On the Camino


I don’t think Anyone’s out there listening to my nano-problems, certainly not my boot problems or my I’m writing a book problems or my I’m failing a week into the pilgrimage and boo-hoo, it will be an artistic and personal disaster. Oh, tears in heaven! It’s absurd on the face of it. What God would take that call?

An extract from Walking Backwards (A journey of a thousand miles on the Camino de Santiago):

“I don’t believe in God anymore, certainly not a personal God in a vast universe who helps this set of tiny beings but not that set of tiny beings. I don’t think Anyone’s out there listening to my nano-problems, certainly not my boot problems or my I’m writing a book problems or my I’m failing a week into the pilgrimage and boo-hoo, it will be an artistic and personal disaster. Oh, tears in heaven! It’s absurd on the face of it. What God would take that call? When friends on Facebook announce their father or sister or somebody they love is gravely ill or suddenly in the hospital and they ask everybody to pray, I don’t. It’s like I couldn’t even if I wanted to. I feel something intellectual tighten up. Something inside gets hard and stubborn and hollow.

But I will confess that as I am standing there in the hiking boot aisle of the French mega sporting goods complex, very quickly, and in a way that nobody watching me would ever notice, I close my eyes for a fraction of a second and say a small prayer as I make my boot selection.

I am on the Camino.”  – From Chapter 2 “Boots” of Walking Backwards (A journey of a thousand miles on the Camino de Santiago)