A Tenth Of A Second

A rosary on the trail.

At the hospital today for a treatment after my two weeks off. I don’t know if off is really the right word as it is more like work. Fun side effects to sort out and figure out how to minimize and work into a functional life. Anyway, enough of that. But the whole fascinating medical lashup buys me time, time to be with you.

So with all this time let’s get on with it. So, I said the rosary on the ferry this morning for the trip is about fifteen minutes. It’s not an ideal place but it is a place. So, I was praying for two specific people that I was asked to do. Normally or most of the time I am praying for the rock pile at Phil’s Camino which holds about three thousand stones, representing three thousand cares, wishes and thank yous some of them mine. But today I was trying to concentrate on these two specific individuals and to tell you the truth I wasn’t doing that great a job at it. But somewhere along the line it occurred to me that maybe if I was just clear and undistracted for one tenth of a second in there’s somewhere that was all it really needed.

God is close by and He can pay attention to all of us at once I’m thinking. Everything that I got can be transmitted by me in an instant so I picked one tenth of a second as a working number. Why not? Most of prayer is for me really, to change me. I hear God already knows my thoughts anyway, right?

So I am practicing one tenth of a second prayer. Just the shortest instant that a conscious thought can be. Kind of a zap. This is on my mind today.

Just saw Nugget(beloved Dr Gold) and I impressed him with my hand drawn two color graph of the happenings of the last two weeks. Well, I was trying to make up for the time before when my info that I was supposed to report was unorganized. But this time I had visual aids!

OK, that’s enough for today. Hope you all are doing well. Looking forward to Super Bowl. Alperfect, love, Felipe.

PS – Tonight is the night that St Brigid will be afoot. We put out a handkerchief or bandana spread out on a bush outside til morning and that dew that is collected is from her, a healing liquid.

Togethernessing, New Verb

Togethernessing around the fire.

Buenos Aires Cris came up with a new verb inspired by the talk here over the last few days. Yes, “togethernessing”. I’m looking at it like I would at a new exotic fruit at the supermarket. Hmm, interesting, has possibilities. Is it more for tapas or more for dessert?

I forget if I told you that we watched “The Way” a couple of nights ago. It was good to see it, like seeing an old friend. I had a tear now and then. I noticed something new now and then. Overall it stands up pretty darn well. It is a great thing to recommend to a newbie as it is easily available. Thank you Martin.

I had a talk with the folks that run the Vashon Book Shop and they want to carry our DVD. They have a real solid commitment to having books by Island authors available so I think that Phil’s Camino will fit right in on one of those shelves. Don’t know why I haven’t thought of this earlier.

There is some blue sky out there right now. We are drying out a little bit after all the wet of the last few days. That is good. Walk this afternoon at 3:30. That time will shift to 4:00 when daylight savings starts but that isn’t till April. Easter is early this year though.

OK, time for me to run. Have a good one. Togethernessing is showing up in my spell check, my iPad likes it. Alperfect, Love, Felipe.

Striving For Connection

Keep walking out of that bunker.

I usually try and not read too much before I write my blog post everyday otherwise I get Shanghaied by some unrelated idea. Well, it just happened but really I have to admit in a very good and relevant way. There are a thousand different directions that one could travel in after being captured by an idea but this particular one that has grabbed me this morning is related to the trajectory of Caminoheads. That is why it looks so meaningful.

On FB our friend in New Zealand, Grace, put up the sermon by Dr Brene Brown that was given at the Washington National Cathedral. It looks fairly current although I don’t know any dates. I shared in FB today in case you would like to find it there or maybe Googling it would work. I would put up a hot link if I knew how to do that.

OK, enough introduction. She is a researcher and she has been exploring loneliness. It is her observation that over the last twenty years we have “sorted” ourselves into “ideological bunkers” with the result that as we become more and more sorted we become more and more lonely. We are “forgetting” our natural state of being connected to others on a grand scale.

Members of a particular bunker are united because they hate certain others and not because they particularly like each other. A recipe for loneliness. So more people are getting more and more lonely as they become more hateful of outsiders. Yuk! And what becomes really scary is that as this gets stronger there is an ability to move the hated group out to a place where they can be dehumanized. And so that means that we are free to do anything to that group.

So, where does Caminoheads come in? I think that our spirit is a breakout from this movement. We strive for togetherness with as many as possible. We strive for understanding of people and things that we are not familiar with. We don’t like bunkers, we like universality of the open road. I think Caminoheads is a bright light in this view of the world. We aren’t lonely! We welcome people into our lives that synchronicity places there. We trust what we so painfully learned in the dust and the mud of the Camino about our fellow man, about ourselves and about God.

I am so enthused this morning not by this darkness in the world but about our little light shining. Let’s turn up the wattage! Love you all, Felipe.

The Prophet Circle

William from Calgary, our brand new Canadian Bureau Chief.

