Last night at dinner, Dena’s boyfriend Scott made some interesting points re: the Camino and the varied expressions of deconstruction. He has had an interesting vantage point on this particular subject, since Dena runs a meet-up group for Camino pilgrims past/present/future in her hometown. Even though Scott hasn’t walked (yet), he’s a seeker in his own right, and being surrounded by pilgrims at every turn means that he’s had the opportunity to hear many little stories and spend time examining the differences and similarities of the views expressed to him. I really enjoyed hearing his take on the pilgrim experience from an outsider’s perspective, since he was seeing patterns that I have obviously intuited to some degree, but haven’t exactly been able to put into words.
One thing, in particular, struck my fancy. Through his relationship with Dena, he’s come into contact with pilgrims who didn’t go through much of an emotional upheaval when they were actually walking. In fact, he explained to me that he’d met people who seemed to have a delayed experience, only starting the mental deconstruction process years after the initial physical journey had taken place. This is so far from my experience that prior to last night’s discussion, I could barely comprehend it, though I did meet a few people on the Camino and afterwards, on various online groups, whose experience along The Way seemed, if not negative, then at least bland.
There were people who walked with an expectation of reaching some grand enlightenment, but in the absence of a solid lesson to wrap their heads around, found the Camino to be more of a jumble of disappointing, uncomfortable experiences. Also, people who didn’t know what to expect, had an OK time, but still found the trip wanting in some mysterious way. I guess you could say there were people who were solidly disappointed, and people who were vaguely disappointed. I met folks who fell into both of these categories as I was walking, but like calls to like, and I didn’t stay with the malcontented for long. So it was neat to hear that someone was collecting post-Camino stories and seeing that there were ripples of repercussions much later in the timeline for some pilgrims. I’ve known, on a personal level, that once you start walking the Camino, you’re never finished (as trite as it sounds, it’s the simplest way to explain the growth process that one can submit to, if they so choose, via journeying), but viewed through a wider lens, the concept of a delayed deconstruction process could make a very satisfying study. I’d buy that book.
Anyway, it’s Day 5 of Lent / social media detox. It’s Sunday, and tomorrow I will go back to work after what I’d call a successful weekend. Today was pretty lazy, as Sundays tend to be for me. Nothing has really happened; the boyfriend and I grabbed coffee and did a little reading at one of our regular cafés, then watched the latest episode of Legion before he had to head to work. I went grocery shopping so I can make chickpea & butternut squash curry tomorrow night, then bought a new shower curtain on Ebay that is just the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. It’s so not in keeping with the rest of my apartment, but it IS in keeping with my sense of humor, so it’ll be fun to have around for awhile. Get a load of this hideous and amazing thing: