Flowing through Italy

I hope but dont always expect
My ego still tries to scare
Testing faith in the flow

'Couchsurfing' in Milano
With strangers
No more

I need to take care what I ask for now
As I may receive it
Just like that

Devine providence
The universe provides

Third Time Lucky

The first time I arrived in Santiago I went to hospital, but went back to continue El Camino.
The second time I arrived in Santiago I had to buy a new video camera, but went back to continue El Camino.
The third time I arrived in Santiago I completed El Camino De Santiago.

That was Saturday 14 October 2006 at KM stone 0.00.

It has been an interesting journey to say the least, but I have made it, and feel wonderfully exhausted and elated. Grateful for the privaledge to have been on El Camino, particularly after I had to stop walking for a while, I appreciated the opportunity even more. The ´process´ never stopped, wether I was walking or not.

In 14 days time, when I have arrived in Slovakia, I will begin to post immages and details about El Camino, one post for each day of El Camnino.

There is 5 weeks of writing, drawing, filming, thinking, dreaming, talking and intense experiences to digest. First though, celebrate tonight with a glass of wine and relax one more day in Santiago.

During the last week my house sale was finalised, which means I am a nomad now. With El Camino, my period of transition completed the journey can begin.

Finding Lost Luggage in Lugo

The Camino doesn´t let one ´rest´ for long!

Struggling a bit to stay put when there is so much to explore specially when you are within the Roman walls of a pedestrianised city. They have got their priority right here! My room looks right at the back of the roman wall.

I got feverish again last night. I think I have been for a the last few days each night but did not check, so I stayed put and watched Spanish TV till I could go to sleep. They dub all programmes here, no wonder there is so little comprehension of what it means when people do not speak your language. I am able to utter in my Spanish-ish that I don´t speak any, but that seems to have little effect as most people start a full and fast conversation of which I sometimes manage to get a bit of meaning. It is always well-meant and kind, wish I was a bit more fluent, but I understand the concept that people are just genuinly nice here. I manage to reply at times in a mix of Spanitianofranco-ishnesh, if you get what I mean. If you don´t you are probably not alone, hopefully you will be just as kind as the locals and just pretend anyway.

Anyway back to my little room behind the roman wall.

It seems to be the right place to be stranded. Very comfy and modern in an old house, a nice little sanctuary where processing can happen, and it is happening alright. Again dreams signal what is wanting attention in my emotional body. There is quite a bit in store a few days worth I recon. On the emotional and physical plane I am right in the healing flow/eddy I think. Who am I to doubt? ´Mea Culpa´ but I still do at times. The weather turned poorly and coolish for the next while so no need to feel I am missing out on walking in the rain.

I am learning that walking is not essential to be doing a Camino; I think I got the idea by now. Yet I would love to do more walking if I can as it is so wonderful. For the time being I will stay 3 more nights here for now before I make any long-distance walking moves at all. I will have to change hotel but that will be it. I will move tomorrow from inside the old city to outside the roman walls to the new city, less than a block away. Will be interesting to see what that shift will bring.

The Romans had a spa here and there seems to be a contemporary one next to the historical one. I am going to check that out next as an act of being kind to myself, a practice that is a challenge for me still. A practice that needs practice right now so it seems.

To Walk or not to Walk, was that a Question?

El Camino means ´the road´, but El Camino De Santiago is a concept really. Today I was forced to stop walking due to an inflammation in one leg that is not wanting to resolve with pills alone, so a forced rest of a few days. Walking or not, it is all part of El Camino. Not sure yet what this stop will bring. I choose to take the bus to a city rather than staying in a village with 2 houses and a church, specially over the weekend, as one needs to eat from time to time. I am now in Lugo a city with its entire roman(!) city walls still in place, quite amazing. Maybe I ´bussed´ myself away from solitude and basic existence and the right place to be present with the pain. Only time will tell.

The Camino Primitivo, as this leg of the Camino is called has been great. Very quiet, walking alone all day and even sleeping as the sole occupant of the very basic albergues, privideing me with the gifts of a guilt-free long hot shower and a night without poky earplugs-I don´t snore you see!

It is interesting how everyday is different, not just in scenery, but also stuff that comes up in the mind while walking and in dreams while sleeping. Issues from the past that linger in my head pop up, wanting attention. One in particular that I struggled with for years resolved with an interesting twist. It required a shift in my attitude. A shift away from ego that was possible only through a strong desire to free myself from the resentment I still carried. As ´stuff´ comes up in my mind or in dreams, I take it as a cue that the time is right to be present with it. Walking in solitude is one way of being present issues that present itself. There are many others...

Baggage, real, imagined or as a metafor gets really heavy after a while. Yet you are the one that chooses to carry it. Interesting eh! While walking for such a long time you get a chance to deside how desperately you want to hang on to it.

As a fellow pilgrim from France said, apparently told so by a three year old girl (!!!) walking the Camino with her dad; the way to Santiago is about the past, the way from Santiago is about the future. Does that mean that walking one-way is not enough? Oh boy! Not sure if you actually have to walk literally at all, although while walking El Camino can be intense. I believe my Camino started from the moment it presented itself to me as something I needed to do. It started to have an effect on me from that very moment, weather I was walking, sleeping, flying through the sky or doing something else. It had become part of my consciousness. I know for sure right now that it will not be out of my consciousness for anytime soon. So even while ´being stopped in my tracks´ I am ´walking El Camino´.

In the old days people were promised a reduction in time in purgatory by half if they walked to Santiago. Was it a get-rich-scheme invented by the leaders of the church at the time? Maybe so, maybe not. It depends how one visualises purgatory. Maybe it is a similar concept as the Bardo´s in Buddhism. Maybe pergatory represents the time spent after one´s death before recognising the tunnel of Light to Light itself (heaven, Soul, God...). Perhaps that time is prolonged when unresolved issues are present and keeps one bound to the the life that was instead of ´moving on´. Perhaps it does ´pay off´ to spend time with unresolved stuff now, while being alive and well so you can die well without struggle when time comes. Is that perhaps why we get old and left with so much time to ponder?

Hmmm I still have a few miles left to do I recon! So on that note, I better go, adios!