Sunday, January 15, 2012
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
The most exciting things in life happen when they are inflicted upon you, instead of you seeking them out. Keep up with people in your life, because only through other people and their experiences are we able to understand what we desire for ourselves. Like how Alexander Supertramp desired open air, or how Georgia O’Keefe desired to paint without colour for years until she understood monochrome. Quick decisions are best decisions because they happen in the moment you feel the energy. Elana told me that the Camino was the best time of her life in the hot sun, Seth told me he read all about it. So Arden and I booked a flight and ignited any maps.
The Camino de Santiago de Compostela is a set of hundreds of pilgrimmage routes throughout spain and france, historically beginning at people’s front doors, and leading to the city of Santiago, and into the church of St. James the Apostle. After he died, his body was found washed ashore covered in shells, thus the shell symbol of the trail. Beginning in the 1000 AD, people made this pilgrimage on foot in meditation, penance, and homage, like making a Hajj to Mecca (next planned pilgrimage). In the 1900’s, it became a novelty to walk the Camino as the original pilgrims did, on the unchanged paths through mountains, farms and villages. Some for religious purpose, some for cultural immersion. Some to eat, walk, talk, not talk. I don’t know why I went yet, but how important are a person’s motives to their experience? I guess, all of those things.
We began on the Camino Frances, to walk 106 km to Santiago.
Maps were burned,
Bags were lost (love always, ryanair)
We had our novels, What is the What and The Poinsonwood Bible,
passports, the clothes we wore, and every song imaginable in our heads for entertainment.
sans camera. its a good thing i didnt have it to distill the colors in my mind.
The entire Camino is marked with yellow arrows
Just when you think youre lost, you find an arrow.
Nothing to search for
Nothing to search for but arrows and shells.
Like the wizard of oz and the yellow brick road.
Sleeping and eating cheese in Galician villages,
In albergues equipped with beer and warm ham, bacon and eggs.
People take pride that their homes can be used by pilgrims
They want to do everything for you.
And families to offer you smiles and questions each night.
Spanish comes back to me.
Words are simple,
i can feel the breadth of a human through such simplicity. effort to understand and communicate speaks more than eye contact can tell.
It was cold, but rose bushes lined the ancient stone walls we walked on
(so we pretended they were blooming)
But if we let the cold days or rainy days or muddy feet (or no underwear for arden’s sake) penetrate our skin
it would be like spreading a disease.
So live and let live.
Live through your feelings, those at the depths and the surfaces of your soul
because even in the freezing cold, wet weather, you still know what warm is.
Each feeling you have you must claim to have known and owned.
When excitement drives you more than comfort and safety, that’s when you know love is love, time is right. Because you’re also not afraid to leave it, if you know what you're leaving there.
Maneuvering through ghost towns, highways, farms, forests, brooks.
The camino winds through life.
Some villages make me believe I am the first person to ever be.
Sometimes the side-of-the-highway-cargo-semi draft almost pushes me over.
Everywhere is a secret garden. Everywhere is a cemetery.
Tiny stone houses that have stood since wind.
Cows, dogs, sheep, churches, gravesites, altars
along the trail to receive prayers and pilgrims’ respect.
Like maybe you shouldn’t be let in on these family secrets.
but you are.
Galicians tend their gardens and feed their livestock,
because humans need a routine. It puts life experience into a rolodex.
Smiling is a feasible language. as you pass someone, wish them, Buen camino!
A couple 7 months pregnant walking for good graces.
So I wondered why for me-
Myth, friendship, religion, spirituality
im still not sure, but any exploration of the body in its simplest form tears flesh and bones away so you have no choice but to read what is written on your soul. Physically using your body, so there is nothing protecting your soul. Feeling the muscles in your body so you know its all there. These writings could be translated into an entire Religion just as they could to English or Spanish. For some the purpose could be hope to merely see what is written, and for others it could be uncovering the pieces of writing that remain a mystery.
Walking all day on the camino was like water. Your entire body is submerged, you don’t and wont know if anything is actually there- any finger, nose, leg. Unless you think about it, move it around, consciously give it feeling when it is surrounded by the same particles everywhere, same temperature, same amount, same touch. Nothing will make any part of your body feel different until you make your own movements.
Caught between contentedness being outdoors where my feet stand, and turning and moving to walk every path and touch every blade of grass spoken of. I do not want to constellations any nearer, I know they are very well where they are. I know they suffice for those who belong to them.
Wilderness makes me believe that rose colored glasses are actually real eyes.