It’s Today

(Our moon will be full tonight)

all fired up
(photo P Volker)

Yea, Halloween today. It’s also the last day of October and the full moon appears this evening. It is directly opposite the sun. The sun will go down and the moon will come up in the opposite sky all in the same breath.

And yesterday that was such a great story that Cris brought to us on her blogpost. It was so rich and at the same time so simple. Love that, thanks Cris. So like Debra dreaming that dream as message for me. Or maybe this happens in many kinds of ways more commonly. We learn all the time by other people’s example. That’s a message for us.

Joyce Rupp in her blog that just came in to me today had a quote from Flavia Weedn, “Some people come into our lives and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never the same.” Yea, ain’t that the truth.

I was just tossing some more chucks of maple in the woodstove and reminded of the fact that one piece of wood just doesn’t burn on it’s own but the heat and light come from in between pieces. They seem to egg each other on so to speak.

Well OK, time to get going. A beautiful day here on the ranch. Need to get out there. The best to you.

Heat and light come from in between loves, Felipé.

We Never Tire Of Cris

(Our moon is waxing gibbous, 99%)

Until a few days ago, I was so clear on what I wanted to write. And then, yesterday, Phil’s Rebecca posted some words from the Chilean writer Isabel Allende and my post inevitable changed. (If you haven’t read it, go and do it!)

For this post, I was actually thinking “what is that I have to say?” and here, “have” means “what is in my possession”… And I was reflecting on this question and a text from an Argentinian Benedictine Monk (Mamerto Menapace) came to my mind. Mamerto is someone you fall in love with instantaneously, he is a man from the country side with time to live, speak, listen and have mate… “Madera verde” (Green Wood) is one of his books and almost every adolescent who had a contact with the church in the last 40 years read it. A wonderful book for your pocket.

There, he tells the story of “Cancio”, a “guri” (“guri” is the word used in the rural areas by the “simple” people, to call a toddler). Cancio was called by his father who looked worried, and explained that he needed him to carry out an urgent mission. Without giving any explanations, he asked the boy to prepare a horse and told he would need to go to a relative’s house and take “a parte” (a sort of letter or announcement). Cancio was really young and small, his father had to helped him to get on the horse. Once he was sitting on the horse, his father pulled out a large handkerchief, wrapped something in it, and tied it to the waist of Cancio under his shirt. Cancio didn’t know what it was, it looked like a letter and something else, but he couldn’t tell. He was only focus on what his father told him: “Go to the uncle’s house, do not stop to talk to anyone, don’t stop to play with your friends. Go and come back to me with whatever he wraps in the handkerchief.”

And this is what Cancio did. The uncle was anxiously waiting for him. With no questions, helped Cancio off the horse, took the handkerchief, went to the house, and returned with the handkerchief with something wrapped into it again, and tied it back to the waist of Cancio and sent him off with a smile and a blessing.

Soon Cancio arrived back to his father. His father was waiting on a horse too in the entrance of their farm, anxious but also watchful for Cancio. When the boy arrived, helped him to get off the horse, untied the handkerchief, rubbed gently the head of the small boy, and allowed him to go back to play.

Cancio is one of Mamerto’s friends from his childhood; a man of more than 70 years when Mamerto wrote this tale. Cancio told Mamerto that he never knew what was wrapped in the handkerchief, but all he knew is that it was a message to carry, and that both men, his father and uncle, were aware that a message would arrive to them and it was important.

This tale that I read when I was 17 for the first time, calls me to read it again every time I wonder “what is in my possession”, what is “this” that was given to me, and I have to share? Like Cancio, I feel I was given something wrapped in a handkerchief that I don’t know its content, but I know is something for the others. Like Mamerto says, I am sure you know what it is, so I am just here bringing it to you.

Cris our Caminoheads South America Bureau Chief in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


(Our moon waxing gibbous, 91% illumination)

Hair on Fire. Thanks Jim and Jen for help on this self portrait.
(photo P Volker)
(photo P Volker)

Ahh, back from dreams, back from the Institute, back for the dentist and back from my morning walk. I feel runned over by a truck a few times maybe forward and then it backed over me just for good measure. Geez.

