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how to successfully prepare for your Camino
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Forum Book Club - 3 - Walk in a Relaxed Manner (Joyce Rupp)

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Here we are, starting the third book in the Forum Book Club series, as outlined on this thread. If you are still reading one of the previous books - feel free to comment on those threads anytime.

The third book is Walk in a Relaxed Manner by Joyce Rupp. I enjoyed it in a mild way and would recommend it as a, well, relaxing read. Like Codd, she had a more religious/spiritual approach to the Camino than I, but it was written in a way that I could still appreciate.

It has been a couple of years since I read it, and I don't have a copy at hand to refresh my memory. Hopefully, someone else can come along and give a more interesting review!
 
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timr

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Several and counting...
Here we are, starting the third book in the Forum Book Club series, as outlined on this thread. If you are still reading one of the previous books - feel free to comment on those threads anytime.

The third book is Walk in a Relaxed Manner by Joyce Rupp. I enjoyed it in a mild way and would recommend it as a, well, relaxing read. Like Codd, she had a more religious/spiritual approach to the Camino than I, but it was written in a way that I could still appreciate.

It has been a couple of years since I read it, and I don't have a copy at hand to refresh my memory. Hopefully, someone else can come along and give a more interesting review!
I remember reading that book, (having read and enjoyed, in other contexts, several other books by the author, which had no bearing on the camino) and growing progressively annoyed with what seemed like a (modest) amount of intolerant whining.
And then there is a plot point, which I shall not spoil, which gave me much more sympathy! 🤔
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Have you tried Book depository? free worldwide delivery. They are no relations of mine!
they also do used books
Yes, this book is available through Book Depository.......I just checked. I read " Walk in a Relaxed Manner" before I walked my first Camino ( CF) in 2009. I found it quite helpful a few times, when I was faced with similar situations Joyce had mentioned. Especially the sound of snoring in the Albergues.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Tried to get a copy, but not available on Kindle :(
I didn't try to buy it but it is available on Kindle on several of Amazon's websites for $9.99 resp. around € 9.00. Perhaps just not in your region? Geoblocking is a pain in the neck. I had a free sample of Walk in a Relaxed Manner sent to my devices so the Kindle version does exist. I just mention this as others may be interested ...

Relaxed manner Kindle.jpg
 
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Mike Putman

Pilgrim_Traveler
Year of past OR future Camino
CF Sept 2018, hopefully Camino Portuguese 2021
I very much enjoyed the book. It was my first book on the Camino and what got me to start planning to go. It took me a few years before i went in 2018. I liked the spiritual aspect of the book.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I just started it, as I misunderstood and thought we were going to be reading it together starting 3/3. I started it yesterday and am on page 39. I ordered a paperback via Amazon in order to have it for the 3/3 start, however I have a Kobo e-reader, rather than a Kindle, and it's linked to my favorite independent bookstore. You don't have to have an e-reader to download the Kobo app. You can read on a tablet or computer. It’s available as an ebook in the States on the Kobo platform.
 

jmcarp

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
It's a wonderful book. My wife and I read it before our first Camino, and it really helped us to get into the right mindset before we started our walk. We copied her Pilgrim Prayer onto a small card which we laminated and carried with us. We prayed that short prayer every day before we started walking, and continue to do so on all of our long walking journeys, whether on the Camino or elsewhere. The book is also available here: https://www.joycerupp.com/walk-in-a-relaxed-manner/
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
I read this book some years ago and just skimmed it again. I have to confess it was this book and one by a German guy whose name I forget (seems like he was a bit of a public personality in Germany), that put me off camino memoirs! There were some gems in the book, but I guess I found it a little too pedantic. I felt like the author was a little to anxious to instruct me on how best to do the camino. And in the end, I didn't feel like I learned much about her authentic experience. I don't mean to be too harsh. There were lots of tips and good information in the book. I just did not connect with it. LizB
 
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AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
please see signature
I was lent this book by a neighbour about 2012 when she learnt I was walk to Compostela.

Having met several elderly religious sisters of a certain type, she fitted into that mould. The event that confirmed my relatively low expectations was on the approach to Santo Domingo de la Calzada. Some will recall the story connected with a rooster and some very unsavoury actions, commemorated with a caged rooster being held inside the Cathedral there.

My recollection is that Rupp was keen to keep going and to quickly pass through Santo Domingo. It was only in a later chat she learnt her walking companion (and priest) had wanted to stop there and contemplate the story and its commemoration. I understand he died not long after his pilgrimage without having the opportunity he desired. For me that episode adversely coloured my reading of Rupp.
 

mguillen

MGuillen
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Here we are, starting the third book in the Forum Book Club series, as outlined on this thread. If you are still reading one of the previous books - feel free to comment on those threads anytime.

The third book is Walk in a Relaxed Manner by Joyce Rupp. I enjoyed it in a mild way and would recommend it as a, well, relaxing read. Like Codd, she had a more religious/spiritual approach to the Camino than I, but it was written in a way that I could still appreciate.

It has been a couple of years since I read it, and I don't have a copy at hand to refresh my memory. Hopefully, someone else can come along and give a more interesting review!
I loved this book! Enjoy!
 

danabagg

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
'08, '11,'14, 17, 18, 19...all Camino Frances
I loved this book & have read it before each of my 6 Camino Frances walks (3 of them the entire 500 miles, beginning in 2008). I like the spiritual aspect, I'm her age now & appreciate her honesty. For the last 3 Caminos I have walked with a bad left knee. It's humbling to not be like I was & Joyce Rupp is honest about their limitations too. I recommend it to anyone who is going to walk the Camino.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances , Pamplona Burgos august 2018 Burgos to Santiago 19 /04 to 20/05/2019
Here we are, starting the third book in the Forum Book Club series, as outlined on this thread. If you are still reading one of the previous books - feel free to comment on those threads anytime.

The third book is Walk in a Relaxed Manner by Joyce Rupp. I enjoyed it in a mild way and would recommend it as a, well, relaxing read. Like Codd, she had a more religious/spiritual approach to the Camino than I, but it was written in a way that I could still appreciate.

It has been a couple of years since I read it, and I don't have a copy at hand to refresh my memory. Hopefully, someone else can come along and give a more interesting review!
I just began to read Joyce Rupp’s book a few days ago
What caught my attention is how she appears to be out of her comfort zone for things which could seem totally insignificance for others , like sleeping in dormitories ,minimum of comfort sometimes and different food .
I guess I will be more tolerant then on my next Camino towards ‘ winning ‘ pilgrims since I understand by the way she explains it that this is a real problem for her as well as leaving her home and all her little habits
Since I have been living most of my life in different countries with different culture language food climate etc.. i didn’t realise that what I thought was normal and easy to cope with is not the same for everybody
Yes I will be more tolerant .
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Here we are, starting the third book in the Forum Book Club series, as outlined on this thread. If you are still reading one of the previous books - feel free to comment on those threads anytime.

The third book is Walk in a Relaxed Manner by Joyce Rupp. I enjoyed it in a mild way and would recommend it as a, well, relaxing read. Like Codd, she had a more religious/spiritual approach to the Camino than I, but it was written in a way that I could still appreciate.

It has been a couple of years since I read it, and I don't have a copy at hand to refresh my memory. Hopefully, someone else can come along and give a more interesting review!
Is anyone reading the book now? I was hoping this thread would work like a book group and we would discuss sections as we read them. I am reading through her section on preparations, and I would like to know what other pilgrims think of this section. I have heard so many different things about what sort of preparations are needed and which are not. What are your thoughts?
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances , Pamplona Burgos august 2018 Burgos to Santiago 19 /04 to 20/05/2019
As far as the preparation is concerned I think it is so much easier for Europeans especially French to get ready because we don’t need to plan so much in advance .We are so close!
!The seed of walking the Camino was engrained in my soul and heart since a few years but the right moment was never there until this July 2018 knew it was THE moment to go for my first leg of the CF ( Pamplona Burgos )
I had been ordering gear ( thanks to this forum infos) months ahead and my ‘mochila’ was ready
, I was feeling fit thanks to a moderate training and a lot of swimming and walking in the sea which anyway I always do in summer .. i booked a last moment flight to Bilbao just a few days before leaving , closed my house and that was it!
Knowing that if anything went wrong I could go back home anytime by train by car or even by ferry from Santander without any previous booking long time in advance
I was not ‘thinking’ too much ...just trusted my feeling that everything was going to be fine ..and it overpassed all my expectations!
In April 2019I was in the same state of mind for the second leg ( Burgos -Santiago
) and I hope again ASAP! I am 66 now
Speaking Spanish and English makes it all easier , that s why walking alone is not a problem
I guess if I decided to walk on the Pacific trail by myself I would think it twice and organise myself way more and in advance and I would rather not walk alone ! And I would weigh more the pros and cons etc!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
.... I have heard so many different things about what sort of preparations are needed and which are not. What are your thoughts?
Let me say first that I am a control freak and do lots and lots of preparing. I have lists, plans, you name it! But what is needed? I think it’s important to work on your walking fitness. By that I mean, regular long and short walks for at least a couple months. Make sure to get in some all day walks — there is a big difference between 5 miles and 15 miles. Get your muscles and joints in shape and know your strengths and weaknesses. And I think it’s crucial to test your equipment especially shoes and socks, and your pack at weight. In my view everything else is optional and you should focus on your fears, concerns, hopes and interests!
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Is anyone reading the book now? I was hoping this thread would work like a book group and we would discuss sections as we read them.
I have never actually been a member of a book club. I have only read books about people in book clubs!

I think the logistics are too difficult to control the dozens who are reading the books at different speeds, and to manage the comments, section by section. My idea was that people who are interested in these books can comment now, or next month, or even next year.

I am reading through her section on preparations, and I would like to know what other pilgrims think of this section. I have heard so many different things about what sort of preparations are needed and which are not. What are your thoughts?
The forum is organized to cover all these topics more thoroughly than any one book could, although it is certainly interesting to observe the different approaches of these authors. The detailed side-topic discussions can be found in various threads on the forum.

From the forum home page here, scroll down to see a "cloud" of Popular Camino Topics. These tags will take you to collections of threads that have been "tagged" with that topic. If you scroll down further, you'll see the structure of the forum and sub-forums. One section is for the most Popular Routes Ending in Santiago; another is for Pilgrim Topics Related to All Routes.

The cloud of Popular Camino Topics includes "first camino", with many threads about the typical questions and concerns of first timers. Other tags that might help you in terms of preparation would be "backpack and packing", "clothing", or even "pilgrims & pilgrimage".

Another tag that hasn't risen into the most popular list is "camino basics".

If you are having any trouble navigating the forum, let me know - even by private Conversation if you prefer.

EDITED TO ADD: If forum members have ideas for improving the way the book club functions, please let me know by private Conversation.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2013), Primitivo (2015), Muxia/Fisterra (2015), Haervejen (2017)
If forum members have ideas for improving the way the book club functions, please let me know by private Conversation.
I agree that trying to coordinate a section by section read is virtually impossible.

And its a nice idea if those of us who are more familiar with the forum can link up our responses to other places in the forum that are relevant. But I think the book club is naturally going to raise topics in the book discussions that are also discussed elsewhere on the forum and that's as it should be. I should have been more clear that I intended to respond directly regarding Rupp's advice for preparation in my cryptic response above.

I should add that I certainly don't think its your responsibility @C clearly to always include links to other spots in the forum that are relevant. Its lovely that you do so, but I think it could get burdensome!

LizB
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Some discussion of these topics is natural, especially as it relates to the book and the author's approach. However, the book club (discussing one book at a time) is probably not the best place to get a balance of information for your own planning. Since I noticed that @pamcnm is a new member, I figured she is probably still feeling her way around the forum.
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
Is anyone reading the book now? I was hoping this thread would work like a book group and we would discuss sections as we read them. I am reading through her section on preparations, and I would like to know what other pilgrims think of this section. I have heard so many different things about what sort of preparations are needed and which are not. What are your thoughts?
I'm still finishing re-reading Codd's book for the other thread, but I read Rupp's book a while ago and pulled it off the shelf a took a look at this section so I could respond to your post.

One of the things I liked about Walk in a Relaxed Manner is the way it isn't a strictly chronological memoir but is thematically organized. That makes this kind of question and response easier.

I liked the fact that Rupp talks about many of the different kinds of preparation in her section: the research, the physical preparation, and the spiritual preparation, and how different kinds of preparation call to different people. I also liked how she talked about her struggles with it and how she is reminded "the more you put in, the more you get out".

Without going into specifics about my own views on how one ought to prepare (as has been mentioned above, there are plenty of threads on the forum specific to that), I will say I tend to disagree with her that preparation is an absolute necessity to completing a Camino. Many have just taken a backpack and a pair of hiking boots , gotten on a plane to Spain, and started out (to paraphrase Rupp) and successfully finished, my son among them. That isn't to diminish the value of all of the kinds of preparation that Rupp discusses. Many have found their Caminos immeasurably improved by these preparations. The danger is that preparation can lead to expectation. I don't think it is entirely coincidence that the very next chapter of Rupp's book is "Let Go". These expectations are one of the first things one needs to learn to let go of.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I have never actually been a member of a book club. I have only read books about people in book clubs!

I think the logistics are too difficult to control the dozens who are reading the books at different speeds, and to manage the comments, section by section. My idea was that people who are interested in these books can comment now, or next month, or even next year.


The forum is organized to cover all these topics more thoroughly than any one book could, although it is certainly interesting to observe the different approaches of these authors. The detailed side-topic discussions can be found in various threads on the forum.

From the forum home page here, scroll down to see a "cloud" of Popular Camino Topics. These tags will take you to collections of threads that have been "tagged" with that topic. If you scroll down further, you'll see the structure of the forum and sub-forums. One section is for the most Popular Routes Ending in Santiago; another is for Pilgrim Topics Related to All Routes.

The cloud of Popular Camino Topics includes "first camino", with many threads about the typical questions and concerns of first timers. Other tags that might help you in terms of preparation would be "backpack and packing", "clothing", or even "pilgrims & pilgrimage".

Another tag that hasn't risen into the most popular list is "camino basics".

If you are having any trouble navigating the forum, let me know - even by private Conversation if you prefer.

EDITED TO ADD: If forum members have ideas for improving the way the book club functions, please let me know by private Conversation.
I’m comfortable poking about in the forum on the topics covered in Rupp’s book, but thank you. 🙂
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Without going into specifics about my own views on how one ought to prepare (as has been mentioned above, there are plenty of threads on the forum specific to that), I will say I tend to disagree with her that preparation is an absolute necessity to completing a Camino. Many have just taken a backpack and a pair of hiking boots , gotten on a plane to Spain, and started out (to paraphrase Rupp) and successfully finished, my son among them. That isn't to diminish the value of all of the kinds of preparation that Rupp discusses. Many have found their Caminos immeasurably improved by these preparations. The danger is that preparation can lead to expectation. I don't think it is entirely coincidence that the very next chapter of Rupp's book is "Let Go". These expectations are one of the first things one needs to learn to let go of.
That’s certainly an astute observation- making the connection between lots of prep time being a set up for unmet expectations and disappointments! Thanks for taking time away from what you’re reading and respond to my question.
 

gns

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
First 2016
Latest Camino Frances Jul-Aug 2020
Here we are, starting the third book in the Forum Book Club series, as outlined on this thread. If you are still reading one of the previous books - feel free to comment on those threads anytime.

The third book is Walk in a Relaxed Manner by Joyce Rupp. I enjoyed it in a mild way and would recommend it as a, well, relaxing read. Like Codd, she had a more religious/spiritual approach to the Camino than I, but it was written in a way that I could still appreciate.

It has been a couple of years since I read it, and I don't have a copy at hand to refresh my memory. Hopefully, someone else can come along and give a more interesting review!
I finished it a couple of days ago and just saw the thread. Happily I am am now well into The Great Westward Walk so my next review will be somewhat different unless I get banned for what follows.

For the most part I didn't enjoy it. Sister Jupp is a prolific writer of spiritual self help books (I looked her up on Amazon when she mentioned she was an author) and what we get is a Camino themed version of one of these. I wondered afterwards if this was the only thing she knows how to write.

There was the odd occasion when I was taken back to the Camino but these were few and far between. Because of the nature of the book the author focuses too much on the downsides as challenges to be overcome. There are some chapters that simply list bad experiences with a homily at the end. I think we get a dirty refugio story in just about every chapter.

As fits the spiritual intention of the book we get a lot of descriptions of how Sister Joyce engaged with prayer through the Camino. I am afraid that the extent to which this is pre-planned robs her religious experience of the warmth and spontaneity that we got from Father Codd. I was much more moved by his instinctive turning to the rosary and the traditional prayers of the everyday, than the specially written pilgrim prayer Sister Rupp and her companion take with them. There are also long passages of sermonising which I struggled with. If there was one lesson I wish Sister Jupp could have taken from the Camino it would be don't overthink things.

I didn't mean to go on like this so I will finish. Where we do get some warmth in Sister Jupp's writing is in relation to her walking partner Tom. Her weakness is that in reverting to the formula that she knows she stops herself from writing the book she should have done. Had she written a straightforward narrative dedicated to his memory and given us more of his personality I think this would have been a much better book.

Sister Jupp is a decent stylist and if you want a Camino themed self-help book this may be a decent choice, but otherwise I would choose something else to read.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2022
For the most part I didn't enjoy it. Sister Jupp is a prolific writer of spiritual self help books (I looked her up on Amazon when she mentioned she was an author) and what we get is a Camino themed version one of these. I wondered afterwards if this was the only thing she knows how to write.

There was the odd occasion when I was taken back to the Camino but these were few and far between. Because of the nature of the book the author focuses too much on the downsides as challenges to be overcome. There are some chapters that simply list bad experiences with a homily at the end. I think we get a dirty refugio story in just about every chapter.
Ugh. I am about halfway through and couldn’t agree more. She impresses me as a control freak obsessed with her own comfort, appears to have whined the length of the Camino, and doesn’t seem to much care for others unless they are kind to her. There is nothing particularly deep or insightful about her little homilies either.
 
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gns

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
First 2016
Latest Camino Frances Jul-Aug 2020
Ugh. I am about halfway through and couldn’t agree more. She impresses me as a control freak obsessed with her own comfort, appears to have whined the length of the Camino, and doesn’t seem to much care for others unless they are kind to her. There is nothing particularly deep or insightful about her little homilies either.
I began to root for her to quit and go home quite early on.
 

camino07

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18Norte
I'm going to read my old copy again. I read it before my first Camino and it almost put me off going due to her negativity about dirty Albergues and because they got sick. Luckily it didn't.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I finished this book last night. I thought it improved a bit when she talked about prayer and her walking companion, Tom. I gave it two stars on Goodreads because of how she discussed these things.
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
What an interesting conversation. I will admit that I haven't re-read it yet (aside from the bit on preparation to answer the question above). I'm still finishing off the previous one by Kevin Codd. I remember really liking it and liking the spiritual thoughtfulness of it and the way it was organized. I don't remember all of the negativity. I guess I just let it pass over me. I'm sure I'll be mores sensitive to it when I re-read it.

The conversation makes me think of the movie "The Way". Many people love the movie, but I've always been irritated by the negativity in the way the characters interact with each other for most of the movie. Others just don't see that or let it pass over them and love the movie.
 

gns

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
First 2016
Latest Camino Frances Jul-Aug 2020
What an interesting conversation. I will admit that I haven't re-read it yet (aside from the bit on preparation to answer the question above). I'm still finishing off the previous one by Kevin Codd. I remember really liking it and liking the spiritual thoughtfulness of it and the way it was organized. I don't remember all of the negativity. I guess I just let it pass over me. I'm sure I'll be mores sensitive to it when I re-read it.

The conversation makes me think of the movie "The Way". Many people love the movie, but I've always been irritated by the negativity in the way the characters interact with each other for most of the movie. Others just don't see that or let it pass over them and love the movie.
I finally watched The Way in lockdown last year and this struck me as well. I think it was probably inevitable given the nature of the medium. Grieving man walks Camino without incident, discovering himself and meeting nice people along the way isn't really Hollywood's style.

I thought it was watchable and gave some flavour of the Camino but not much subtlety.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
Well, I am finally getting into this book. I know. I'm not the fastest reader on the block when re-reading these books. I started a new job and that is taking a lot of time, which isn't helping things.

Anyways, while I am by no means finished the book, I'm now far enough in that I am starting to form definite opinions. And I'm remembering why I liked the book.

