“Watch my back and light my way
Watch over all of those born St. Christopher’s Day”
James Taylor- “My Traveling Star”
St. Christopher is known to be the patron saint of travelers. There isn’t a whole lot outside of speculation on who he really was. “The Passion of St. Christopher”, found in a manuscript called the Nowell Codex (most famous for containing Beowulf) speaks of how he is put to death while trying to convert the heathen king Dagnus to Christianity. This may be based on the 6th century Greek legend of Offerus, who helped travelers cross a river with strong currents. The name “Christopher” is of Greek origin and means Christ-bearer.
In 1969 there was a bit of reform to the Roman Calendar and St. Christopher’s Day didn’t make the cut. The lack of unsubstantiated origins of St. Christopher, though not explicitly stated as the reason for the removal, didn’t help his cause. On top of that he is not a formally canonized saint. My Catholic friends may have something different to say and that’s cool. I’m just an observer.
None of this detracts from the spiritual impact, or that we are looked after and cared for in our travels.
(I read quite a few journals, articles, and blogs. I put links to the most significant ones at the end of this)
“Saint Christopher”- Titian Vicilli
I have a chef friend, a very gentle man and kind man. Under that cloak is a no-bullshit attitude that originates from growing up in Brooklyn in the late 1960’s. He always told me that when travels are tough you should always pat yourself on the back and keep moving. Sometimes the currents will pull you off your center and you need help.
I started this little knife quite a few months ago. I was in a place where I felt my fire had gone out. Travels were tough. I wasn’t sure where I was going and I didn’t like where I had been.
Even though at that particular moment I couldn’t maintain a roaring fire of my being, I could at least carry a candle, a small flame, till I could get my fire going again. So I made one. Something to give me a bit of light, warmth, and comfort. Something to watch over me when I was having a tough time watching over myself. The blank for this knife sat on my bench for a long time. I finished it a couple days ago. My fire is stronger. I like where I’m going and I’m not ashamed of where I’ve been.
The lesson here is to not forget where you came from and to not lose sight of where you are going. Remember the brutal parts especially because those are the most sacred.
The Spark. High-carbon steel, cherry handle and brass hardware
Wishing you the safest of travels