Let’s ramble this Sunday! Meet at Veterans Park in Hamtramck at 3:00, and plan on returning around sunset.
Inspired by the celebrated midsummer perambulations in James Joyce’s Ulysses and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, this walk is all about an ordinary day in June. Monday, June 16, marks the 110th Bloomsday, when Joyce set out on a walk in Dublin with his future wife, later translating into the experiences of protagonist Leopold Bloom. For the past sixty years, modernist literati have devoted the day to tracing these fictional footsteps, usually amid much recitation of passages from the book and a fair bit of drinking.
For this ramble, we’ll convene in the city of Hamtramck to simulate the population density that makes these two books and their entangled urban walks compelling (sort of, since it’s been years and I still can’t manage to actually finish reading Mrs. Dalloway). Since we’re unable to set out from Virginia Woolf’s London residence or from Leopold Bloom’s since-demolished Dublin address, we’ll start in Veterans Park (for convenience, but also a nod to Woolf’s character Septimus Smith, a veteran who spends the day in the park, suffering bewildering PTSD episodes).
In keeping with the make-your-own-ordinary-June-day theme, please consider bringing an errand that you wish to do over the course of the ramble. Buying (or just picking) flowers, visiting the post office (or mailbox), getting a pork kidney (or other fixing) for tomorrow’s breakfast, picking up some soap at the pharmacy, stopping by the bar, preparing for a party, or just seeing what’s going on in the world while toting a lucky potato in your pocket. Feel free to bring a book in the event of a reading break.
Please wear more sensible footwear than Clarissa Dalloway probably would’ve been sporting, and don’t forget, as the British call it, your sun cream.