The book is not written like a regular memoir, following the author(s) from point A (generally SJPP, or Le Puy, or somewhere) to point B (Santiago or Finisterre or Muxia). Instead the chapters are organized around various lessons. And for me, that resonates with what I walked away from the Camino with. Yes, I deeply valued the places I saw, stayed at, ate at, the people I met, etc. But what I most wanted to preserve upon return was the lessons I learned. Lessons that were specific to the Camino but so much broader in application. When I worried about returning to the "real world" (a worry that seems to crop up frequently in these forums), the worry wan't about returning from Spain, but about losing sight of those lessons.

When I did return to Canada and to my regular job, I was asked to write about my Camino for the newsletter at work. The article I wrote was called "The long walk: five lessons from the Camino". The lessons I picked were:
  1. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other
  2. Take care of your feet
  3. It's not a race
  4. You don't need as much as you think you do
  5. Support each other as we head towards the same goal
On the surface, they were about the Camino, but they weren't really. They were about how we can best work with each other (it was a work newsletter, after all).

So I guess it shouldn't be much of a surprise that I appreciated Rupp's book. It is really my article, writ large to book length and apply to life. It is a reminder of the lessons that I learned on the Camino, when the day to day stresses and pressures make them fall to back of mind, and the ways (although not the specifics) of how I learned those lessons.

As I read it, I nod and say "Oh yes, I remember that. That's important." It takes me back to the Camino - not to the places, which many other memoirs do, but to the lessons, which, to me, are more important. I may not agree with everything she says but (at least so far), enough of it resonates and revives that it seems quite worth reading.
 
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gns

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
First 2016
Latest Camino Frances Jul-Aug 2020
Well, I am finally getting into this book. I know. I'm not the fastest reader on the block when re-reading these books. I started a new job and that is taking a lot of time, which isn't helping things.

Anyways, while I am by no means finished the book, I'm now far enough in that I am starting to form definite opinions. And I'm remembering why I liked the book.

The book is not written like a regular memoir, following the author(s) from point A (generally SJPP, or Le Puy, or somewhere) to point B (Santiago or Finisterre or Muxia). Instead the chapters are organized around various lessons. And for me, that resonates with what I walked away from the Camino with. Yes, I deeply valued the places I saw, stayed at, ate at, the people I met, etc. But what I most wanted to preserve upon return was the lessons I learned. Lessons that were specific to the Camino but so much broader in application. When I worried about returning to the "real world" (a worry that seems to crop up frequently in these forums), the worry wan't about returning from Spain, but about losing sight of those lessons.

When I did return to Canada and to my regular job, I was asked to write about my Camino for the newsletter at work. The article I wrote was called "The long walk: five lessons from the Camino". The lessons I picked were:
  1. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other
  2. Take care of your feet
  3. It's not a race
  4. You don't need as much as you think you do
  5. Support each other as we head towards the same goal
On the surface, they were about the Camino, but they weren't really. They were about how we can best work with each other (it was a work newsletter, after all).

So I guess it shouldn't be much of a surprise that I appreciated Rupp's book. It is really my article, writ large to book length and apply to life. It is a reminder of the lessons that I learned on the Camino, when the day to day stresses and pressures make them fall to back of mind, and the ways (although not the specifics) of how I learned those lessons.

As I read it, I nod and say "Oh yes, I remember that. That's important." It takes me back to the Camino - not to the places, which many other memoirs do, but to the lessons, which, to me, are more important. I may not agree with everything she says but (at least so far), enough of it resonates and revives that it seems quite worth reading.
After reading this I picked it up again to try and see what I was missing, since other people clearly take a lot from this book.

I am afraid that it did no good. I read a few random sections with growing nausea and resentment. When I got to the line "The disappointments of the Camino showed up in myriad ways" that was enough.

To each their own but if I see Sister Jupp coming along the Camino I will hide.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
After reading this I picked it up again to try and see what I was missing, since other people clearly take a lot from this book.

I am afraid that it did no good. I read a few random sections with growing nausea and resentment. When I got to the line "The disappointments of the Camino showed up in myriad ways" that was enough.

To each their own but if I see Sister Jupp coming along the Camino I will hide.
I can't argue with your experience of the book. You experienced what you experienced and clearly it was unpleasant. So unpleasant, it seems, that it created nausea and resentment and ensured that you were unable to remember the name of the author correctly.

