I am still lingering in my mind with the conversation that I had with the audience on Saturday. I know that my words are incomplete or the thoughts behind them are incomplete or I’m not exactly sure of some major point. Buenos Aires Cris is listening to me lately and writes this comment:
Yes, I think I have come to realize that no matter what, there are two ways to do the Camino: and inner way, that is a pilgrimage, and an outer way that is a hike. And neither of them is better than the other, they are just different and people may be ready to do one and not the other. A hike requires a pretty healthy body, a lot of physical resources, is fueled by calories coming from fat storage, and is more successful when you have the right equipment and gear. While, a pilgrimage requires vulnerability and an awareness of the frailty of our hearts, is fueled by pains, hurts that we carry, doubts, etc., and is more successful when you carry the very basics. In a hike, the experience is the best when you are prepared. In a pilgrimage the experience is the best when you are unprepared for what you may encounter. In the hike, you do better when you are an “expert”, in the pilgrimage, when you are beginner.
This maybe why people who have faced adversity in life arrive to Santiago’s Cathedral after covering by foot 500 miles and their lives are transformed.
Likewise, may this is why those who have the tailored backpack and the right gore-tex clothing and carry the perfect weight and the right getting-to-the end mind-set, hike 500 miles from France to a town in Galicia called Santiago de Compostela.
Just a thought; as I know there was no way I could have hiked to Santiago.
There is a major divide there between the hike and the pilgrimage. They seem miles apart. When I talk of the Camino in any way it is always about pilgrimage, end of story. And when I falter with an audience it is because I may be talking one thing and they another. I see that now. And I have been messing with this for a long time and I am just realizing this?
Thank you Cris for you have shined a light on the fork in the road. One way is about performance and the other about vulnerability. When I try and go back in time to remember how I thought about this back then it might be: “I am buying this new pack and new shoes so that I can perform well enough to have the experience.” In other words, the experience (the pilgrimage) is the foremost idea.
Somewhere in the talk the other evening I mentioned that there are people that walk the Camino with no money. That sort of stopped the show for a while. These pilgrims trust so much the idea that the Camino will take care of them that they can undertake this. I am very impressed by someone who would even consider doing this. It is really thin ice, being very vulnerable, very trusting.
Food for thought as they say. And time for me to go. A funeral later today in Seattle.
vulnerable loves, Felipé.