Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
My Camino Walk: A Way to Healing by Timothy L. Phillips
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I hadn’t heard of the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain until Tim Phillips’ wonderful book came along. Pilgrims from all over the world cross the Pyrenees and walk across Spain from east to west, arriving at Santiago de Compostela five hundred miles later. They all have different reasons for making the long trek, but mainly they’re performing a spiritual exercise and looking for the kind of self-knowledge that comes from enduring hardship.
Phillips describes his own journey in a gentle voice that’s both welcoming and wise. As he walks, he digresses into his personal philosophy of life, which befits the nature of the walk itself. In fact, to the reader it seems like he’s looking more for affirmation of his ideas on how to live on this earth of ours than for new answers.
And the message that comes through perhaps more than any other in the book is that we are all on a camino of our own as we make our way through our three score years and ten (more if we’re lucky!). If we could live with the same kindness and generosity the camino walkers have for one another, our journeys would be safe and prosperous. We only need to accept hard times with grace and to practice forgiveness whenever we can.
Interestingly, Phillips has walked the camino two more times since the one described in the book. Maybe he’s a glutton for punishment, or for the joy of meeting a challenge that taxes the body but eases the mind. Either way, it’s a pleasure to accompany him on his journeys.
[Disclosure: I was provided a copy of the ebook by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.]
Ah yes, the walks and digressions to personal philosophies. Sounds like my walk to the lake every day. Nice, honest review, amen.
Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez star in a movie about the Camino. It’s called The Way. Not necessarily groundbreaking stuff, but the movie was pretty good.
The author mentions that flick in the book! I’d rent it if Charlie Sheen was in it … 😉
Reminds me of the CD “Camino,” by the late Canadian violinist Oliver Schroer. Here’s a bit from Wikipedia: “His album Camino was recorded in churches along the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail. Schroer walked 1,000 km of the trail in 2004 with his wife and two friends, carrying portable recording equipment. To save weight, he did not bring a violin case. He carried his instrument wrapped in a sleeping bag in his backpack, ‘like my own precious relic, carefully packed in its reliquary of socks and underwear.’ The album features solo playing, occasionally against a background of local sounds such as church bells, birds, and monastic voices.”
Improvisation on solo violin, really worth listening to.
Thanks for the tip! I’m listening to it right now, matter of fact. Love it. I especially like the distinctive churchy reverb and the ambient sounds.
You’re welcome. Glad you like it.
An acquaintance walked the Camino when she was 50. We followed her a bit on Facebook. Like other pilgrimages through history, part of the experience is to connect with and (possibly) rely on strangers. She had started the trip solo but ended with a bunch of new friends. Although such a “walk” appeals to me, the introvert in me would probably plead to end as solitary as I started … but then maybe not. Most of the people she met were Europeans, I believe, not ugly Americans 😉
That’s exactly the experience the author had. And there’s a little conflict involved when you really want to be alone for meditative reasons, but here are all your camino buddies wanting to talk.
As a co-introvert, I prefer to read the book … 😉
It would probably be a bust for my husband and me. We get annoyed when we spot other people on our favorite walking trails 😬
Heh heh. Us too.
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