We had a visiting priest at Mass today since Father David is off on a little vacation. Father Fred, his cousin filled in. So much fun to see different Fathers, all with the same basic message but with way different styles.

Father Fred was speaking about prophets although I confess I had a hard time hearing every word. But later after the service four of us and then five gathered to tailgate at the local supermarket someone called us the Prophet Circle. Wow, OK, I can run with that.

Jim my old high school buddy was with us. Had to drag him along but he was pretty willing. We actually both grew up at the local Lutheran Church, St Luke’s, in Western New York. We used to stay up practically the whole night partying and then would say, “See you in church!” which would be in a few short hours. Somehow we pulled that off week after week in our skinny ties and Hushpuppy shoes.

Catherine is making chocolate chip cookies today. Isn’t that a great little sentence! It is a little bit of local news that just kind of stands by itself without all the fanfare. It just is what it is. So, we decided that our buddy Kelly needs a visit from us and one can always get in the door bearing a bag of cookies. Kelly had surgery recently and needs some TLC.

Yea, Pro Bowl today. And then later we have our Sunday afternoon walk. Then this evening I need to make the run to the airport. Thanks for stopping by.
Always have time for you. Prophet’s love, Felipe.

Watched A Movie

Our son Wiley, wood poet.

One of my old high school chums is here for the weekend to check in with me and My Rebecca. I have not seen him since something like 1971, so we had a lot of catching up to do. Last evening we watched The Way because he had never seen it and because I insisted. Well not exactly insisted but you know how us Caminoheads are.

The Way was given to us by my brother-in-law way back when. It was the very first bit if education for me for my next phase of life. In other words, it was all downhill from there. It was my introduction to the idea and practice of pilgrimage and fostered my interest in the Camino de Compostela. It was a turning point as I look back.

It was fun to see it again, like visiting an old friend. I have seen it several times since my trip to Spain and it still holds up, I would like to report. Thank you Martin.

Jim and I went to my Bible Guys Class this morning. I lead the group through the first half of the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. Oh, the light’s are blinking and we may lose power at any moment. I’ll finish here and publish, love you guys, Felipe.

For The Birds

A heart shaped cactus pic from Tracy. It sort of looks like the hair on my head now.

When I was a kid my dad got me interested in birds. And one of the things we did besides having bird baths and feeders and houses was to set out materials for nest building in the spring. The whole year’s worth of little scraps of fibers went into this supply. Little bits of thread, yarn, feathers and
string were collected to be set out.

So I am doing it again this Spring inspired by the major amount of hair that is falling off my head. What a better use than to let the birds see what they can do with it. Plus My Rebecca has piles of little scraps from her fiber projects to add.

Back to my childhood, we would later have great fun inspecting old nests and seeing how our materials were used. Even from a distance you could see a bright colored thread on a high nest. It fostered a great connection between all of us. So, now could I duplicate this fun?

Right now I have a old high school buddy here visiting. We will be off on a tour of the grounds here in a moment. Hope everything is going well with you.

Oh, I just got word that a friend in Iowa has not been able to connect to the Caminoheads website with three different browsers. Can you check from where you are to see if you can connect to www.caminoheads.com ? Thanks.

Later,love, Felipe.

Fruitful Is Better Than Successful


Here at Caminoheads we are close to fifteen hundred posts written in the last coming up on four years. And I am thankful for the practice that it has given me to improve my writing and communications skills. It has been a long enjoyable road.

I was just writing Cris our Bureau Chief for things South American and I was saying that I had hoped her business trip to Toronto was successful. Then I scratched the word successful and substituted fruitful. They sort of mean the same but fruitful has juice, has a sensory component that adds. This is the kind of fine tuning that I enjoy now as I write.

The story of the Choctaw women that we have been here for days now is loaded with sensory delicacies. The smell of manure and death is strong in our nostrils. But the promise of ripe juicy tomatoes and flavorful peppers is there also. God ties those two together for us but we need to play our part.

A memory lingers from a bible class session that fits in here. And I don’t remember what book we were in but it was a story about Jesus teaching the Apostles and them later thinking on his words. The text had the word “thinking” or “contemplating” maybe. But the Greek word from the original text translated to “gnawed”. They gnawed on Jesus’ words!

Not a bad way to think about things as we are still under the spell of the garden story. We need to gnaw on it and try to internalize it as much as possible. Maybe the whole fruitful universe is in there for us.

Alperfect, love, Felipe.

Jolt Of Clarity

Felipe on the trail yesterday, a wet one.

Maybe one more day on the Choctaw woman. It really has juice, this vignette that we have uncovered. Are we in a hurry? Are we in a rush to get somewhere? Can’t we just dilly dally a little longer?

