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Why "Camino conversations" work, even for those of us who are not "social"...

Past OR future Camino
2017
I was surprised on my first Camino to find myself drawn into conversations with others on the Way. While not anti-social, my personal reasons for walking do not include other people unless there is an opportunity to render aid.

The speed at which such interactions developed into depths of personal meaning and sharing secrets of the soul astonished me...and perplexed me.

During some random reading, this poem came to my attention. It dawned on me that, while on Camino, many people can answer affirmatively to the question posed in each stanza. They seek to shake off the crust of the life (and mask of the persona associated) that has bound them and so are open to whatever comes up.

Just so you know, it matters little to me whether anyone "likes" the post. Actually, I would prefer that you did not. I am not currently engaged enough here to get much of a rush from "scoring", so to speak, and actually find "likes" a bit....daunting. ("Weird, I thought Forum members had better taste." is my usual reaction.)

However, it matters quite a lot to me to share this, most especially with people like me who could be otherwise alarmed at the intensity of interactions with their caminantes.

“The Invitation” (by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, 1999)

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.


That is all,

B
 
2022 Camino Guides
The 2022 Camino guides will be coming out little by little, most of them by the end of 2021. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Fine art photography from the Camino Ways.

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
One of the more interesting conversations I've had with a fellow pilgrim started with the question, 'what's your favourite colour?'.
I've no idea where he was from or where he started walking, nor he me, but he and his partner are among the few I can still vividly recall.
 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances
When the time is right
I was surprised on my first Camino to find myself drawn into conversations with others on the Way. While not anti-social, my personal reasons for walking do not include other people unless there is an opportunity to render aid.

The speed at which such interactions developed into depths of personal meaning and sharing secrets of the soul astonished me...and perplexed me.

During some random reading, this poem came to my attention. It dawned on me that, while on Camino, many people can answer affirmatively to the question posed in each stanza. They seek to shake off the crust of the life (and mask of the persona associated) that has bound them and so are open to whatever comes up.

Just so you know, it matters little to me whether anyone "likes" the post. Actually, I would prefer that you did not. I am not currently engaged enough here to get much of a rush from "scoring", so to speak, and actually find "likes" a bit....daunting. ("Weird, I thought Forum members had better taste." is my usual reaction.)

However, it matters quite a lot to me to share this, most especially with people like me who could be otherwise alarmed at the intensity of interactions with their caminantes.

“The Invitation” (by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, 1999)

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.


That is all,

B
This is and remains one of my favourite poems of all time. Thank you for taking the time to post. Gave me a chance to read it once again. :)
 
how to successfully prepare for your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.
Camino Magnets
A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets
Past OR future Camino
Walked CF September/October 2015; Scheduled to walk April/May 2020
Yes! I have often said that the Camino is a rare space that is good for both introverts and extroverts alike. It’s social but has very little room for small talk, and it’s the small talk that introverts struggle with most. It really does invite people to go deep immediately. It’s such a unique experience.
 

TaijiPilgrim

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2011), Camino Frances (2015), Camino Ingles (2017), Camino Muxia (2017), LePuy(2019)
I was surprised on my first Camino to find myself drawn into conversations with others on the Way. While not anti-social, my personal reasons for walking do not include other people unless there is an opportunity to render aid.

The speed at which such interactions developed into depths of personal meaning and sharing secrets of the soul astonished me...and perplexed me.

During some random reading, this poem came to my attention. It dawned on me that, while on Camino, many people can answer affirmatively to the question posed in each stanza. They seek to shake off the crust of the life (and mask of the persona associated) that has bound them and so are open to whatever comes up.

Just so you know, it matters little to me whether anyone "likes" the post. Actually, I would prefer that you did not. I am not currently engaged enough here to get much of a rush from "scoring", so to speak, and actually find "likes" a bit....daunting. ("Weird, I thought Forum members had better taste." is my usual reaction.)

However, it matters quite a lot to me to share this, most especially with people like me who could be otherwise alarmed at the intensity of interactions with their caminantes.

“The Invitation” (by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, 1999)

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.


That is all,

B
Powerful. Provocative. Pensive. Painful. Probing and perceptive.
Thank you.
 

Paladina

old woman of the roads
Past OR future Camino
CF, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles etc (2018), Mozarabe etc (2019), tbc (2020)
‘I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.’ Not being blessed with the fire resistance of Cosmos and Damian, I’ll happily decline the invitation to self-immolation, and not possessing the patience of Job, I’d prefer my own company, and especially the silence, to the speaker’s prescriptive conversation.
 

elleley

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (16); Leon-Sarria, Ourense-SdC (17), Burgos-Leon (17), Porto-SdC (18), SalvadorPrimitivo(19)
Thanks for your post. This beautiful poem holds so much! As does the Camino experience. While not in every case, for every pilgrim, for many of us this pilgrimage experience is more "vertical" than "horizontal." When you are in the present moment, really in the present moment, you can go deeper quicker. I'm sure this is what draws me back to experience it again. Ultreia et suseia!
 
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Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Past OR future Camino
may/june (2018)
I was surprised on my first Camino to find myself drawn into conversations with others on the Way. While not anti-social, my personal reasons for walking do not include other people unless there is an opportunity to render aid.

The speed at which such interactions developed into depths of personal meaning and sharing secrets of the soul astonished me...and perplexed me.

During some random reading, this poem came to my attention. It dawned on me that, while on Camino, many people can answer affirmatively to the question posed in each stanza. They seek to shake off the crust of the life (and mask of the persona associated) that has bound them and so are open to whatever comes up.

Just so you know, it matters little to me whether anyone "likes" the post. Actually, I would prefer that you did not. I am not currently engaged enough here to get much of a rush from "scoring", so to speak, and actually find "likes" a bit....daunting. ("Weird, I thought Forum members had better taste." is my usual reaction.)

However, it matters quite a lot to me to share this, most especially with people like me who could be otherwise alarmed at the intensity of interactions with their caminantes.

“The Invitation” (by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, 1999)

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.


That is all,

B
Thanks for the reminder of this poem which I’d read (and have the book) about a decade ago. So true and resonating to read, harder to live daily.
And Simply B, I love your name!
 

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