Well, let’s take them in that order. If it wasn’t for the “tapas on steriods” dream two nights ago I’d be really lost right now. It has really buoyed me up substantially. I am so grateful.

Then at the Institute yesterday we hit the point in my treatment where we are had to admit that we need to find the next stepping stone. The trial drug has not in the long run done it’s job. So, this is interesting, I am scheduled for a biopsy of my tumors to see if anything new can be learned. Apparently things change as in this stuff can mutate and it’s DNA can change. If this has happened then a new catagory of drugs could be employed and possibly immunotherapy. This is one possibility that needs checking and that is where we are heading next.

And the 0750 dental appointment to tackle a filling. Isn’t that like ridiculously early or is it just me. Anyway that worked out great because I was thinking of my dream the whole time. Less dreadful than I imagined. And I got back early enough to be here for the walk on time. It was such a relief to be JUST walking.

JUST loves, Felipé.

Woke Up All Giddy

(Our moon waxing gibbous, 85% illumination)

Fully awake and full of banter. Veranda pilgrims, 2019.
(photo W Hayes)

I was there in a dining room with all new people, new to me but they obviously knew each other. It was a little intimidating at first. These people are more educated than I. These people are more wealthy than I. These people know each other and I am new. I wish Rebecca were here I kept thinking.

But they were not only interested in each other but in me. Everyone is equally outrageous but no one can do anything wrong. There is eating and drinking going on but people are mainly intoxicated by each other. There is a lot of spilling going on. People throw all their cloth napkins at the person causing the latest incident and they laugh and laugh.

At a certain point we all get up and load ourselves into various motor cars for a ride. It doesn’t seem to have a purpose but it doesn’t need one. Just being together is enough. This goes on and on and eventually we are back and I wake all giddy.

Geez, what the heck was that? A dream, the longest dream in history. It seemed to last a half hour. Yes, I realized that was a dream and I had that dream. I was so happy with myself.

It reminded me of Gil Pender in Midnight in Paris. He meets all these amazing people. One minute he is with Fitzgerald, the next with Salvador Dali. Hemingway was immensely interested in Gil’s writing. It is Hemingway’s Movable Feast all over again but just for me.

It reminded me of Pilgrim Farmer John and his crowd of buddies too. They know each other and trust each other to have this incredible continual raucous banter going on night and day when they are together.
Everyone is equal and no one is exempt.

It was like the best of tapas when we all are pulling for each other. Here is a Felipé quote, “We were all shades of battered.” There are new and old there, it doesn’t seem to matter how long you knew someone, ten days or ten minutes.

It was the picnic in Viana in the beautiful ruins of a church, the roof long gone. The sky all full of sun and storm. We enjoying each other.

A super lot of my dreams are full of anxiety. I guess they are nightmares but no monsters. I just cannot find the place I am supposed to be. Or I can’t get there in the time allotted. I am always a dollar short and a day late. But here there was no concern over time. Time was totally irrelevant.

The WHOLE idea was to enjoy each other in our quirky individuality. You can’t do ANYTHING wrong when you are genuinely yourself. It seems to go on forever, TIMELESS. A vision of heaven?

full of sun and storm loves, Felipé.

In Addition

(Our moon waxing gibbous, 85% illumination.)

William taking a break from the world.
(photo W Hayes)

Almost afternoon here and still don’t have the blog under control for the day. Been busy this morning. Let me empty my mind here of all those little details. Now, what were we talking about?

We have been chewing on the topics of the smelly pilgrims and the dream interpretation. And we have gotten into the idea that both of these may be a form of communication that we have happened to stumble into. Not that we invented them or thought them up but we are noticing them.

These days, or really these daze, it is hard to notice anything but the big stuff. Whether you want to put the Convid first or the election first. It is hard to make room for anything else. There is something to be said for the boring old days. You know those days where we just worried about where our next tapas we coming from.

Maybe we are just going to have to make some room for all our old important stuff. We need to prioritize some and not get overwhelmed by the news. Personally I will be happy to escape to the elk woods next week. Things primitive there and a good break from civilization.

I don’t know whether I will be able to get the blog posts out every day coming up in November elk hunt. And I might not stay at camp the whole time as I may come back midweek for a little bit. But whatever I will be thinking about you and your well-being.

always loves no matter the location, Felipé.