One facet of the story that is so worth talking about is how she was in relationship with God. How she was equal partners in the process that she was invited into. It wasn’t God over there somewhere but God close at hand. And it wasn’t God aloof but God as a working partner.

I have boiled down this story in my mind to refine the ore of it. Her part was gathering up death, which was everywhere, in it’s many forms and offering it up to God. God accepted her gift and transformed it to it’s total opposite, life. Life in the sense of building up of the soil and it’s capability and therefore to provide the food to feed her and her family. I am struck by the conscious yin yang of it.

Of course this faith, this knowledge, this ability stretches
back to her people. She didn’t think of it wholy but she upheld it and kept it’s flame alive. And consider that she did not start with some good piece of ground but one depleted, dead land. Perhaps it was some forgotten back yard of a rental house complete with car parts, broken glass and chucks of busted up concrete. It was something like that I’m guessing.

Annie sent us a comment this morning about how she saw a parallel in the Choctaw story and my story. How somehow what we do here at Caminoheads and what we are doing with the documentary is a similar gathering of the negative and offering it up to be transformed by God to a positive. We all are somehow living the bigger picture when we do this.

A good morning love, Felipe.


Just before Dana snapped this I whispered to Catherine, “Washington crossing the Delaware.”. We might not make very much money but we know how to have fun!

Ah, hot coffee and blogging early in the morning. It is a little oasis in the busy day that I have been about to carve out for myself. And we get to be together to “walk” and share important matters.

I can’t seem to put yesterday’s thoughts on the shelf and move on. That story about the Choctaw mother and her garden and God was just downright profound. And it was so enhanced by its total downright funkiness. It has captivated me, the story and the clarity of its vision.

If we look at the bare bones story (sorry) what do we see? She gathered up the utter refuse of the high rent world around her and offered it up. It was all castoff, death without proper burial it was. She literally gathered death in, offered it up and it was transformed into life by God in her garden.

Hope you don’t mind me sorting though the severed chicken heads and the dead dogs of it again but there is something very important going on here. I know yesterday I said something like this: that it was a simple woman that opened the universe for herself. And my thinking goes that she did in fact do that, not that she opened the whole universe but she made that first move on it. And this is the critical juncture, that she accomplished it once and saw a facet for herself. And that facet sustained her and her family.

My thinking goes that once a person is in that door, in that space, it is all up for grabs. But maybe one facet is all one needs really, yes? As you can tell I just think it is a beautiful nourishing story. I am literally nourished by this story, these few words.

It is so much akin to the story about the librarian from the ancient city of Alexandria who calculated the diameter of the earth “in his backyard”. We were hot on this story a few months back and explored it thoroughly. Cris was with us then so it must be in the last year. There I found it, August 27th, 2017 in the archives, the whole story is there for you.

Can we achieve feats like this? Yes, definitely, it is possible. Nimble creativity is a powerful tool. Love you’ll, Felipe.

God In The Dirt

Catherine y Dana on our morning walk today.
Raven Creek flowing gently in between rain storms.
Dana showing us some of the cover crop.

Everytime I hear the word dirt, at least when it is referred to as a growth medium, I think of my time at forestry school where it was always soil and never dirt. Dirt was something dirty you know. I’m reading Hard Scrabble about the land in Texas and the author calls it dirt mostly.

Well, dirt or soil, it is one of the components of the chemistry that continually conspires to keep us alive. And here at the ranch it is what we tread on as we walk the half mile camino. That energy is pulsating under our soles (our souls), continually, whether we recognize it or not. So, subtle, yet so powerfully there.

In the book there was a section where the narrator was talking about his mother and her garden and how she saw God in the dirt:

“There were bound to have been some, he knew, who like himself knew about good dirt from seeing it in the bottoms that richer farmers owned, and on the high hillsides too steep to plow, where trees grew from it and grasses held it firm. Some even who understood that by caring and by work you could make sorry
tired old dirt over again into good, if you had time and the stuff to do it with. His mother had shown him that in the little garden she kept, red rain eaten clay in the beginning, with a little sand to it, like everything else around that farm. He watched and helped from babyhood as she hauled to it pitiful interminable buckets and barrows full of chicken and mule and milk cow poot (poop) and forest leaves and pea hulls and hog pen muck and dead dogs and snakes and poultry-plant guts and heads and feathers and anything else she could get hold of, and dug them in with a hoe and sowed year after year in the darkening loosening soil her queer Choctaw jumbles of corn and tomatoes and beans and squash and things not even in proper rows, but always lush.”
“You could own land in our head, his mother said, the way she owned that garden. They never had title to it or to anything else worth having, but they had eaten well just about always. It was God that did it, she said, God in the dirt. You fed God and He fed you.” John Graves in Hardscrabble.

Yea, there you have something. It is hard to describe how moved I am by this simple story. One simple mom in her own way with what she has at hand onlocks the universe for herself.

No words love, Felipe.