The Agony and the Ecstasy

000_015924 buzzards have moved into our neighborhood. They circle and circle some more. Are they looking for something dead or are they looking for someone with a superficial flesh wound? Are they waiting for someone to falter? Perhaps they are looking for a woman who has dark circles under her eyes and looks tired. The vultures make me nervous. I have dark circles under my eyes. I am tired. I can sense their licking their lips.

I think of Edgar Allen Poe’s, “The Raven”: And his eyes have all the seeing of a demon’s that is dreaming / And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; / And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor / Shall be lifted nevermore.

If I were superstitious and took the vultures’ presence as an omen, I would cancel today’s flight to London.

I’m as ready for London as I’ll ever be, but walking The Way – that is an unknown. Beginning October 2, I about put myself to the test and trek The Way of Saint James. On our very first day, we leave St. Jean Pied De Port, France; climb the Pyrenees; and hope to make the 24.8k to Roncesvalles, Spain. Can I walk 16-miles a day, carrying my belongings on my back? Can I keep at it for six weeks? Will I reach Santiago de Compostela? Will I walk on to the ends of the earth at Finisterre? Have I bitten off more than I can chew? Could be. Do the buzzards have something to tell me?

I’ll never know until I give it my best shot. I’m expecting the agony (blisters, shin splints, and probably a broken back) but will the adventure into the unknown be enough to carry me through? Ecstasy seems a bit far-fetched given that for the most part I will be thinking about putting one foot in front of another, but I’m hoping that the history, landscape, and the time away from the demands of time, will take me outside a world full of distractions. For me, the trek is about Time Out. My main concern will be my feet. All other concerns will vapor trail behind me.

As I don’t want to pack any more weight than I can easily carry, I won’t be taking my trusty computer. Rather, I am learning the ins-and-outs of Samsung’s Galaxy 3 Tablet. (Insert primal scream.) Putting my agony in context, I was also in pain when I was forced to switch from a manual typewriter to an electric. Technology definitely moves faster than I do; however, hoping to blog as I walk The Way, I needed something lightweight. And so, fair warning: if I get a handle on my new Tablet, I hope to blog my journey. The blogs will be short on text. My two-fingered approach to the keyboard is slow and tedious.

That could good: maybe I’ll be forced to say more with less.

About timeout2

I have lived 100 lives. I write essays, short stories, poetry, grocery lists and notes to myself. If I am ever lost, look for a paper trail, but be careful not to trip over any books that lie scattered here and there. I am a reader. I am a reader in awe of writers. When I don't live in Westcliffe, Colorado, I live in London where I am a long-time member of Word-for-Word - Crouch End.
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6 Responses to The Agony and the Ecstasy

  1. Susan Davis says:

    My dream walk…want to do it next summer!

  2. Judy S says:

    Sounds like a real adventure! I’ll be waiting & watching. Best take an extra pair of feet, plus a spare back.
    Thinking of you,

  3. Go, Doris, go! They do say it’s the journey that matters, but it often helps to keep in mind the ecstasy waiting at the end, as well! And the hot baths! I look forward to reading about your journey…

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