Walking Schedule 4/30/17


Yes, pretty much Spring here.  The trail is drying up and the trees are in bloom.  Come when you can:

Monday 0900-1000

Tuesday 1600-1700

Thursday 0900-1000

Sunday 1600-1700

Still my need your rubber boots for another few weeks.  Felipe.x

Zen And The Art Of Phil’s Camino




After Mass this AM I had a showing at the Vashon Zen Center.  I was there for the service and then we showed the film and then My Rebecca and I were available for questions.  Pretty fun group.   That was mostly a set of folks that we hadn’t been around before with the film.

Before I forget, here is the hot link for Papa Francisco’s TED talk:


The sun is finally out and there is steam rising off everything outside.  I have one hour before we walk at four o’clock.  I don’t seem to be worth a darn at writing anything yesterday or today, too spaced out.

OK, maybe I will put my energy into the walk and tapas instead.  Yea so, could be worse. Be with you tomorrow of course.  It’s alperfect really.  Love, Felipe.

All That I Am Good For

I think that it is time for the laughing Jesus again,


This is my bad weekend in the chemo cycle.  Catherine calls it my Pyrenees weekend.  Yea, that’s it.  All I have been good for today is watching baseball and hockey so far.  But I did have an incredible meeting and walk this AM with Art and Marvin who came from the mainland to play.

Yes, I owe it to Marvin to talk about him.  Marvin is a African American who is a little younger than I am, isn’t everyone and he runs an outfit called Dads.  His wife is with him in this endeavor.  Dads puts black families back together, that’s as easy as I can put it.  We have absolutely nothing in common except we are both serious believers and are both on our own Caminos.  What we realized is our own personal ministries have so much in common even though on the surface they look worlds apart.   That brought us together.

Art, remember Art from the first paragraph put on a retreat in February that both Marvin and I attended.  I got to show Phil’s Camino one evening and did a QandA afterward.  I was amazed how I connected with the group of black men that had come with Marvin.  There is something very authentic happening with Phil’s Camino that resonates with people even if they have no evident connection to Spain, or Camino’s or other surface details.  I was amazing to take this stuff in.  Thank you Marvin for getting back to me with this.

Marvin had a great way of expressing the plight of us when we are so involved with a project that we can’t see what it is that we are really doing.  We are so wrapped up that we can’t what outsiders see.  He called it, “When are in the can and can’t see the label.”  Yea, I get it.

That’s it folks, love you immensely, Felipe.


Papa Francisco’s TED talk

Blue skies in Seattle.


Yea, check it out, Pope Francis’s talk with us.  Cris sent that in to us as something for me to view for my unity speech.   Nice of him to do that for me.   It’s a good one but I may have to watch it again.  It is in Italian with English subtitles and I find myself wanting to watch him and the subtitles at the same time which is hard to do.

Here at the hospital with nothing I have to do for the next two hours.  I’m going to work on the speech and maybe check out FaceBook.  It’s enforced downtime while I hydrate.  A whole liter of saline going in to my body.  My we could have used this treatment in the Spanish August.

And then maybe I will take a nap.  OK, see you tomorrow, love, Felipe.


“Grateful Awareness”

Mount Rainer in the alpenglow.


Grateful awareness, I like that phrase and stole it from Richard Rohr’s book “Divine Dance”.   That to me describes our perfect state of mind as we walk our trail, our Camino.

I worked on my unity speech yesterday while I was in the comfy chair at the Cancer Treatment Center.  I had scissors, tape and a stapler.  If I was on a United flight I would have gotten drug off.  Too many weapons on that cowboy.

Then last evening I was at St. John Vianney’s for a showing of Phil’s Camino.  They had a nice big screen TV and the picture was nice and bright and the sound was good and loud, I was happy.  And we had a long QandA afterward with My Rebecca helping me out.  It was a long day but that’s what happens these daze.  Thanks to them for having us.

Have a walk in a few minutes with two new guests coming.  I can feel that it is the start of the season here at the trail.  Last summer was certainly busy for us.  But that is what we do with our radical hospitality, right?

This Sunday after Mass I am headed to a showing and QandA for the Vashon Zen Center.  This will be at Havurate Ee Shalom, 15401 Westside Hwy SW,  Vashon, WA 98070 from 1000-1145.

