What’s The Story Felipe? 5/22/16



Always something happening here!
Always something happening here!

Some pilgrims call the town of Sahagun half way on the Camino.  So we got there today at Phil’s Camino.  We had a big bunch of folks here to walk today, seven beside Rebecca and myself.

So the trail is in great shape.  All the flooding of winter is just a bad memory.  Right now the grass under foot is a little long and will get your feet wet on the morning walks.

So here is the schedule:

Monday 0900-1000

Tuesday 1600-1700

Thursday 0900-1000

Sunday 1600-1700

Hope me to see you, love, Felipe.

Just One Item


Beauty alters me.
Beauty alters me.

It’s late and haven’t done a post today.   Way too much going on.  But there is one thing that I have to tell you.

We’ve had a couple of private showings of Phil’s Camino.  One was for a  friend’s mediation group and the other My Rebecca’s book club.  Nice groups and each big enough to max out our living room.   They were both moved by what they say and one lady gave me this great quote.  She said, “I’m altered.”

Off to dreamland, love, Felipe.

We Will Survive Our Own Glitches



loving this blue
loving this blue

Yesterday I told My Rebecca that, “I was beyond mistakes”.   I have been thinking about that since.  What the heck did I mean by that?  Was it just a casual remark or was it something substantial.

A friend just said that she was teetering on the verge of trying to do too much and making mistakes in the process.  I know that feeling, that place.  We all get there at times, juggling too many balls.

Then there is chemotherapy for me.  Running gallons of “who knows what” through my brain can’t be all that good for my memory, organizational skills and etc.  I have to interject that my beloved docs at the hospital know exactly what the “who knows what’s” are and are geniuses with my treatment.  That I know and trust.  It is I that am foggy on the topic.  See, foggy is a good word for my seeing.  I think that in some way it is a gift really.  I give up the detail for the ability to see better the bigger picture.  But, getting back to mistakes, now I am more apt to make mistakes in the details of things.

Yea, so?  Well, there is age that means that more mistakes of a certain kind are going to happen.  I am just not as sharp as in years past.  Right, true, but what about this statement that “I was beyond mistakes.”  I am seeing it as an attitude that yes, I make mistakes but so what?  They are in the minor category in the big scheme of things.  I don’t have the time or energy to dwell on them.  I have to keep walking, metaphysically speaking, and guess what?  Something is going to pop up soon to occupy me and I must get ready to do a good job with it.

So, I am looking on my own mistakes in a more loving manner.  I am being more patient with myself.  It won’t be the end of the world, this mistake, this glitch.  I will survive my own glitches in the end.  And I think this is spilling over to include everyone that I am coming in contact with.  I am more patient with others.  I will survive their glitches and they will survive mine.  We will survive our glitches together and maybe learn to thrive in the end.  Let’s work on that.

Time to go.  Love, Felipe.x.





Terri, Susan and Jack



Our Beachcomber.
Our beloved Beachcomber.

Our local newspaper the “Beachcomber” comes in to the ranch on Wednesday.  This AM I opened our copy for a perusal of local happenings.   The front page had two stories, one about the Japanese internment back in the 1940’s and a story about health care on the Island.  There was plenty of other stuff in there, sports, article about gray whales, upcoming music.  Eventually I got to the obits.

I read Terri’s obituary because I knew her.  Our kid’s were on the same baseball teams and we had other connections, small island.   She was a sweetheart, loved by all, mom, caterer, lunch lady, community volunteer.  She succumbed to a “fast growing cancer”.e

Then I read Susan’s.  She was our daughter’s Spanish teacher in high school.  She had limited vision and had a guide dog named Sloan.  I don’t think I ever met her although I am sure Rebecca had, being a substitute teacher, probably taught her class on occasion.  Yea, so she succumbed to carcinoid cancer.  I don’t know what that is exactly but a cancer.

Then Jack, don’t think I ever met him, worked in the hospitality business.  He looked like a fun guy, “He threw a party!”.  He was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2008 and died on May 8th this year.

That’s it: three obituaries, three neighbors, three cancers, three deaths. Seems pretty grim.   We will mourn and go on, as always.  That’s what we do.  But at the same time cancer reinforces it’s hold on us, on our mind and spirit.  A seeming juggernaut, incessantly coming at us, taking young and old.

I sit thinking about this and watching the clouds go by the window.   Am I learning something from these clouds?  They are broken letting the sun through occasionally.  Is there room perhaps in all this cancer glum for something different, for some sunshine occasionally.  I am thinking about “Cancer the Musical!”.   Is there room for sunbreaks in our fear?  Do we get to take a break?  Can I make you smile in the midst of your “battle against cancer”.   Would it be like a USO show with Bob Hope for the shell shocked troops, this musical?

Well, this is what I am up to this morning.  We are walking in half an hour.   I am putting the paper down.  Love you, Felipe.x.





Stuff Happening



A visiting friend took this on the way home last night when he took the ferry.  Thanks Bob.
A visiting friend took this on the way home last night when he took the ferry. Thanks Bob.

