the del Norte/Primitivo route.
Spain: From Irun to Santiago de Compostela, 500 miles.
Post 11 and 12; June 11 and 12, 2016, Saturday and Sunday. A few days to go.
Saturday and Sunday. Now and later. We should be happy, not anxious. All of us. On Saturday, we spend some time at Café Heaven, some time at the 18th Street Coffee House, some time shopping, exercise by the Echo Park lake, talking and thinking. It’s me, Nick, Harold, Tempie, Norm, and Baby Doe 1.
I remind everyone that I’m not the “leader” of this trip. The Camino is: singular. You must feel called to do it. Take the risks on all levels, and understand what you’re getting into. And, remember: it’s harder physically on you than you can imagine: blisters, sore feet, legs, everything, and a daily challenge, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Prepare.
I remind everyone that I will try to write my own blogs, but whatever if I can get to post them from the path—that’s hard. It’s hard to do anything from the path. The path, the Way, the Camino is all consuming. The pattern of the day is relentless: trek all day, maybe 20 miles with a 20+lb backpack in every kind of weather possible, which will take a minimum (at least for me) of eight hours, then get to a little town (mostly), find an albergue and a place to sleep, take a shower if available and the line is short and hot water left, find a meal, maybe a pilgrims’ dinner, wash your clothes, go to a pilgrims’ mass if available and the camaraderie dictates, talk for a while with many new friends, realize that at the albergue it’s lights out at 10, then go to sleep if you can sleep, get up at 6 and . . . do it again. And don’t assume you can do anything else, but try to anyway. So, anyway, I will try to blog everyday, and probably not until we get back to LA, can we look over everyone’s journal or chronicle notes, and maybe combine them somehow. On the path, that will be impossible.
By Sunday early morning while most of us slept, the Orlando shootings had occurred and again we are plunged into the wreckage of our society. In the Café Heaven of life, we all hurt when this happens, and “this” happens so much, and we are left to deal with some sick horrible person and their random evil. We were depressed. And I told them that this is likely to continue, now and later, and we will probably come out of the mountains on occasion, and accidently see the news on the television going in the café, and see another killing spree, or series of bombings, and yet, here we are on the Camino, seemingly all types of persons possible and getting along so incredibly well and not the slightest bit judgmental, not even concerned about one another except when we see their need for help, which will come basically all day long. You need to help each other a lot on the Camino. Just wait. And, yes, you can do the Camino by yourself, but you will quickly meet many new friends and you will have at least one, and probably many Camino families and, there again, you will be concerned for their well-being, and there to help them when they need it.
On Sunday morning, we all went to Angelus Temple, and Michael Jr., the comedian and (in my view, great preacher), spoke. He’s hilarious, and yet so serious. His sermon spoke to all of us, between great laughs, as he helped us navigate the “whys” of life. “Why” are you doing something is so important. If you can get the “why” down, the mechanisms for how you do it aren’t so important because you know “why” you are doing it. Then, if you know “Who” you are doing it for, then you really are set. And, of course he’s talking about Jesus and God. Get the “why” you are doing something, or going to do something, really understand this, and the “hows” will come, the doors will open and you will do it, you will fulfill the purpose of your life. This message resonated with our team. It’s that simple. Thank you Michael Jr. You’re cool.
. . . By Sunday night, we all agreed we knew “why” we wanted to do the Camino.
. . . As I again learned from my 2014 Camino de Santiago, the Francés route,
it’s with the Camino:
. . .