The Adriatic

As we stand on the edge of the Adriatic, about to cross our Rubicon, I look forward to the new adventures, ideas and experiences that await. Crossing the Adriatic isn’t about burning bridges, but creating new ones.

Riminating: Looking Beyond The Rim Of Known
Reconstructed Roman bridge over the Rubicon River. Savignano sul Rubicone, Italy.

Building A Bridge

Do you sometimes get bogged down in every day little annoyances? Are you prone to gossip or blame? If so, it may be time to cross the Adriatic, to burn one’s boats as you reach the distant shore. Let go of the past, the anchor that stops you making sail. It is time to riminate, walk beyond the edge of the past, make landfall and create new ripples in your life.

It is a big blue sea of possibilities awaiting you. Build that bridge over to a beautiful new now and cross it. Burn your bridges on negativity – there is only one direction from here on – forward.


I look forward to the brimming, the overflow, the breaching of the unknown. To be surrounded by a sea of ripples. To be washed over by the sea of potential.

May you throw your pebble to the waters and may the ripples sweep you forward. Beach at Fano, Italy.

Good Tidings

Making landfall I look forward to walking like the ebb and flow of the tide, ever forward, always at the edge of the new.

May you too make landfall in your life, build your bridges to a new life, burn away the past, cross your Adriatic, gather pollen and make honey.

Goodbye Italy, hello to the unknown. Port of Ancona, Italy.



[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossing_the_Rubicon


Blog post written September 1st 2017









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