Wednesday, July 18, 2007

good snaps

Today I went to REI and ran into a clerk who had helped me before my trip. (Yes, he recognized me. Yes, this should tell you something about how much money I have spent there recently.)

"Did you take any good snaps?" he asked.
"Not really. But I kept a blog."

I do have some pics, and after I resolve The Great International Camera Battery Recharger Fiasco of 2007, I'll put them online. Still, I think the snapshots contained on the blog are a whole lot more telling than any of my photographs.

I've been very surprised at how many people have read this blog. I anticipated I would be writing an open letter to my mom. You have turned out to be an amusing and humbling assortment of readers, nearly as eclectic as the pilgrims themselves. Having your feedback and attention has made writing it a fun experience. It turned out to be one of the best parts of my trip.

In regular, non-Camino life I am perennially frustrated with myself for not devoting more time to writing. It's shameful how rarely I write. I am regularly a disappointment to myself.

Among the many, many things I learned while walking is that moving my feet encourages my brain to write. While I was in Spain, and even since I have returned, walking has made writing seem like a kind of play. It's funny that I never wrote about that while I was on the Camino, about how much of the time I spent walking was actually devoted to writing. Sometimes I was formulating ideas for this blog; sometimes I was thinking about other pieces I would write later that day. Sometimes I was gathering scraps to write about later on. I found myself shaping words and phrases and sentences and ideas as I walked through the wheat and poppies and towns. Occasionally I stopped to scribble things down, but mostly I just let my mind organize itself. One of the only things I wish I had carried with me was a cheap and light word processor. I would have been willing to shoulder a few extra pounds for the luxury of typing. Anyone who has seen my handwriting understands why.

The walking has pushed my brain to write; the blog provided an outlet for it. I hope to keep walking, and I hope to keep writing. Some of you have asked if I'll continue adding entries to the blog. Yes, I will. Even though I’m not on the Camino de Santiago anymore, I’m still a Pilgrim Sole. I’m confident I’ll find something to say even as Jimbo’s bones and that squatty lighthouse and those yellow arrows fade into the distance.

I’m not especially sure what will happen with my walking or my writing, though I have a few ideas. As Confucius says, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." I have at least 500 miles left, though I’m on my way . . .


Anonymous said...

I would love to see any pictures, but at the same time I have already seen your journey through your words. I also agree that some of the best thoughts come when doing other things. Your walk was your muse.

Mi-Suk said...

I'm so glad you are going to keep writing! I always need more bridget in my day!