Sometimes…often…almost all the time when I review a posting that I’ve made I’m struck with how superficial it is. I think about what I didn’t include in my post on Jaime that would have helped you understand how special it was to share his company during our walk. I even failed to mention why the song Moon River is special for him. The many days of conversation while walking and sharing meals with Per and Eva are not at all reflected in the few paragraphs I wrote about them. When I walk I reflect on a lot of the experiences that I am having. Sometimes those reflections take a form that I think might be worth sharing. Then over the hours or days or sometimes over more than a week I develop them in my head while I walk. You be amazed at how carefully crafted they are. They are tightly written, with a great choice of words, grammatically correct, and so forth. I move things around in my head, “No, that phrase should come before that one for it to make the most sense.” it is really beautiful writing and it sounds so good in my head. Then we reach the albergue, check in, shower (remember those!?!), have beer and chips and I find I have only a few minutes before we prepare for or evening meal. So I sit at my cell phone and enter with one finger as rapidly as I can what was in my mind. But it doesn’t come out right. I get discouraged and wonder if it is worth the effort. Then I thought about the pictures we all take. You know the one of the eagle you saw in a tree along Lake Superior with the waves crashing into shore and the sun sending a single beam through the cloudy sky. You email it to your friends who see maybe a bird in a tree…it’s a little hard to tell…and the lake and the sky seem the same color so it’s hard to see the waves. They miss the uplifting majesty of the moment. I could tell you how amazing it is to see the thousands of snails covering the plants along the Camino for dozens of kilometers and send you a picture like this one.
And you’d think, “Yeah, I see 6 or 8 snails. Big deal.” Or how many of us have taken pictures to capture the grandeur of a cathedral in Sevilla or Barcelona or Paris or León and shown our friends pictures like this one of the magnificent stained glass in the cathedral in León.
And we can tell by their patient enthusiasm that they just don’t understand the lofty heights and architectural wonder the photo represented. And that is just it. The photo represented to you what you had experienced. The going from feeling down to exhilarated when you saw that eagle in that perfect setting. The sense of awe you felt in the cathedral. The amazement in seeing so many snails. Those experiences don’t travel well through blogs or photos. So why persist in taking photos and why do I continue to blog? Well for me, with my aging memory, they serve as reminders so that when we are together I can tell you more about the experience, how I was feeling, what I learned all in the form of my stories and that can be worth while. So, let’s get together. We will both bring photos and things we have written and we will share those rich, deep, funny stories over the table.
Sent from my iPhone