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Folks Looking for healing?

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Year of past OR future Camino
"Portuguese Camino"
"Slow Camino"
"The First Pilgrim"
All on Amazon
There are many folks who do the Camino to find healing -- after my divorce and great personal loss. It was my motivation to do the Camino.

This was one guy I could really relate to--- Ron from Zimbabwe --- he also had PTSD --- and was looking for healing.
Ron is not his real name - trying to keep his interactions private.

I was heading to Ponte de Lima on the Portuguese Route when I started walking with Ron. He turned out to be the single most fascinating person I was to encounter on that pilgrimage. Ron was also in his sixties, lean and athletic with a Van Dyke beard and this was his first Camino. We played the guessing game of our countries of origin. He guessed wrong that I was Canadian and I guessed wrong that he was from New Zealand. Ron was from Zimbabwe and as a young man he had fought in the Rhodesian Bush Wars in support of white minority rule in that country. For years afterwards he was lost, suffering from untreated PTSD and self-medicating with alcohol. For a time, he turned to the halls of AA and to a “higher power’.

Ron had traveled to Asia and India in his spiritual quest and appeared to hold a world view that no longer involved a relationship with a personal God. He earned a good income exporting African art from Zimbabwe- selling it on eBay. Ron was currently studying with African shamans and was delving into ancestor worship. It was from Ron that I first began to understand the metaphorical component of our belief systems.

Ron explained that he did not actually believe that his dead ancestors were looking down on him and providing guidance. But he behaved as if they did.

When I stopped looking at religion figuratively, and began to look through the lens of metaphor, I could better understand the poetry of faith. Ron was seeking mindfulness as he tried to unchain himself from the false promise of the future and the fear of reliving his haunted past. He just wanted to be present and free to live in the moment.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
@Terry Callery : Thank you. I have experienced many people who have found relief from many kinds of bothers by doing the Camino.

For me, it (walking the Camino) is first and foremost the sense of freedom and openness, Humanely as well as naturewise, without time constraints (I am retired) that appeals to me. But of course the reflective/contemplative side of it, walking for week after week, is also very giving and valuable to me.
 
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Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Year of past OR future Camino
"Portuguese Camino"
"Slow Camino"
"The First Pilgrim"
All on Amazon
For what it is worth, there is a group "Veterans on the Camino" devoted to bringing veterans on the Camino for healing.
I thought I knew lot's about the Camino - but never knew about that. Thanks for that info.

My dad went into the navy and did bomb disposal in the Panama Cannel in 1943.
About 200 guys started the program - he was one of just 30 who graduated -One of two officers leading the squad.

Funny thing about it was that he was a Brooklyn kid who had no mechanical skills - mom would say you can't even hang up a curtain- how did unarm 500 pound bombs on those ships? He did win a lot of money from Iowa farm boys playing craps. He ran track at Fordham and competed in the Milrose games.

Jesuit educated, he had a photographic memory and so he passed all the test on the different bomb designs

Only just recently, my sister told me he was put in a navy hospital when his arm was paralyzed from the stress.
My dad never talked to me about his service--all of it came from mom - she knew what he had been through - and was proud of the hero that he was.

His bother Billy died in Italy in 1944 flying a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress as the navigator.

Sean was in the Merchant marine - bringing arms to England and was attacked numerous time by German U Boats. He suffered from Alcoholism most of his life ---then got sober in his 60's

All three brothers served in the Great War
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Hi Terry,
Although I didn't fully understand your opening post and story, I still appreciated reading it and that you have found some emotional healing from difficult circumstances on the camino from a friendship developed while walking.

The anecdotes about your father and his two brothers during WW2 was quite interesting, so thank you for opening up to share a bit of your family history.
 
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Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Year of past OR future Camino
"Portuguese Camino"
"Slow Camino"
"The First Pilgrim"
All on Amazon
Hi Terry,
Although I didn't fully understand your opening post and story,
If you believe that God is He about nothing can be said --
Then saying God is good or God is great ---doesn't work for me -
Ineffable and infinite--- beyond the limited human mind.
So the idea of praying to God, speaking to him is not something which I do not get-
Although is works for many of us.

Praying to God is terrific. but my mind can't make that connection.
So I reach to him through metaphor- as if- the poetry of faith.
Like interpolating a more universal truth though smaller anecdotal information.

Ron explained that he did not actually believe that his dead ancestors were looking down on him and providing guidance. But he behaved as if they did. When I stopped looking at religion figuratively, and began to look through the lens of metaphor, I could better understand the poetry of faith.

Thanks for the post an for letting me know I was a bit obtuse in my comments
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
The Camino’s elixir for healing life’s illnesses is HOPE.....the Hope you witness everyday in other pilgrims, the Hope that takes seed in your heart and the Hope that runs in your veins and take home with you until the NEXT time. ❤
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
That was very poetic - the word elixir is perfect. Great metaphor to give meaning to the experience.
You should start writing--- you have a gift.
Hope that runs through your veins--
also very poetic and concise

You wrote just one sentence--- and it was the best I have ever read on this site


Baby, I'm dancing in the dark, with you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass, we're listenin' to our favorite song
I have faith in what I see
Now I know I have met an angel in person
And she looks perfect
No, I don't deserve this
You look perfect tonight
Thank you Terry, I’m humbled by your comment. The Camino has transformed my soul so I repeatedly drink from its cup. 😉 PS: stay safe, we in Canada pray for healing of the USA from its many current illnesses. 🙏
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Year of past OR future Camino
"Portuguese Camino"
"Slow Camino"
"The First Pilgrim"
All on Amazon
A reminder to members that discussing religion is prohibited by Rule 2 and points will be awarded for violation.
Sorry - just trying to elaborate on Ron's world view - It actually was more about philosophy than religion.
The question is what can we know -? Not what to to believe in.
How do our minds comprehend the unknowable.
I was not evangelizing - just make a philosophical point.

Thanks for steering me in a different direction.
Best wishes Terry
 
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Icacos

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2013)
.... The Camino helped me with my PTSD- many folks walk the Camino to deal with their damaged past

Alan Turing who broke the German enigmas codes--- committed suicide.
Yes, I know about Alan Turing. His was a tragic life.

I’m glad the camino is able to help those carrying the burden of PTSD. I too walked the camino with some kind of PTSD (undiagnosed). Mine wasn’t caused by the effects of war tho’ ... at least not a military one.
 

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