I can only say that my experience has been different. Certainly she did not experience her Camino as unending joy, always well within her comfort zone. This is unabashedly a book of life lessons, and we seldom learn life lessons while ensconced in our comfort zone. Rupp lets us know how far she has departed from her comfort zone and then what she learned from the experience.

To take the chapter "Deal with Disappointments" that you quoted from. You came to the line "The disappointments of the Camino showed up in myriad ways" and that was enough. Had you gone on to read further, you would have read "I looked at the disappointments Tom and I experienced, including the smaller ones, and saw how they were largely due to what we imagined or hoped would be. ... If I expect every day to be harmonious and trouble free, I will be disheartened and discouraged. If I think I can plan and arrange my day so well that nothing will enter in except what I want to have there, I will be frustrated and full of irritation. When I recognize disappointments and accept them for what they are - experiences where my expectations are not met - then I can approach them in a much calmer and more growthful manner."

I think that this aligns with what a lot of us have experienced on and learned from the Camino. There's a reason that so many people in these forums will advise leaving expectations behind when setting out on Camino, or warn people that "the Camino will give you what you need, not what you want", advice that it is easier to give than to practice. It is hard not to fall back into forming expectations and being disappointed when they don't materialize.

I realize that your quote above was just one of many quotes you could pull from the book that would read like the Camino was a terrible experience. Rupp was well out of her comfort zone, after all, and she did frequently find that difficult, despite approaching the undertaking as an adventure. Most honest accounts of Caminos (especially first Caminos) will talk a fair bit about pains and challenges. The Camino may be many things, but it generally is not easy.

But one could equally well pull out countless quotes of the opposite variety. As you wanted to stop reading with the line "The disappointments of the Camino showed up in myriad ways", I wanted to keep reading when I came across the line "Kindness came in many forms and sizes on the Camino." Or "Coming down every hill, turning every corner on the Camino, there is always something new and lovely to bless the eye and heart." Or "From the very beginning of our pilgrimage women and men entered our lives and became dear to us. Even though our time together was relatively brief, the experiences and commonalities we exchanged nourished the gift of friendship." The book has both positive and negative experiences. As on the Camino, most often they are mixed together.

By writing the above, I am not trying to invalidate your experience. The effect the book had on you was what it was. I guess every book is a conversation between the author and the reader. The author will put words on the page, but in reading them the reader will bring their own experiences, and some parts of the book may speak to or affect one reader deeply and pass another reader right by. My experiences reading the book have been very different than yours.
 
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gns

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
First 2016
Latest Camino Frances Jul-Aug 2020
I can't argue with your experience of the book. You experienced what you experienced and clearly it was unpleasant. So unpleasant, it seems, that it created nausea and resentment and ensured that you were unable to remember the name of the author correctly.

I can only say that my experience has been different. Certainly she did not experience her Camino as unending joy, always well within her comfort zone. This is unabashedly a book of life lessons, and we seldom learn life lessons while ensconced in our comfort zone. Rupp lets us know how far she has departed from her comfort zone and then what she learned from the experience.

To take the chapter "Deal with Disappointments" that you quoted from. You came to the line "The disappointments of the Camino showed up in myriad ways" and that was enough. Had you gone on to read further, you would have read "I looked at the disappointments Tom and I experienced, including the smaller ones, and saw how they were largely due to what we imagined or hoped would be. ... If I expect every day to be harmonious and trouble free, I will be disheartened and discouraged. If I think I can plan and arrange my day so well that nothing will enter in except what I want to have there, I will be frustrated and full of irritation. When I recognize disappointments and accept them for what they are - experiences where my expectations are not met - then I can approach them in a much calmer and more growthful manner."

I think that this aligns with what a lot of us have experienced on and learned from the Camino. There's a reason that so many people in these forums will advise leaving expectations behind when setting out on Camino, or warn people that "the Camino will give you what you need, not what you want", advice that it is easier to give than to practice. It is hard not to fall back into forming expectations and being disappointed when they don't materialize.

I realize that your quote above was just one of many quotes you could pull from the book that would read like the Camino was a terrible experience. Rupp was well out of her comfort zone, after all, and she did frequently find that difficult, despite approaching the undertaking as an adventure. Most honest accounts of Caminos (especially first Caminos) will talk a fair bit about pains and challenges. The Camino may be many things, but it generally is not easy.

