Daily Archives: July 11, 2012

The Way

A good friend walked part of the Camino de Santiago a couple of years ago and when we saw that this movie was being shown at one of our local cinemas we knew we had to go.

Do you know of the Camino?  It is a Catholic pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain.  For more than 1,000 years pilgrims have traveled along the many Caminos/walking trails to Santiago. The trails  originate in various parts of Europe, some start and finish in Spain, and they all converge on Santiago de Compostela .

The most popular Camino walking trail is the Camino Frances. This part of the Camino de Santiago traditionally starts in St Jean Pied de Port in France and finishes some 780 kms later in Santiago de Compostela.  However you can start anywhere and even continue past Santiago to the sea at Finisterre.  Cape Finisterre was thought to be the end of the world in medieval times.

Now to the film.  Thomas Avery (Martin Sheen) is an American ophthalmologist who goes to France to retrieve the body of his son who was killed during a storm while walking the Camino.  After some soul-searching and to honour his son’s wishes to complete the journey, Tom decides to walk the ancient spiritual trail where his son died.  He decides to scatter his son’s ashes at various points along the way.  But he is an inexperienced distance walker (trekker) and he finds the going hard.

On his journey he falls in with three other pilgrims and together they make the journey across France and Spain to their destination.  Each is walking the camino for his/her own reasons and to solve a particular dilemma and during the walk Tom comes to realise that there is so much more to live for than his ‘ordinary’ life back in the States.

This is a movie well worth seeing if it comes to your area.  It is a collaboration between Sheen and his son Emilio Estevez who wrote and directed the movie. Estevez plays the role of the son in the movie. I imagine that it will have an effect on many who see this film even to the extent that some might decide to walk part or perhaps even the whole trail.

The Way is not bound up with religion although it ends in the Catholic Cathedral of St James.  For me it spoke of   finding out who we are and about living our lives in the company of others, fully aware of our surroundings, ourselves and others.

And one of the things that we do see in the movie, and which my friend also witnessed was the swinging of the Thurible – the huge incense burner that takes eight men to swing it.  Apparently this was a necessary piece of equipment in the olden days when pilgrims walked the track with no access to water for bathing and arrived at the journey’s end smiling and smelling.  The smell of the incense was to cover the other smells.

Thurible

For more on the Thurible (or The Botafumeiro) at the Cathedral see
Santiago-online.com

“One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting their bad advice..”
From The Journey by Mary Oliver.

for the rest of this Mary Oliver poem click here.

More on Weddings

This is the post I originally wrote on Sunday and then after it was posted, I got cold feet and changed it.  However, I do know that some of you read the original before it was deleted and don’t appear to have been offended by it.  So I thought I would re-post it. The changed bit comes after the wedding quotes. It might be a little different to the original but you get the idea.

“I asked him what kind of a wedding he wished for,
He said one that would make me his wife.”
~Author Unknown

For several years I acted as the Wedding Coordinator at an historic church here in Wellington.  New Zealand is a very young country, so historic in this instance is only some 140 years.  However, I enjoyed my time there and loved being involved with so many brides and grooms.  Each year we had around 90 weddings, so there were plenty of people for me to interact with.

For whatever reason, today I found myself looking through some of the poems that had been read at the ceremonies.  Of course, there were those that were used again and again, eg  from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

“….Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away,
and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground,
and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches,
they find that they are one tree and not two…”

and the Apache Blessing

“Now you will feel no rain,
for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there will be no loneliness,
for each of you will be a companion to the other.
Now you are two persons,
but there is only one life before you….”

and of course 1 Corinthians 13

“… Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…”

And many others.

And then I wondered about synchronicity being at work.  When I opened my emails today I found this. I apologise wholeheartedly to my blogging friends in Virginia but it is posted without malice.

Have a good day