Hey there folks,
As a Catholic, I’m not entirely sure what I’m supposed to believe in nor acknowledge without offending the Almighty, His angels and saints, and my many good Catholic friends. Do forgive me, for I’m just a mere (im)mortal with his sporadic outbursts of piety coupled with extreme heathenism. For you see, dear reader, I do firmly believe in Fate and that things happen for a reason: whether we realize the reason or not is irrelevant. Free will, to me, is an expressed illusion, for our Fate has already been woven – we simply follow the thread through our own labyrinth.
For reference, view the first 25 seconds or so.
Forgive me, Catholic friends, for citing Odin as a skald to live by.
So, enough heathen outbursts; meat and potatoes, eh?
Yes, Fate has led me a great way these past weeks: from the mountains of Ireland (thanks, Gavin) to the farms of France (Dan, Kay, Isaac!) through the Camino once more, where here, I have been reminded of the Truth in the lone mantra I never doubt: the only nation is humanity. And here at the albergue, the table is set for all and none are turned away.
I am no pilgrim. I have made my abulations to the Saint, have bowed before the immortal stars at the end of the world, have embraced the endless ocean that serves to divide, yet brings together, our cultures. In churches and fields, I pray to whichever god(s) will listen and in those same scenes, I accept the hand I am dealt with a simple nod. My feet carry me ever onward, but my heart constantly seeks paths unknown. A pilgrim, no; I am a Seeker.
E’er around me, the threads of Fate reveal themselves to me, allowing me to pluck along here and there – the destination never changes, only the journey. With courage, I follow these threads to my next path, ever confident that things will always work out. In trials and afflictions, I find my purpose, ever guided by the woven skein. When I doubt or am troubled, with some patience, the next thread becomes clear, and the Way continues.
To illustrate, last night, whilst ensuring my charges didn’t drink themselves stupid over a futbol game, I bumped into a delightful American chap with whom I shared dinner in Roncevalles. I recalled telling him that the Way is not linear and that what we expect to happen rarely occurs. We must let ourselves go and simply accept the Way for what it is: our Fate made physical. He probably thought I was nuts that night, some philosophical upstart with a weak grasp on reality; but, oh, how humbling is the Way.
And here we were, reunited, sharing a beer three weeks after he bid farewell. I was ahead; now I am behind. He continues; as do I. What sense is there to make of this Way? None, really, and that’s beautiful.
But what of Fate, you might ask, what’s the purpose of getting me worked up about your skein yet you haven’t really broached the subject yet, pendejo? Getting there, getting there.
At the time of this (draft) writing, I was contacted by a representative from the Fraternidad Internacional del Camino de Santiago (FICS), a charitable organization that staffs several albergues throughout Spain. Would you believe it, the woman writing me had discovered me via this blog? Ha – take that (mostly) useless English degree! So impressed was she with my antics here in El Burgo Ranero, that she contacted APOC, got my contact info, and dropped me a personal email to offer me a volunteer position at their brand new donativo albergue in Grado on the Camino Primitivo.
Well fuck me runnin’, I thought to myself. The next thread.
– Also, side note: to the little old ladies at church who read my blog (and most anyone else with a conscience), I do apologize for my vulgar writing style; stream of conscience a la Kerouac, you understand –
Here I set upon Camino to merely walk, but Fate keeps sending out new threads to pursue. As I said, the destination never changes, only the journey. And the destination – my soul – mate, it’ll never change! It will take some time and patience, but I will return to this ultimate thread.
I pondered this new opportunity for a night – serving as a hospitalero from 15 to 31 June on the Primitivo – before making a decision. Impulse, my old friend, immediately said yes. Clarity, her fatter, older sister, said sleep on it.
So I said yes almost without delay.
Through the use of Sapo’s Spanish driver’s license and petite automobile, we drove to the neighboring(ish) village to speak with her in person, where I accepted her offer to serve as hospitalero. She was very kind – even at my rudeness of dropping by unannounced – and sounded eager for the future of the albergue. She complimented the whit in this blog and offered to chat over some vino in the future – so, yes, definitely the correct thread in my skein.
Opportunities like this don’t come along very often, and hell, I’m already in Spain with time to spare. Why the hell not, eh? Just when you think one spool has reached its limit, a new thread is suddenly, snugly, within your grasp.
Go and hide in a hole if you wish, but yours is already woven.