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Camino Essay/Poem 2015 August

 

The Four Turnings of Telesphorus

 

Written in acrostic form 

in which the first letters of each line

spell out a phrase -

 

Taken four stanzas from T.S.Eliot’s

The Four Quartets

Little Gidding V

 

Encounters

An Essay Poem

 

“We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.”

 

__________

Initiation

 

“Only the symbolic life can express the needs of the soul.” C.Jung

 

Part I: We shall not cease from exploration T.S. Eliot

 

Wanderlust is how the Camino to Santiago all began

Especially in the beginning 24 years ago

Seeding in the psyche

Hiding within the imagination

Already a calling

Long ago pulling me to its

Luminous center, the

Nucleus to birth the vision having appeared in a dream;

Over the course of 42 days I would come full circle arriving at 

The place where I started completing the ending of the beginning from 1991

Camino Frances, “The Way” to Santiago de Compostela

Edged into reality when my train pulled into Pamplona 14 May 2015

And I entered my first Albergue Hostel Aloha! with 6 bunkmates 

Silent nights of yesterday, are replaced with snoring, slamming doors, cell phone pings

Eating, bathrooms, lounging are all communal living spaces...the

First sello stamp in my credential to mark the journey has begun; I’m elated!

Researching the weather forecast I hope to escape the severe, cold air by

Orchestrating plans to bus/train to warmer places or stay put and wait it out.

Marking this the first lesson about Life - unpredictable, like the weather

Equally...if the weather can change its mind on a whim, so can I.

x + y = z equals accept the things I cannot change.   And I identify as a 

Pilgrim now, walking the path one step at a time 

Leaving knowns to embrace unknowns toward the

Origins of prayer to direct me into the

Realm of the divine

All universe where I seek a meaningful relationship with god; it will

Take time to trust “The Camino Provides,” however

Impermanent life truly is...we are all the same 

On the Camino, off the Camino, there’s

No forward No backward - the path is the way - toward the Light.

 

 

 

__________

 

 

Preparation for the Camino

 

“One thing I ask from G-d; one thing do I seek - that I

May stay in the divine presence all the days of my life,

Envision divine delight, and contemplate G-d’s presence.”

Psalms 27:4

 

Part ll: And the end of all our suffering T.S. Eliot

 

After 1 year of Camino preparation involving a

Number of REI shopping visits for clothes, shoes, backpack/items et al; then

Doctor visits, physical therapists, chiropractors, orthopedics all to heal a leg injury; not

         to mention

The training walks to build up endurance and strength; leaving Los Angeles seemed 

        doubtful. 

However it was the journal work and active imagination which

Ebbed and flowed through the sentient body mixed with

Emotional highs and lows that provided the volume of spiritual work for self-growth;   

       all inspired from shin splints that wouldn’t go away from breaking in 

New Teva sandals that cut into the right ankle, that was the nemesis. 

Damn. 

One day I’m going to Spain and the next day not.

Funny how life creates hurdles and we find we’re stronger than we know 

A truth I later revisit on the Camino.

Like those before me hundreds of years ago, I intuit the energy of sacred devotion

Longing to join the rhythm and pace to a contemplative place

Of serene solitude and open to what pleasures await me

‘Ultreia!’ in ancient Galician - “Be strong, keep going, reach beyond” encourages this

Rite of passage into the next stage of life as a retired single senior  -

Expansion describes my state of being; open to all who will walk into my life.

Xl letters in Telesphorus, Greek demi-god of healing who roams the dark

Places of this cosmos and glows 

Like a star, pointing the way to the gates of the sun and to the land of dreams.

Oh Telesphorus is me as the 4th body with Polar Bear, Dolphin, Blackbird as guides

Revelation sinks in with a force greater than myself

Instantly connecting...the truth is my pilgrimage has already begun

Not even having left California, the inner journeys were already walking

Grounding integral for the transformative process.

 

_________

 

 

Alleluia

 

“It takes three things to attain a sense

of significant being

God

A Soul

And a Moment.

And the three things are always here.”

Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Insecurity of Freedom

 

Part lll: Will be to arrive where we started  T.S. Eliot

 

Willing

Indelible’s

Liberally 

Leaning

Between

Enshrining 

Tomorrows

On

Appreciating

Receptive

Raw

Imaginations

Valiantly

Enticing

Winds

Harness

Empathy

Returning

Each 

Whispered Wish

Elated

Solidly

Timed 

Arrows

Reach

Tenacious

Earthlings

Declaratively

Impaling

Alleluia

Innately

 

 

 

Humanity

 

“Each blade of grass has its Angel

that bends over it and whispers,

‘grow, grow’”

                                  -The Talmud

 

Part IV: And to know the place for the first time  T.S. Eliot

 

Arrival of spirit assimilates with humanity

Nowhere is everywhere and suddenly you’re somewhere, either

Down or depleted or dead or shine like a

Knight wielding the sword of discretion

Navigating the belief that things happen for a reason and

obstacles are opportunities with vistas for eyes to see miles into the

Windows of human souls weaved

Tapestries of life experiences where willing

Hands will lend a hand and maybe

Even more with an understanding heart, here

Pilgrims burn like the phoenix on fire

Leaning into the burning discomfort that out of 

Ashes we rise renewed

coupled with once “I” was lost

Eclipsing into now “I” am found

Freedon - the end is the beginning.

Open to

Receive each moment, a

Treasure...unpredictable

Holy place within where serendipitous

Encounters are meant to be

Friendships appear temporary yet on the 

Inside are not; we’re all the same

Red colored thread woven with nature.

So much stimulating the senses

Tranquility one moment watching a

Trillion white fluffs floating - that’s

Immediacy of the moment

“Mirari” Laten for Miracles” - to look in wonder

Enchanted---”And know the place for the first time.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Encounters

 

In a dream God asked King Solomon,

“What shall I give you?”

Replied Solomon

“A listening heart...”

                                                   1 Kings 3

 

Buen Camino Buen Camino echoes echo

Walking walking wishes walking prayers

 

Denise who carries the ashes of her son

We sprinkle his memory on this flower on that wild flower

 

Sue flowering into her dying with irreversible cancer -

Blisters blistering determination for feet footing the goal

 

Jan walks to leave her cancer on the camino with

prayer wishes written on a shell

 

May still grieving the sudden loss of her husband 

walks the journey for him

 

And Fernando’s fathers’ picture sits on his backpack 

as a photo pilgrim walking pilgrim

 

Ian an oil engineer working in Iraq walks 

for orphaned children

Children abandoned abandoned by fathers 

non-Iraqi fathers... 

 

Dona Dona legally blind asks my assistance through the

Drizzling canopy shadows in the woods

She’s a walking angel blessing of simple gift giving

Trusting trust to my untrusting nature

 

Folk man Santi shuffles 2 feet 2 canes invites me for tea

Now disabled lone lonely memories of pro-skiing yesteryears photo

Tucked safely in in wallet pocket

 

Pockets my pockets hold chapstick, euros, iphone,

Hales, tissue, guidebook

 

Simple Simona who has walked the Camino 3 times

Becomes one of my spiritual voices of encouragement

To the inner voice of doubt

 

David’s pilgrim shelter sheltering us from pouring rain

Had the heart of all hearts

Of the zen gods

 

Encounters chance encountered conversations with

Locals on a bench

 

Just waiting for a bus, sit sitting watching swallows circle evening skies

 

Strolling rolling along quiet hamlet farms a farmer

man without teeth or tooth gives 

me flowers in his rumbled overalls counting possible

possibilities of this maiden’s kiss

 

Two peasant women probable dressed in the dresses 

they don everyday day

Beg for money...

 

Yet another will willingly wish me Buen Camino like in

days days long ago

 

A church attendant solicits newcomers - insisting 

I see his beautiful church

I oblige because I’ve made a vow vow to be open

Open when the call calls

 

A pilgrim from Scotland wishes me pleasant surprises 

and fulfillment

As a hurried hare hurries to finish the race

 

Only to be followed by a pilgrim having left Santiago

to return to the place

Where he started the start of his Camino in St. John

 

Buen Camino Buen Camino echoes echo

 

These stories and stories of untold stories take solid steps where

Meseta’s flat mountains beckon with majestic beauty

Golden wheat fields waving pilgrims on on on

Retreating inside the origin of Who Am I

Carried on backs with devotional fervor 

Necessity packs bare essentials - 

Nothing to do all day but walk simply walk

Looking walk for the middle way

Least stones, mud, tarmac and 

Most shade, soft ground cover

Buen Camino Buen Camino echoes echo

Humble a pilgrims quest questing blessed blessings

And I learn to walk with joy

And hold the life of the life held these friends hold

Crossing church crosses crossing my own crossings

That intersect intertwine in conversations with god -

Horrific graphic depictions of the suffering Christ Jesus Jesus

With dominant patriarchs arching arches of dark dark power

I see full circles of balanced mandalas stained glass rose mandalas

A ray of sunlight beaming down bright light shinning

I stand in it feeling light light of ascension to the heart 

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