A Cold Monday

Storm shelter on the Napoleon trail over the mountains.
(photo W Hayes)

What is rolling around in my head is the topic of connectivity. As with boiling down my Camino experience into one word and that would be hospitality, we could boil down Caminoheads blog and get connectivity.
And this connectivity might be the key to understanding the phenomenon of synchronicity.

We all talked about Camino magic as a thing. One example could be the appearance of help in whatever form at exactly the right time or place for you or yours. Things seemed to cooperate on some level most of the time. It took care of you. Maybe this isn’t so strange a thing but how things are supposed to be. I am beginning to think that it is related to our communication and connectivity.

The better we are connected to God and our fellow man the greater the magic. Of course magic might be a really too casual a word for this. But it does seem magical!

This whole deal of Debra being a messenger for a dream for me is some kind of indication of connectivity that I wasn’t aware of before. This is all on the woo woo side of things but what the heck. I have Catherine working on the possible interpretation of the symbolism in this communication as we were talking about it yesterday.

So, yup, stay connected. Off I go to the morning walk and then my energy work with Janet over the phone.

magical loves, Felipé.

Cold Nose Walking Schedule 10/25/20

Back at the ranch.
(photo W Hayes)

We are walking along as the temps continue to drop. The schedule will remain the same through October.

Then on the first of November things change to our winter schedule which means afternoon walks start a half hour earlier. Also because of Covid we need to cancel tapas till Spring and the return of stable dry conditions. And also just to complicate things I am going with our son Wiley on an elk hunt so will have the walk closed for a bit. I think that I will just fill out the whole month below:

Sunday 11/1 walk at 1530-1630
Monday 11/2 walk at 0900-1000
Tuesday 11/3 walk at 1530-1630
Thursday 11/5 closed
Sunday 11/8 closed
Monday 11/9 closed
Tuesday 11/10 closed
Thursday 11/12 closed
Sunday 11/15 closed
Monday 11/16. walk at 0900-1000
Tuesday 11/17 walk at 1530-1630
Thursday 11/19 walk at 0900-1000
Sunday 11/22 walk at 1530-1630
Monday 11/23 walk at 0900-1000
Tuesday 11/24 walk at 1530-1630
Thursday 11/26 walk at 0900-1000
Sunday 11/29 walk at 1530-1630
Monday 11/30 walk at 0900-1000

OK, think that’s it. Felipé.

The Sunlight Just Hit The Trees

(Our moon is waxing Gibbous, 69% illumination)

Isley all fired up this morning.
(photo P Volker)

Was a cold night but fortunately not as cold as predicted. The woodstove is merrily working away warming us up. The high pressure weather system is bringing clear skies and sunshine. And a chance to see our moon later today.

I wanted to share this dream that came to me via friend Debra. She typed it up and gave it to me to make sure that it didn’t get garbled which was good:

“Dream: I (my consciousness) am hovering above a field. The field looks like a mower hay field. A voice says or I’m aware of this communication: “This is a message for Phil Volker. Pay attention only to what needs attention. Four corners.” I am so afraid that I will forget this that I repeat it over and over to myself.”

When Debra was talking to me in person about this she mentioned a detail that is not in that written account. She said that the field was perfectly square. I see this in my mind, similar to the drone shots in the Phil’s Camino documentary which look down on the landscape here at Raven Ranch.

This whole thing is totally amazing to me. I am mulling it over. I am gnawing on it. If you have any brilliant ideas let me know.

Will have another post today with a walking schedule and trail news.

love from the corners, Felipé.

Maybe A Little More

(our moon in it’s waxing gibbous phase, 60% illumination)

Felipé smelling the roses.
(photo K Burke)

Man, I didn’t have a minute all day to get the blogpost done till now. And now it is 6PM and the World Series in on the TV and I am trying to catch up on the wine. It is supposed to freeze tonight and tomorrow night so I was running around winterizing. Yup, life in the country.

But the smell topic turned out to be terrific. I don’t know if we are done with it, well I hope not. Originally I thought about the smell communication between us in our small groups. But everyone here added something to expand on that. The smells in the albergues all night long. The smells in large groups like at the pilgrim Mass in Santiago. So we bonded with individuals and with the whole population of the time.

