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Camino Blues


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Do the post Camino Blues exist? You bet. How do you cure them? Hmmmm not sure but try this….

Be sad, let it all go. Grieve. You just experienced something wonderful, which is almost impossible to replicate in daily life. In the REAL non-Camino world people don't trust, care, or share with each other in the same overt way as on the Camino. The Camino as beautiful an experience as it was is NOT the real world, but you can see why so many people return again and again and seem to live for the moment they can set out from SJPP again or begin another path and another journey.

I used to think that people who moaned about the Camino Blues were kind of sad with no lives, but I do have a life; lovely family etc and even still I feel a post Camino blasé. Not sure why? Not even sure if it is real or some reaction to the fact that maybe I have changed in some subtle ways and all and sundry just haven't. The Camino really taught me not to judge others at the time. Everyone’s Camino is different; everyone has a story to tell or a private cross to bear. Take the bus? Or jump a segment by train or taxi? So what – maybe the pilgrim doesn’t have the luxury of time that you do or their injuries stop them walking the trail. The Camino was a leveler for me; we are all the same, all going the same way. A religious person was equal in my eyes to the so-called Bad Pilgrims who were there for play and hopeful sex. The funny thing was it was one notable ‘Bad Pilgrim’ who came good when I saw him last on the steps of the Cathedral. He was in love with a Swedish woman and made a point of telling me about his intentions. It is funny how the Camino changes people, normally for the better.

Post the Camino I find myself being hard on me, and occasionally others. I guess I feel a little dissatisfied. The HIGH I felt in SdC and Fin and been replaced with something more hollow that is making me question everything from my properties, business dealings, cars, all the bullshit baby boomer trappings of success and even some of the people in my life. Scary stuff, do I ditch everything? Will I feel better in a disassociated way? Will the Camino reappear in my life? I did meet some wonderful people from all over the world – maybe I should have followed my heart and let love in at the time? You saw several others who succumbed to the joys of fellow pilgrims. My moral code forbade it but is it so bad really?

Certainly people are charged on the Camino and everyone’s story is powerful and of the moment. Some so heart stoppingly sad like that little photo of a dead baby cherished by his grandfather, the tales of cancer current or cured, the breakups and breakdowns, the death of a much loved daughter stop you mid-stride, make you reassess your self and others. Full of admiration in the stoicism and acceptance of life you march on into another hidden horizon.

Camino Blues? You bet. The only way around through or under this cloud is to hit it head on. Go be you, Go be better. Go be the best darn pilgrim you can be, on the inside and the outside. I took pride on the Camino for helping others, how much am I really doing now? Back to little olde empire building (or at least not sliding) me. Not much to show spiritually for one who has completed such a fantastic voyage. Time I think to be bold, recapture that feeling of optimism and LOVE. Not for the 4am French Camino plastic bag rupturing zip tugging tourists or the soulless smileless middle age Germans, but for the VAST MAJORITY of Camino folks, normal, unfit, stumbling, marching on with such pain and humour and understanding for the frailty of the human condition, such power generated from each other and within. Such hurdles mounted, physically, spiritually and emotionally. We all had our crosses to bear and most I think managed with certain aplomb.

I will never forget walking into SdC. Tears of freedom, joy, anguish, pain and sorrow flooded down my face. I was laughing, weeping, uncontrollable as I marched by the windows of office workers and coffee sipping café folks. They must have seen it all before, just another silly pilgrim on his path. I still feel weak at the thought, but also have generated much strength too. I think the only people that can really understand are the leagues of fellow pelegrinos who have taken similar paths.

There is a beauty and there is a joy on the Camino. There is also beauty and joy with those you love and care for. The Camino is now part of me for evermore. I would indeed like to have the adventure again, but I know I will be different. Older certainly, wiser perhaps? Until the next adventure, life is my current adventure. Where do we spend the most time? Not on the Camino. It is hard but rationalise the time you have with yourself in the real world. You can evolve here too you know. I feel better all ready once I realized I really missed the whole physical experience of the Camino. Buy a dog; take it for long walks (when it is old enough and capable unlike the German pilgrim woman with the 5 month old Labrador). Join a gym– get fit for your next Camino. For those who miss the camaraderie join a class – for me I am studying Spanish so I can be a better and more understanding pilgrim on my next journey. Join a Camino organisation where you can meet with fellow pelegrinos and share comfort and knowledge with those getting ready for their own voyages. Express yourself through the numerous news groups like this one. Your experience can and does help hopeful pilgrims. If you feel inclined join a church or rediscover the religious teaching of your youth or as in my case try and reach again the spiritual plane – smile at someone, do good things, care again.

