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Stepping Into the Stream (Again...)

Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#1
Robo raises a really interesting point in another thread--and I was intrigued by his post:
Second time huh? How many days did you walk the first time?
Funny, but I wouldn't do it again....
I'll close off my blog with the logic in detail. But mainly this.....
I walked the Camino at a time in my life that I needed a break. Isolation. Solitude. Time to think. Reflect. Re-prioritise.
What i got was a very powerful physical, emotional and spiritual journey. Far above my expectations.
It's job is done. It worked. Any repetition would be meaningless. For Me At Least. I would be constantly comparing it with my first time. ..
Many others I spoke to thought the same....
But I guess it all depends on the reasons we walk the Camino. ..
Obviously here there's a biased crowd of 'repeat offenders' but I was surprised to read that Robo had heard from 'many others' that they also have no interest in walking again. That hadn't been my experience. Maybe it's who you connect with...most (but not all) would if they could. Impossible to know, of course, but I wonder now after reading Robo's post what the proportion of pilgs have no interest in returning.

That aside, the question is this: Obviously walking the Camino again (and again...) is not for everyone.
On other threads, those of us who do return articulate various experiences of not being able to step into the same stream twice. That's a given. But the deeper question is what calls you again and again, and what happens inside. So I'd be curious to hear reflections from the old hands around here...and others who have walked (especially the same route) twice or several times...
Internally and externally: what calls you to the edge of the water again? And how do you relate to the journey?

My own curiosity was about what would happen if I went that much further out of my comfort zone--and I wanted to see where the limits of trust/faith now were. And the second camino was so totally different from the first that comparing wasn't happening so much. The frame was the same but the picture was very different--and the entire journey was surprisingly and remarkably fresh.

[Of course one remembers, but that's different. (And sometimes I didn't! It astonished me when parts of the path that I knew I had to have walked before felt completely new--or the details had been scrambled or remembered differently.)]

It was so not the same stream! it was deeper, broader, and quite a bit scarier than the first time. But I found I could swim just fine. You?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#2
I know that I am and will continue to be a repeat offender, but so far I have chosen to walk different pilgrimage routes. They have each presented their own characteristics and challenges, not just in the path itself but in the people one meets along the way. Next year I will 'repeat' the CF, but will be walking with my wife. It will be quite different again.

Clearly something calls me back to meet the challenges of a pilgrimage, but I accept that rather than try to analyse it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2017 Camino Frances SJPP-Santiago
2015 St. Olav's Way Oslo-Trondheim
2017 VdlP Seville-Merida
#3
What @dougfitz said---I too hope to continue with pilgrimages, but not a repeat of one I did before. If ever I were to do the CF again, it would have to be under vastly different circumstances.

To think of repeating, brings out a "Been there, done that" side of me.

Oh, I also agree with him on the analyzing. I don't care why people do or don't repeat and I can't imagine anyone being interested in my reasons. I'm not even interested in my reasons.
 
S

simply B

Guest
#4
I could have written Robo’s exact words right up until the last 48 hours of my first Camino. I could not have imagined walking a second time even then. And yet…exactly 18 months after leaving SJPP the first time, I walked again from the Porte St. Jacques out of town.

What called me?

It was not the allure of indescribable pilgrim food, the delight of hand washing clothes everyday nor even the chorus of snoring fellows singing me to my rest. Rather it was quiet and very insistent voice that suggested that I would know what it was I was supposed to receive - - once I got there and when I was ready to receive it. It only took me eight months after my return to really start accepting that prompt. Even so, I made no preparations beyond giving a tepid “yes” to that voice and waiting for what was supposed to happen next…

What pushed me?

To spare personal detail, we’ll just say that a friend needed my help. I had already said “yes”, now I knew to what I had assented. And off we went.

Allow me a moment to take issue with the proposition that “one cannot step into the same stream twice”. That is widely misunderstood, though you got it right. Even if one has not changed, the river always does - - by successive moments it is never the "same" river. (That is more fly-fishing experience than philosophy!)

And I found the Camino to be entirely "un-repeating" in every aspect that mattered. Some familiarity with landscape? Of course, and most pronounced with the cities and towns. The entire color and feel of the second Camino made it completely different than the first.

Camino 1 gave me wings. Camino 2 taught me how to soar. But there were a few times when a dose of humility was delivered by some spectacular “crashes”.

Do I need/desire more “flying lessons”? I reckon I’ll hear any “call” as I now know how to listen. For now, I am content to apply what I have learned before I go looking for more enlightenment.