But one could equally well pull out countless quotes of the opposite variety. As you wanted to stop reading with the line "The disappointments of the Camino showed up in myriad ways", I wanted to keep reading when I came across the line "Kindness came in many forms and sizes on the Camino." Or "Coming down every hill, turning every corner on the Camino, there is always something new and lovely to bless the eye and heart." Or "From the very beginning of our pilgrimage women and men entered our lives and became dear to us. Even though our time together was relatively brief, the experiences and commonalities we exchanged nourished the gift of friendship." The book has both positive and negative experiences. As on the Camino, most often they are mixed together.

By writing the above, I am not trying to invalidate your experience. The effect the book had on you was what it was. I guess every book is a conversation between the author and the reader. The author will put words on the page, but in reading them the reader will bring their own experiences, and some parts of the book may speak to or affect one reader deeply and pass another reader right by. My experiences reading the book have been very different than yours.
Ok nausea was maybe a bit strong and the misspelling was certainly not intentional as the book was in front of me as I typed.

I must admit there was something about this book which rubbed me the wrong way in a manner that I can rarely recall. It is not the fact that the author is religious. I appreciated that facet of Father Codd's memoir (or Father Kodd to be consistent).

I think it is possibly the overt translation of the Camino experience into a self-help book of this type. You yourself identified five key takeaways which said as much as the 37 (!) lessons in the book in a much more succinct way. It feels formulaic and there are lots of what come across as deepities.

I chose that specific quotation as it struck me as being typical of the need to find something to generate a lesson and reflected a mindset. With the exception of Burgos Cathedral I can't think of anything on six Caminos where I would have definitely have used that specific word. There have been some tough hours if not days and on occasion things have not worked out precisely as I would have wanted. For example I would rather that it had not rained that hard from Portomarin in August, and that there had been accommodation before Eirexe. I was certainly miserable for a while, but disappointed no.

My intention was not to cause offence but I just don't get this book's appeal.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
To be fair, I can also see what causes exasperation in some readers. I've posted above about what I like in this book. This post will address one of the things I find irritating. The author often cannot seem to leave off being judgemental, even as she is discussing the importance of being non-judgemental.

As an example, at one point she quotes from her journal:
Tom and I have had a talk about negative thinking. We want to send only positive thoughts, to eliminate negative thinking from our minds. NOW is the time to do this. We start with the chattering French group, to send kindness and not inner barbs toward them when their endless talking takes over the spirit of the refugios. Then, with others, like the robust Austrian who seems so full of ego. He's walked the Camino before, plus many other trails in Spain. Seems to be doing it for sport only. Then there's the young Dutch woman in her twenties who bats her eyelashes and flirts with male pilgrims, the reserved Englishman who says little and rarely enters into conversation, the Canadian who is warm and friendly one time, distant and aloof the next, and the South African gentleman who is always talkative but seems not to listen to others at all.
She starts by stating her intention to avoid negative thinking and follows immediately with a list of pilgrims characterized by what she considers negative about them!

Imagine how different the paragraph might have been if she had started the same way with an intention to eliminate negative thinking but then instead of wallowing in it, she had gone on to say "We thought about our fellow pilgrims who had been irritating us and for each thought of some way they had benefited us, what they had to offer. We started with the French group who [insert something good]. ..."
 

gns

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
First 2016
Latest Camino Frances Jul-Aug 2020
To be fair, I can also see what causes exasperation in some readers. I've posted above about what I like in this book. This post will address one of the things I find irritating. The author often cannot seem to leave off being judgemental, even as she is discussing the importance of being non-judgemental.

As an example, at one point she quotes from her journal:

She starts by stating her intention to avoid negative thinking and follows immediately with a list of pilgrims characterized by what she considers negative about them!

Imagine how different the paragraph might have been if she had started the same way with an intention to eliminate negative thinking but then instead of wallowing in it, she had gone on to say "We thought about our fellow pilgrims who had been irritating us and for each thought of some way they had benefited us, what they had to offer. We started with the French group who [insert something good]. ..."
I wonder what she would have made of the French Group on the Primitivo when I did it, who carried a large bag of grass and were happily stoned by the way whenever I saw them during the day.
 

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