Yea, there it is for a Thursday morn here at Raven Ranch.  Thinking of Pilgrim Farmer John in Iowa planting his corn.  Thinking of Sister Joyce recovering from her surgery here in Seattle.  Thinking of two nurses from the hospital on their way to Spain and the Camino.  It’s all happening.  Love it, love you guys, Felipe.


The Topic Is Unity

Felipe smelling the roses along the trail in Spain.


May 4th is National Day of Prayer here in the States.  It is an opportunity to pray for our leaders big and small, up and down the chain.  I am friends with the the person that organizes the local Vashon service every year and she tapped me to do the keynote speech.  Yea, yours truly.  We talked about it and unity came up as a topic.  OK then, let’s tackle that.  So, I am working on that here at the hospital today with all my time in the comfy chair.

I have never given a twenty minute speech but heck how hard can it be.  I did send out some emails to various folks to gather up some info on unity that maybe hadn’t occurred to me.  So, a bunch of stuff came back and I am sorting through it.  I have enough ammo to handle the situation.  My next chore is to get it organized in my head so I don’t have to read anything but a few prompts.  That is my goal to interact with the audience, to be present to them through the process.

So, the topic of unity seems like a good one to delve into at this time.  Seems like we need to pull together on all kinds of levels these days.  Lot’s of room for improvement.  And that is what we are going to tackle here at our little old Vashon prayer service on the fourth.

Let me go now and study.  Send in a comment when you get a chance.  We are here at Caminoheads to keep the flame lit and to buoy each other up.  See you tomorrow, love, Felipe.

Rainfall Record

Rhododendrons blooming.


No wonder Phil’s Camino has been under water.  We just broke the all time record for rainfall in April and we have a week yet to go.  Yike.  Catherine and Dana are bailing on me, headed for Death Valley for this last week to find some dry.  Hehe.

There’s that and then we had Ruben the Comcast guy here yesterday to revamp the system.  Internet twice as fast now.   Then there was a glitch this morning when it shut down and so this blog post is twice as slow, so it all evens out.

Coming up May 4th, the first Thursday in May is National Day of Prayer across the land.  We have a local prayer service here at the Vashon Theater at noontime I think.  My locals will have to make it because Felipe stepped up to do the keynote speech.  Speaking on the topic of unity which we need more than ever these days.  Yea, check it out, maybe you’ll learn something, maybe I’ll learn something.

I’m to back the hospital for treatment tomorrow, have to make the most of today.  I’ll duck in and out of the rain showers to get things done.  Thinking of Pilgrim Farmer John planting corn in Iowa right now.  I think that the Dubuque Film Festival is about ready to start there in Iowa also.  We were there last year for that great event.  We won the Audience Choice Award, our first award.  A good time was had by all.

OK, time to go get my jeans muddy.  I see on FaceBook where muddy jeans are going for $400 a pair.  I am so ahead of that.

Lovin you, Felipe.




Radical Hospitality

Felipe and Kelly sucking up the hospitality of the Camino.


Radical hospitality, where did I hear that phrase?  It was sometime over the weekend.  You hang around with the right people and this sort of stuff happens.  Hehe.  I keep saying it over and over to myself since I heard it.  I guess you could say it captured my imagination.

Is this what we experienced on the Camino de Santiago?  Eternal hospitality, ongoing, repeat it over and over again till you get it hospitality?  Could be, right?  At times it was funky.  Maybe things were poor?  Maybe they were overwhelmed and had been for days and weeks?  But I don’t think that you can ever say that it wasn’t heartfelt.

We as pilgrims learned lessons great and small continuously day after day.  We had an amazing experience.  But is there equal rewards or knowledge gained from being the folks that serve the pilgrims.  Is extending this radical hospitality a journey or discipline in itself.  All kinds of pilgrims train and go back to do this.  What is that like?

Maybe we could corral some of those folks and ask them.  It is an interesting twist to the story.  We have been so concentrated on the pilgrim side.  There used to be a DVD that were outtakes of Walking the Camino- Six Ways to Santiago.  We happen to have a copy of that and maybe it is still available from Lydia B Smith.  There were a lot of interviews with people along the Way.  Yes, maybe we should dig that up one of these days and play it again.  I watched it a least fifty times before I went to Spain.  I remember playing it without the sound because it was driving My Rebecca crazy.  Yea.

