Alas, unable to upload photos to the library computer (understandably) so can´t include visuals but maybe I can do it in one of the albergues. We´ll see. It´s almost impossible to describe this experience at the moment. There isn´t time to absorb or reflect. Too much happens in any given day - miles walked, food eaten, people met, languages spoken, churches visited (the exquisite gold altars). Then I barely have time to make some notes about the day as I have to take a shower, wash my clothes and fall exhausted into bed at 10:00 pm. Funny thing, the snoring doesn´t affect me at all! I thought it would be a nightmare. But I lie in my bunk bed every night in a room full of men and women and I think "here I am with all my brothers and sisters on the Camino." I´ve come up with a title for my book if I do sit down and write one: Hobo Soul. It would be my first work of creative non-fiction, not counting reviews and articles.
Irish-Canadian pilgrim about to head off for the Camino Santiago and hoping to walk all 500 miles! I'll be making notes along the way and taking photographs for the book. Already have a title but I'll keep that a secret for now. But first, to bed, perchance to sleep. zzzzzzzz
As I prepare for my own long walk from southern France across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela, I'm enjoying reading the tale of these two men - one a monk, one a naturalist - on pilgrimage to the sacred sites of Buddhism in northern India. Just finished the bit where they were attacked in Bihar. Harrowing! My pilgrimage is a Roman Catholic route and I intend to join in the masses and any other devotions along the way. But I'm bringing sandalwood mala beads along with my rosary beads and will say a few mantras as well. All is beautiful, all is holy.
Jampa Ling, my heart's home and Buddhist Centre retreat, has worked its magic as always. Here for the month of May,I have already completed the script I started a good while ago and couldn't finish. I'm very excited about this. It feels magical. Will be sending it off to agent (Marianne Gunn O'Connor), manager in Hollywood (Barry Krost) and a few producers I know. Then I am heading off for the Camino to go on pilgrimage - ticking off a major bucket list item - and leaving my work in the hands of destiny (and various professionals).
Despite the fact I have been on the move for some time, wandering here and there, I've managed to read a slew of books. Last weekend I read Agnes Grey (Anne Bronte was definitely not as great a writer as her sisters Emily and Charlotte) and The Children Act (interesting read but neither compelling nor memorable, in fact the ending is predictable melodrama). A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing is definitely the most astonishing work I've read in years. Eimear McBride, in this first novel, has out-Joyced Joyce, using stream of consciousness effortlessly and without artifice to best reflect her character's voice. It is agonising to read. Inserted firmly inside the protagonist's mind, the reader cannot escape the nightmare of this young woman's life. I was grief-stricken and traumatised by the end but do not regret reading the book. Since I'm planning to go on the Camino Santiago I tried to read Shirley MacLaine's Camino but it was just too barmy for me (and that's saying a lot as I do like barmy). Can't remember now what else I've read. Stay tuned.
I thought that my voyage had come to its end,
at the last limit of my power,
that the path before me was closed,
that provisions were exhausted,
and the time come to take shelter
in silent obscurity. But I find
that Thy will knows no end in me,
and when old words die out on the tongue,
new melodies break forth from the heart;
and where the old tracks are lost,
new country is revealed with its wonders.
I haven't blogged for a while. Indeed I haven't written anything for a while. Yes, I've been on one of those long voyages through the dark. (Is it getting harder the older I get or does it just feel that way?) I'd be lying if I said I wasn't set back by People of the Great Journey's lack of success in the world. A blow to my self-belief, confidence and love of writing. But this wonderful book by Steven Pressfield, which a younger writer sent to me recently, admonishes me for that reaction. At the very least, Pressfield points out, failure in art still puts you in the arena as opposed to the sidelines, stands or parking lot! Giving up is quite simply unprofessional and a surrender to that insidious evil Resistance. So it's time to get back on the horse. Get back to work. Here's a relevant quote from Goethe found in the book: Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it. Begin it now.
I was born in Ireland and grew up in Toronto, Canada with my seven sisters and two brothers. Left home at seventeen to live in a commune, then headed off across Canada with my pal, Carole, and we hitch-hiked around California for months, then back up to Vancouver(Van as we called it then) and across Canada with two more pals, Linda and Peggy. A year later, headed off to Malaysia and Borneo with Jeunesse Canada Monde/Canada World Youth for a year. Baik-lah! Back home, went to Trinity College at the University of Toronto (posh blokes) while also joining the Canadian Naval Reserve as an Officer Cadet. Trained on the east and west coasts of Canada every summer. Great fun. Then what? Hmm. Started to write books, dodgy personal life (that's personal but let's just say it's been a long time between drinks) started to wander around the world, had a darling daughter, settled down in Ireland, wrote more books.