We know by now the feeling that we are on the right track when things around us turn synchronistic.  It ‘s the Camino feeling that we are in the groove with the flow of the universe, that everything is moving in the same direction and at the same speed and everything has a kinship.   Things are all on the same page, including us.  We know what that feels like,  not that we are always there by any means but we know what that is.

So getting that far is significant.   And it is not something that we can take credit for, like it is an accomplishment.  Maybe we can take credit for being open, being outside ourselves, being willing to learn.   But I’m just saying that it is something that we are gifted, more or less.  We are sort of privileged to see.

So, I am identifying something else now that I would like to try and describe.  It is to me a Camino/Cancer/Catholic happening.   In my world it is showing up in all places, not often but I am just realizing that it is universal in my world.   I first noticed it in the Camino area, then in the Catholic area and now yesterday in the Cancer area.  It is something basic, something that operates below the point at where those things separate.

The basic concept as I see it is that I am this guy walking around in the mud who at some point starts doing something significant.  What is the difference there?  I always seem to start in the trenches but with enough time, effort and looking come across something that is significant but really just there for the finding.   But somehow on my own I can’t put it in perspective.  I need someone with a broader knowledge to tell me, hey, that thing that you just found, that’s something.

Maybe it is just how things work in the universe, hey?  It has less to do with me and you and more to do with things as they are.  We can’t take credit for that.  We are just privileged to see it.

So, after I had gotten Phil’s Camino, the trail here on Vashon Island, up and running and I was walking “across Spain” and trying to have that experience who should show up but Annie O’Neil. And what does she say but “This really looks familiar.”  “Aren’t I writing a book on this very thing?”  And our ensuing conversation opens up to me that, yes this is something, something significant.

And Catalina Barush, the art historian, comes along and hears about how I am walking in the mud and trying to have an experience and says this is something that people have been doing for a long time.  People build small replicas of situations or places to have the experience of the real time and place.  In other words, you have something.

So those are two examples from the Camino sector.  And sister Joyce my spiritual advisor will do this in the Catholic realm.  I will come across some “muddy idea” and she will clarify it for me and say yes that is something.  Somehow it is almost like I have to learn it the hard way.  I have to find that nugget by panning for it.

And yesterday this same thing started happening with Dr Zucker, my psychologist.  Well, maybe I was just starting to realize it and maybe it has been going on for a while.  But some how my observations from the mud about Cancer were having  a great conversation with his knowledge on the subject.  In other words I was starting to find interesting things that seemed useful to him.  Stuff that I was exploring on this topic stimulated our conversation, brought maybe new ways to look at the same stuff.  I don’t know exactly what was going on but we were having a good time.

What I am trying to describe is perhaps synchronizity.  Somehow all these examples are  instances where we arrived at the same place at the same time but from different angles.  And it seems exciting when that happens.

Thanks for bearing with me on this.  Long and involved but perhaps important.  As always, love, Felipe.x.




Sunny Day, Off To The City.



Never get tired of this color!
Never get tired of this color!

This is going to be the shortest blog post in history.  Not that I wouldn’t want to dilly dally with you but juggling with too many balls in the air currently.  Maybe more like dominoes falling.  Anyway, need to ask for a break today.

But, it’s a fresh new day today and that’s what is important.  Always yours, love, Felipe.x

Record Breaking



Walk like you own it!
Walk like you own it!

Here I am, Monday morning, wrapped in my prayer shawl thinking about our walk yesterday.  The weather was cold and overcast but the walkers were warm and enthusiastic and tapas happened afterward.  That may be a good bumper sticker, “tapas happen”, just an idea.

I think it was some kind of record for Phil’s Camino, except maybe for opening day way back in December of 2013.  Anyway we had nine walkers and three doggies.  I think I managed to walk with everyone, at least for a little way.  One of the folks is going to Spain this summer to walk and that was fun to talk to her about it.

Let’s see, what else is new.  Annie just put up a bunch of festival news on the previous post here at Caminoheads.  I am headed off to California in a few weeks the accompany Phil’s Camino (the film) to the San Francisco Documentary Festival.  We are in a catagory of documentaries called Cool Old Guys or Old Cool Guys, yea, should be fun.  And on top of that I get to stay with old friends in Menlo Park while I am there.

OK, off to read Richard Rohr and Terry Hershey blogs.   Then on to my day.  OK, all the best to you, love, Felipe.x.





Annie’s Monday Movie News


Yes, Phil's Camino.
Yes, Phil’s Camino.