And the painkilling effect of chemical stuff that was flying around. I knew it couldn’t have been all in the ibuprofen 600’s. Just one war story. I remember me at an albergue sleeping in the lower bunk. I had put my glasses in one of my Crocs under the bunk. So yea, during the night a trip to the water closet was in order. So I slip into my crocs and stumble to the facility and back walking on my glasses that whole way. My feet we so torn up that nothing was surprising them, just a little more pain now and then.

Well, I got permission from Caminohead friend Debra to talk about the dream that she had that was meant for me. Yea, but tomorrow. I’m toast for now.

here let me walk on your glasses loves, Felipé.

A Friday Message From The Williamator

Over the Pyrenees
(photos W Hayes)

(Our moon today is First Quarter, 49% illumination.)

Walking, My Life Long Addiction—Reflections from the Spring of 2012.

I like to talk. In fact I talk a lot. I enjoy talking immensely, so when I
informed my wife of over 20 years that I would walk the 800KM
pilgrimage route of St James from St.Jean Pied de Port in southwestern
France across the Pyrenees mountains to Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain
in silence,she was flabbergasted. When I walk I will not talk. To show her I was serious I showed her the three
badges I had custom made stating in English,French and Spanish: I walk in
silence. Je march en silence. Yo camino en silencio. She was free to talk to
me but no reply would be forthcoming.

April 12th,2012 was day one of el camino.

The reflections afforded to he who walks without talking are life changing.

When I tied up my boots that morning I also tied my lips. Despite my
silence, I met people from all over the world. And the local folks I met
were kind, loving, generous. No common language spoken, our communication
was done with eye to eye and heart to heart connection.

The elevation at the beginning was at 200M/660Ft above sea level.
The sun shone as we climbed upwards on the way over the Pyrenees.By taking
the high pass one reaches the second highest point,1400M/4592Ft, of the whole Camino
Frances. Elevation was no problem coming from Calgary at 1048M/3438Ft.
As mountain weather does it changed quickly from sun to a heavy
mist and rain. We took refuge in a nearby hostel. A fellow pilgrim informed
me that four other pilgrims, two Irish/two Italian, had called him to say they were in danger higher up in the pass in a blinding snow storm. They were lost, cold and very wet.The Spanish authorities were informed, but as time was of the essence, I headed out in an unsuccessful attempt to find them. We had also contacted a local driver who was familiar with the area. He was able to drive along the small road that led over the pass.Luckily he found the missing Pilgrims and brought them back to the hostel.

Two of the four were within hours of dying of hypothermia. They were ill prepared for mountain weather.As this hostel had no heating, we arranged for then to be taken to a village with warmer accommodation. That evening we enjoyed a wonderful Peregrino supper.

Day two started in the rain which soon turned to snow. Could only see a few
yards in front. When I left Calgary for this pilgrimage I didn’t expect a
winter wonderland. Each tree branch was covered in white and flowers poked
their heads through the white blanket. Passed roaming wild horses. A cattle
guard indicated the border. Now in Spain. Downhill to a Monastery, our next
resting spot.

This Pilgrimage was clearly a very personal journey.

No two people will see it the same way.

It was like living life from birth to death and everything in between AND
beyond. I have not, as yet, found the words to describe the beyond portion of this journey.

It was kind / it was cruel. happy / hell. pleasure / pain.

All weather. rain–hail–snow–wind–sun.

All terrain– mountain–valley–flat–hilly–muddy–fields–rough
paths–smooth paths— village–town–farmland–vineyards.

Upon reaching the Cathedral in Santiago I was met by a very excited pilgrim
whom I had met earlier on the path.
“We are planning a party,I’ve bought a cake and we will gather to
celebrate”—-. Immediately I felt overwhelmed with all the noise and the
people and the city. That’s when I realized the profound effect my silent
pilgrimage had on me.I returned straight away to the pilgrim office where I
had picked up my Compostela. Here the official gave instructions on how to
leave town and continue on my silent way 87 km to Finisterre on the far
west coast of Spain.

William, Caminoheads Canada Bureau Chief.