OK, Dana is going to be here momentarily to walk this AM.  She going to help me think about “unity”  which is the topic of a speech that I am giving May 4th.  Am trying to get that organized.  Maybe we will talk about that tomorrow.

Hey, it’s Monday,  the start of a new week.  What kind of hospitality can we cause?  See you tomorrow, love, Felipe.



Following Cris

Dana and Catherine at tapas recently.


Early Sunday afternoon here.  I went to two different church services this AM.  Catherine and I did the eight o’clock as usual and then I trekked to the Methodists to hear the testimony sermon given by one of my Bible Guys.  OK, that was totally enough church for one day.

Yesterday we published Cris’s great thoughts on walking the Camino.  Gracias amiga!  Maybe I will pick out three things that jump out at me and touch on them.  I know that different ones will interest you and maybe throw a comment at us in the next few days.

“As a Pilgrim I know there are yellow arrows everywhere the point is to be attentive enough to see them (even in the Camino where the arrows were painted, we lost the path several times).”   This is a good reminder that there are yellow arrows for us now we just have to be quiet enough, or perceptive enough or bold enough to see them.   In our hustle bustle mode that we can get in all too easily we must miss all sorts of helpful arrows.

“You have to wish the Camino to be long.”   Whoa Cris!  Like you don’t want to come out of the oven half baked?  OK, OK.  I thought they were all plenty long.  Or is it that you want it to continue indefinitely in a symbolic way.

“The answers come when it is time to understand them.”  This is such a great one that maybe explains why I personally got so much out of the Camino because I did all the preparation that I did.  Walking the 500 miles on Phil’s Camino reading The Everyday Camino With Annie had me in the zone to start with.  Gracias Annie!

“There is no road, the road is made by walking.”  This may be the best explanation of Phil’s Camino yet!  There is nothing there until you give it importance.  I like it.

Well, I probably didn’t do Cris’s lovely writing justice there.  But perhaps we have just begun.  OK, thanks for being with us in our journey.  Sunday kind of love, Felipe.


Camino Thoughts From Cris

Happy Cris.


Good morning!  Cris from Buenos Aires wrote this comment recently.  I just moved it wholesale from the comment section so that you would have a better chance of seeing it. Then maybe tomorrow we could talk about the things that jump out at us.  So, everything after this paragraph is her writing.  Thanks Cris, Felipe.x

Hola Felipe,

Hope today’s walk was a nice one! This thing about being a pilgrim outside the Camino is close to my heart. My life changed after the Camino and it was because “I was a pilgrim”. After my first time walking, I wrote the lines below… I do believe we can be a pilgrim after the Camino, but the Camino is not essential to be a pilgrim, I think the requirement is to see life as a pilgrim would do, the Camino just give you the chance “to try it” for a certain number of days…

Hugs to you all up there from down here,

“As a Pilgrim I trust in people and I know there is a lot of people out there offering their help and their hearts. I am open to the things they offer without judgement, I try to recognize they are a fellow traveller (some of them starting their journey, some of them in the middle, some of them not yet started), I try to have in mind that not everybody has had the advantages that I have had (even when there were the sad events in my life that pushed me to my journey, but also the amazing companions I met to guide me -among so many other things-).

As a Pilgrim I am sure I do not need too many things to be happy: just a good pair of walking shoes, a comfortable backpack, and allow the time to stop and have the “cafe con leche con tostadas” in the early morning.

As a Pilgrim I know there are yellow arrows everywhere the point is to be attentive enough to see them (even in the Camino where the arrows were painted, we lost the path several times).

As a Pilgrim I learnt:
-The fellow pilgrims are the best gift we can receive.
-The walking starts with the first step.
-You have to wish the Camino to be long (Konstantino Kavafis)
-Everywhere is walking distance if you allow the time.
-The answers come when it is time to understand them (Rilke).
-There is no road, the road is made by walking (Antonio Machado).
-Being attentive is a great attitude.

As a Pilgrim I experienced that the walking was not always thru stunning landscapes, easy fields, sunny and warm days, nice albergues, or nice hospitaleros, though, we kept walking and eventually, we arrived to Santiago. Then, life has not to be different: eventually, we arrive where we are expected (as it is in the cover of “The elephant´s journey” from Saramago, referring to the book of the itineraries).

In the Camino I learnt that if you ARE a pilgrim, you are a Pilgrim for ever.”

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