I also find music a tonic, some jazz, some classical and particular the low deep rumbling of some Chicago blues. Willie Dixon and Howling Wolf can do wonders to chase away a dark post Camino cloud on an otherwise blue and sunny day.

May all your paths rise to greet you humble pilgrims.

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I have thought many time what you have said, without being able to materilaise these thoughts into something I could understand. I have felt many time what you describe, again without fully inderstanding what I felt.
Your thoughts have brought these thoughts and feeling to reality for me.
I thank you sincerely for this.
I also having read your post agree with you particularly in regard to how I think behave in my 'real' world back home and how utterly different it was to me while on the camino.
I believe that the camino for me was not just a 'way' or pilgrimage or journey. It was an life lived , while on the camino, that is truly who I want to be. I was allowed express myself within the camino community in an unconstrained manner, withiyt expectation and also all the time moving forward and learning and experiencing new people/ideas which (and here is the key) reawakened in me the true Peter ( I am also peter).
I really liked myself whil I was there. I had some bad times , sadness etc but strangely I welcomed them in a healing way and I was no way threatened by them. I can only say that I I achieved a sense of serenity like no other time in my life.
So now I am in a different couktry/place among different people many with conflicting objectives etc.
Now I need to challenge myself to be , not a pilgrim , but to be what I can be, that person that was on the camino, not in a naive way, but in a subtle way and non-arrogant way and take time to watch and listen to my journey while all the time 'fighting the good fight'.
Some say the camino starts when you get home, some leave it behind, some others are changed dramitically. I believe that its a spirit I need to nurture inside of me and cherish as it will me. My head turns slowly to see things and I see them differently. I am not perfect nor mad but restored to myself.
I am so glad to have recieved from you some more camino into my heart today.

God Bless and Buen camino.

I read a religious booklet while on the camino, not something that is usual for me. I picked it up in the Dutch Albergue. It said "while on the camino you follow the yellow arrows to your destination, what do you follow when the camino is finished"

That I think is the challenge.

I think that my objective in life have become more focused. I am more intent on my relationships with others. I did not ever want the 9 - 5 though did it for twenty years.

Now all that is changing and I am taking some risks to get what I really want and conquer the fear.
A very nice post! It captures a lot of what I'm feeling too right now ...

For me the positive, lovely people were the biggest surprise (and best experience)! I miss them a lot right now.

I'm looking to find something here where people like that go to. They're probably everywhere you just have to find them. And I'll try to bring some more love and helpfulness in this world ...

Buen camino! :)
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Hi Jerome,
Luxemborg is the headquarters for the Cultural Routes of Europe.
Ypu should be able to find a good 'camino' close to your home.
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An excellent post. again I am just home form the Camino and can so fully understand what you so capably put into words that I could not express.

My wife accompanied me this time and after a couple of days told me that she then understood why I was on such a high after I returned home last year. The Camino has to be experienced , no words, pictures or vidoes can do it justice.

You capture all of those thoughts and feelings I experienced so well.
Thank you.
Ultreyia !
Jerome74 said:
A very nice post!

I'm looking to find something here where people like that go to. They're probably everywhere you just have to find them. And I'll try to bring some more love and helpfulness in this world ...

Buen camino! :)
For me the somewhere that Camino like people go is a good Christain fellowship. The experience you speak of with such love is in essence what Jesus meant when he said that we we should love one another as he loved us. Don't be put off by churchiness. The Church has as many tourists as the camino~ Along for the ride but without insight or understanding. You will find what you are looking for. People who know what love is about and are willing to share it in Christ Jesus. They share for the same reasons the we do on the Camino, they are on a pilgrimage.This pilgrimage is about living the life of Jesus in the daily the round, travelling on until we reach the heavenly Sanitiago where we meet Jesus face to face. Not a wooden statue to hug, but the reality of a man who is God the author and perfector of our lives. May God bless you as you journey on. "Seek and you will find Knock and the Door will be opened to you"

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