On February 18, 2014 I woke up and had no idea how my life would change that day. That was the day that I got an email from Phil. It was a beautiful letter, describing what he called ‘my deal’, and what I now know to be his Camino. He invited me to come and walk his Camino, and I realized that since my husband and I had plans to fly in and out of Seattle in just a few weeks time, I could accept that beautiful invitation. On March 2, 2014, I found myself on a ferry heading over to a place called Vashon Island. There I met Phil, who told me to look for ‘the guy in the red hat’, and he took me to his home. Drinking a cup of tea before heading out on his Camino I felt just as excited as when I would drink a cup of tea on the Camino de Santiago before heading out for a full day of walking! Exactly the same, no difference at all! I wished that my husband could be with us because I wanted to film the experience. I distinctly remember thinking, “Somebody has to make a movie about this guy.” Well, here we are, that somebody was me, and that movie is Phil’s Camino, a 28 minute documentary short!
We have screened the film at 7 festivals so far, winning awards at 4 of them. I truly feel like getting into the festival is a huge award, and I wouldn’t even bring up awards except that I am still fundraising, and I think it makes a difference to folks to know that the film is getting acknowledged by juries and audiences alike. Here is our schedule for June, minus one festival that hasn’t publicly announced yet:

June 2, 1 screening at the South Bay Film Festival (LA area)
June 4 & 6, 2 screenings at the San Francisco DocFest (Roxie Theater in San Francisco)
June 11 &12, 2 screenings at the deadCenter Film Festival in Oklahoma City
June 23, 1 screening at the Nantucket Film Festival
June 25, 1 screening at the AFI film festival in Washington, DC

If you have friends at any of those cities, please encourage them to go to the film festival website and purchase tickets to whatever the shorts program Phil’s Camino is part of.
If your friends are in San Francisco, I am working on getting the man himself — Phil, Red Hot, Felipe — to one or both of the screenings so he can be there for the Q&A that will follow the film. I know I don’t have to tell all of you Caminoheads how much audiences LOVE Felipe! It is a thrill to do a Q&A with him! Joy beyond joy! One of the many many many gifts that this film brings to everyone who sees it. I will be doing a fundraiser on Wednesday evening i Redlands, CA, and as I mentioned, I continue to fundraise, with the website accepting donations ( www.philscamino.com ) My book sales continue to feed into Phil’s Camino, and you can find my book, Everyday Camino with Annie at www.everydaycaminowithannie.com People also plan fundraisers, which is great: the fundraiser on Wednesday night was suggested by none other than Carol, who was Phil and Rebecca’s “Handler” when we went to SXSW. Oh yes, Phil definitely needs a handler, ha ha! Just ask Kelly and Rick, who held that job when they walked the Camino with him, ha ha! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you want to plan a fundraiser. You can always private message me on Facebook, (which reminds me, have you ‘liked’ the Facebook page for Phil’s Camino yet? Also friend me, since I post there about Phil’s Camino all the time) or email me at [email protected]
In any case, I know so many of you Caminoheads have supported Phil’s Camino financially as well as prayerfully, and I am so very thankful for you. I include you in my prayers, and say prayers of thanks with every film festival submission fee, and with every bill that I pay. Phil’s Camino wouldn’t be where it is today without you. Thank you.

So let us walk forward today knowing and feeling the presence of our Camino Family that Phil has created here. How lucky we are to walk together!
Buen Camino,

Annie O Neil
Producer/Director: Phil’s Camino www.philscamino.com

Co-producer and Pilgrim: Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago www.caminodocumentary.org

Author: Everyday Camino with Annie www.everydaycaminowithannie.com


I’m Filled Up

Back from Mass with Catherine and I feel full.  Mass is a meal and I am full today afterward.  Part of it is that it is Pentecost Sunday a major day in the Church calendar marking the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Disciples, to the World.  Father’s Mark’s homily was magnificent as usual and included the phrase, ” We can’t do what we don’t remember.”.   That is the basic idea of  this holy day and  of the Holy Spirit, that the Holy Spirit is the spirit that dwells within us and is a reminder of Christ’s message, love as the centerpiece of life.

And part of the Mass today was the realization that Father Mark will be leaving soon to be replaced by another priest.  So, we were savoring him in a way.  Savoring his brand of heart, his brand of poetic communication.

What else is happening?  This I just noticed is the 800th post on this blogsite.  Pretty dang amazing!  We have been gabbing for almost two years now.  How can that be?

So, we have a walk later today, hope things cheer up a little outside as it is overcast and chilly today.  A friend is coming with her whole meditation group to be here with us.  Yea, never a dull moment!

Well, time to get started on my day.  Hope to see you or talk to you soon, love, Felipe.x

By El Greco, Spanish artist, done 1596-1600.
By El Greco, Spanish artist, done 1596-1600.

Felipe, Where Are We? 5/15/16



imageYes, we are walking on Phil’s Camino and yesterday we  the halfway mark on our second trek “across Spain”.   Since the coming of spring we have gotten more visitors and pilgrims from out of town.  So, it is here for you when you get a chance to be in the neighborhood.

Physically the trail here is in good shape.  The winter standing water is gone and most days it is warm and dry.  Might need boots for a morning walk when the grass is wet from dew.

Monday 0900-1000

Tuesday 1600-1700

Thursday 0900-1000

Sunday 1600-1700.

See ya, Felipe.x