Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Not Knowing Where I am from Saint-Come d’Oit to the World out to Estaing, Aveyron

Some days on the trail, I don't know where I am.  We arrived in Saint-Come d’Oit in bad need of a rest day.  So we stopped.  And  we mapped out the rest of the journey.
July 5, we’ll hike 19.5 k to Estaing.
July 6th, we’ll hike another 19 to Bessoles
July 7th, another 16 or so to Figeac.
July 8th,onto Conques, etc...

The day there was peaceful, just what we needed.  It starts to feel like a while away. But that is 
not a bad thing. Its about the process, not the outcome, particularly on this way.  We're just hiking, but without a clear destination.

Sitting at the pool, I read from In the Cafe of Lost Youth, a novel about 1950's Paris by Patrick Modiano, thinking about writing and living, growing older and making sense of where we've been. 

"In this life that sometimes seems to be a vast ill defined landscape without signposts, amid all the vanishing lines and the lost horizons, we hope to find reference points to draw up some sort of land registry as to shake the impression that we are navigating by chance.  So we forge ties.  We try to find stability in chance encounters."

This is certainly the case on the trail.  

Sitting by the pool reading, our friends from Australia arrived.  We've seen them most every day on the trail. They all seemed worn out.  One had walked three hours in the wrong direct, missing her friends as she walked.  So she wandered with new friends trying to find her way back onto the trail. 

Frank, our friend from Germany appears, dips into the pool, and orders a cheap beer. 

"I'm in heaven" he smiles.

Yes, the Camino is a process, a place to find inner peace while just walking.  But its hard getting on the road, even harder staying, getting one's hiking legs, feeling OK with the ups and downs.

We wandered through Saint-Come d’Oit looking at the stained glass in the old gothic church there.

Light is one of the ways we come close to god.

So I look at the wonder of the light dancing on the floor with the little one. 

Later that I day, I read, wrote, recharged.  Six days left on the trail.

Our destination, Estaing, Aveyron.  We left early. It would be an 18 k day.  So we wanted to leave early.  Not everyone was up for the trail.  So we had to be quiet and careful getting moving.

We walked along the river.

I looked out at the clear water, thinking about life, being alive, the days on the planet, and what might become of it.  This is a time to contemplate.  At a break we read Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe and we keep wandering. I think of girls and poems and cities and places I've been as we make our way through the moods, ups and downs and challenges of the road. 

Annabel Lee

It was many and many a year ago, 
   In a kingdom by the sea, 
That a maiden there lived whom you may know 
   By the name of Annabel Lee; 
And this maiden she lived with no other thought 
   Than to love and be loved by me. 

I was a child and she was a child, 
   In this kingdom by the sea, 
But we loved with a love that was more than love— 
   I and my Annabel Lee— 
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven 
   Coveted her and me. 

And this was the reason that, long ago, 
   In this kingdom by the sea, 
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling 
   My beautiful Annabel Lee; 
So that her highborn kinsmen came 
   And bore her away from me, 
To shut her up in a sepulchre 
   In this kingdom by the sea. 

The angels, not half so happy in Heaven, 
   Went envying her and me— 
Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know, 
   In this kingdom by the sea) 
That the wind came out of the cloud by night, 
   Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee. 

But our love it was stronger by far than the love 
   Of those who were older than we— 
   Of many far wiser than we— 
And neither the angels in Heaven above 
   Nor the demons down under the sea 
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul 
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; 

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams 
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; 
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes 
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; 
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side 
   Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride, 
   In her sepulchre there by the sea— 
   In her tomb by the sounding sea.

The end of a long days journey. 

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