Though I have "been there" twice, the nature of the Camino would not allow me to presume to have "done that". Other people's mileage may vary. (I'll admit that I am a slow learner.)


B
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#5
Ah, lovely, B. We never know what's' around the next corner, do we?
And...
Even if one has not changed, the river always does - - by successive moments it is never the "same" river.
Yes...and we aren't any different from that constantly changing river. We change all the time without noticing it. So the Camino river changes, and we change...and being in touch with that brings the fantastic freshness of really being there with what's happening rather than with the stale memory of another time.
 
Camino(s) past & future
.
#6
Well I walked the same route (CF) at the same time of year. What I valued in the first Camino, I valued in the second. What I "got" from the first Camino I received from my second.

The second was different weather, different pilgrims and stops, but much the same valuable, enriching, prayerful time alone, great conversations and pilgrim solidarity; many kindnesses.

(I found the second walk harder in some ways, I think because having done it once I no longer had the drive that comes from wondering if I could do it. So I was questioning my reasons a lot more)

What do I understand from this? Well maybe the Camino is like a great concert; each time a different orchestra, or perhaps venue but still the same sublime music ??
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances ( March 2015 )
Camino Portugues ( September 2015 )
#7
Maybe it's deferred enjoyment rather than instant gratification ?

I've walked the Camino once. There were times when I sat down in the evening and examined the day that
had passed and wondered why I was doing it. But a few days after I'd got back home, I wanted to do it again
and now I'm planning to do the Camino Portuguese in September. Then maybe part of he Frances next March.

I'm just back from a sailing trip. This was my second attempt to sail to St Kilda. We "failed" again and only got
to the Outer Hebrides. During last years trip when we failed I'd said I'd never do it again, it was so rough. But I
went back. This year I thought, this is the last time. It was such hard work. I'm back home a week and I'm already
planning next years attempt! On reflection, it was a great. We sailed to some fabulous places. But they were hard
won memories.

On an earlier trip we'd sailed back home from Ireland in horrendous weather. It took us 15 hours. At one point
I was on the bottom rail and with the boom in the water I was completely submerged. For a few seconds all was quite
and calm. As near to death as I've ever been. The boat righted, then the battering continued. My sailing companion
said that as we reached home he was numb. The day after, he knew he never wanted to sail again, the day after
he was checking the tides, the day after he went back out and I went with him.

Maybe it's the nature of the experience. It's not a beach holiday, it takes effort. At the time the effort is hard and
overshadows some of the enjoyment. When the effort is finished the enjoyment rises. Perhaps this is where the
apparent conflict comes from. If you ask someone who's on the trip, they'll say they don't want to repeat it. Ask
them when it's over and you get a different answer. I'm not suggesting it's an adrenalin rush, just that it's a more
complex and deeper experience than we usually encounter.
 

amorfati1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014_Caminho Portuguese (Lisboa to Santiago_4 weeks in May)
#8
A very personal and individual reflection and question.
A very good one, important one.
I don't have answers . just vague musings and hunches. I don't have a plan/intend to walk/pilgrim again with a specific date/year in mind/heart ... but i can certainly see myself walking the camino again - with a slow deliberate pace, without rush or agenda.
some books, experiences, places reveal their mystery over time, peeling away layers of insights and recognitions. through those, we encounter ourselves.
for e.g. i can re-read the Tao de Ching over and again and come across phrases, sentences, images that reveal something, point to something, that previously i was not 'ripe' to perceive, to notice or to bother with.
i am drawn to read it again and again. in stages, in parts, with intervalls. no agenda - just grateful that i have this treasure in my life.
similar with my garden. being drawn to sit in it whenever i can. it is always soothing, lovely and a gift. anew, and full of wonder, simple mysteries.
the pilgrimage is like that in many ways.
do we always need to know what draws us and why? often we declare we are done with something. but is it done with us?

it will make itself known to me if i were to embark again onto the camino.
what i have learned yet again on the camino is that life itself is a pilgrimage. we are all part of some sort of caravan, just passing through.
everything we own was given to us, everything will leave us again.
and the camino, and any pilgrimage for this matter, makes this clear in strong and in very subtle ways. it's the fabric what always shines through, speaking for myself here.

