Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Camino

Just when you're crossing off the last few items from the "to-do" list before you leave town, something always happens. We had a bunch of things to do and were going along just fine when our
front gate stopped working and our telephones went out. There's more, but everyone knows the happens to us all. 

While at the DMV waiting to have my once-every-ten-years renewal completed (just one more chore on the to-do list), I lazily leafed through the latest Atlantic magazine. It's far from quiet at DMV - babies cry, doors open and close, people squeeze by you, conversation is everywhere, the robotic voice is calling out numbers...yet, I find it strangely easy to think in that kind of minor hubbub. At university, I used to study in a public library right in front of a bus stop. The buses air brakes would whine, people were talking and jostling on and off the bus, there were the normal living library noises of books being shelved, inquiries made at the desk, a couple of conversations here and there, librarians helping people find books...oh yes, and a baby crying.  It all added up to a kind of human white noise I found very calming and totally conducive to study. It's kind of like being on an aircraft...also an excellent thinking and reading space. 

Something jumped out at me from the article, "The Exemplary Narcissism of Snoopy" by Sarah Boxer. Our niece, Mary Faith, is currently in Spain hiking (or making a pilgrimage) on El Camino de Santiago de Compostela or in English, The way of St. James. She's carrying her Snoopy with her, posting pictures of him along the way. She's not an airhead nor silly nor childish. Her connection to Snoopy, I think, has to do with him believing that he can be whatever he wants to be. She's been forced to reinvent herself several times and Snoopy has been an inspiration for her. 
The first Snoopy strip before he started thinking, communicating and collecting art. 

In the article, I read that Snoopy owned an Andrew Wyeth painting and had a pool table in his dog house. Goes to show what imagination can do for you. And that's not Andrew Wyeth's obituary "Peanuts is mentioned." From the obit.......

"Wyeth even made "Peanuts," in a November 1966 comic strip: After a fire in his dog house destroys his van Gogh, Snoopy replaces it with an Andrew Wyeth. "
- See more at:
Snoopy and Andrew Wyeth
We received a postcard from Mary Faith today from Leon - she's getting near the end of the trail. She mentions that she is taking St. Ibuprofen for her knees, but that's she's loving every moment of the 500 mile walk. The trails are full of pilgrims, as are the alburgues where she stays and the places she eats...and there's a true camaraderie between all these people from all over the world. Even though she started out on this journey alone, she's far, far from alone now. We hope to do a little bit of the Camino at some point...maybe the last stage. 

Pilgrim's passport with stamps from the various stages, inns, churches along the way. 

Mary's Snoopy here and below at various stages of the Camino. I think his hat is a Pilgrim's hat. 

Snoopy on top bunk - lucky night!

Martin Sheen and his son made a film about the Camino called "The Way." Here's the trailer.

Maybe Mary will decide to add a couple of days on to the end of the hike and burn her clothes as is suggested in this bit of information from the Camino website:


Three more days of walking, or two hours on a local bus, will take you to what was long regarded as the end of the world. Walk out to the lighthouse. For a final Camino experience, remove and burn your walking clothes, take a plunge into the sea, and when you come out get dressed in something new. Then say goodbye to the Camino ... or perhaps not. The true Camino, according to its modern-day lore, begins only when you reach the end.

Give me my scallop shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My scrip of joy, immortal diet,
My bottle of salvation,
My gown of glory, hope's true gage,
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage. 

Sir Walter Raleigh, "The Passionate Man's Pilgrimage"

No comments:

Post a Comment