thanks for posting this thread ...
very best wishes ~
 

Griffin57

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
October 2013 StJPdP to Burgos
September 2014 Burgos to SdC
Setember 2015 StJPdP to Burgos
#10
I'm going again in September, 1st time with partner, this time I will go alone. I feel as compelled and drawn as I did when I first read about the Camino over 20 years ago. I just knew I had to walk and even before I set off I knew I would be back.
I'd really like to be like Margaret Meridith who has walked 10 caminos and stayed in Granon every time.
Once you discover something you love why would you go anywhere else? I feel the Camino still has things to teach me and I'm a more than willing student.
Sarah
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#11
...
Once you discover something you love why would you go anywhere else? I feel the Camino still has things to teach me and I'm a more than willing student.
Sarah
"The end of one journey is simply the start of another. You have to see what you missed the first time, see again what you already saw, see in springtime what you saw in summer, in daylight what you saw at night, see the sun shining where you saw the rain falling, see crops growing, the fruit ripen, the stone which has moved, the shadow that was not there before. You have to go back to the footsteps already taken, to go over them again or add fresh ones alongside them.You have to start the journey anew. Always"
Jose Saramago, A Journey to Portugal
 

waveprof

Enthusiast
Camino(s) past & future
May-June 2013, Camino Frances
#12
We made friends with a man from Valadolid who walked the Camino, starting in Roncesvalles, starting on the same day every year, and stopping at the exact same albuergues. He was on year ten.

To each their own.

I look forward to walking the Norte in a few years (once my son is old enough to walk it). And to revisit the Frances with my wife, starting this time in Paris, when our son is out of the house. But I like that neither will be a direct repeat because it will help minimize the urge to truly try to "repeat"....something that could never be done.

Meanwhile, if the Camino taught me anything, it's to get out and explore. There are too many other parts of the world (and even Spain) to explore for me to want to spend every summer (or every other summer) on the camino de santiago----even if it was the greatest experience of my life.
 

waveprof

Enthusiast
Camino(s) past & future
May-June 2013, Camino Frances
#14
Another reflection comes up reading your post...does the Camino ever end?
Well, of course it does. But it doesn't too.
It never should. Anything in life that is about reaching a destination is not worth doing.

Keep on keepin' on.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances [May 2012]
VDLP (September 2015)
#15
I walked my first Camino (Frances) in May 2012. The first few days were MISERABLE - wet and rainy all the time!
The next couple of weeks were MISERABLE - feet were unbearably sore! I kept a journal and it is littered with WTF's - am I doing here, whose bright idea was this etc! I vowed NEVER to do this again! I even gave away my (relatively new and expensive) shoes to a friend who is 2 sizes bigger than me! I was ECSTATIC when I reached Santiago!
BUT, with saying all that, I met the most MARVELLOUS people and I bought a new pair of shoes (yes, 2 sizes bigger, which I know I should have done in the first place, but vanity kept me from feeling/looking ridiculous walking in a pair of boats, no ships!)

I am SO looking forward to my second Camino (VDLP) in September - bought a new pair of shoes 2 sizes bigger and don't really care how I look!
ULTREYA! I say.....
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015 -SJPP- Santiago .Oct/Nov
2017 -Porto to Santiago.Oct
2017- Santiago- Finesterre. Nov
#16
A very personal and individual reflection and question.
A very good one, important one.
I don't have answers . just vague musings and hunches. I don't have a plan/intend to walk/pilgrim again with a specific date/year in mind/heart ... but i can certainly see myself walking the camino again - with a slow deliberate pace, without rush or agenda.
some books, experiences, places reveal their mystery over time, peeling away layers of insights and recognitions. through those, we encounter ourselves.
for e.g. i can re-read the Tao de Ching over and again and come across phrases, sentences, images that reveal something, point to something, that previously i was not 'ripe' to perceive, to notice or to bother with.
i am drawn to read it again and again. in stages, in parts, with intervalls. no agenda - just grateful that i have this treasure in my life.
similar with my garden. being drawn to sit in it whenever i can. it is always soothing, lovely and a gift. anew, and full of wonder, simple mysteries.
the pilgrimage is like that in many ways.
do we always need to know what draws us and why? often we declare we are done with something. but is it done with us?

it will make itself known to me if i were to embark again onto the camino.
what i have learned yet again on the camino is that life itself is a pilgrimage. we are all part of some sort of caravan, just passing through.
everything we own was given to us, everything will leave us again.
and the camino, and any pilgrimage for this matter, makes this clear in strong and in very subtle ways. it's the fabric what always shines through, speaking for myself here.

thanks for posting this thread ...
very best wishes ~
I just wanted to say that I really loved reading the way that you have expressed your thoughts about the 'mystery'of the camino here . It really resonates with me. Thankyou .
 
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