I arrived at Finisterre after 1300 kilometres of marvels and mud!
The name has taken on mystical significance for me.
The place of arrival.
Of course there is really no arrival, there is only the ongoing journey – the next road that opens. But sometimes it’s good to honour a milestone, and so today, that is what I’m doing.
After the usual washing of clothes and body, massaging of legs and feet, carb-loading and journalling, I walked uphill out of the port to the lighthouse, passing this pilgrim monument on the way.
It was about 9pm.
Bright, clear and warm.
The sea and sky – the world! – seemed to stretch to forever. A trickle of other pilgrims splayed out along the road in front and behind me, but all of us walked in our own silences, suspended between ending and beginning.
We sat and watched a hot red sun turn to orange then pink, as the sea turned from deep blue to mauve below it.
I burned the list of sins, honouring the tradition of release at journey’s end, and honouring those whose courage had kept me walking.
It felt just right.
Then, as the whole world turned pastel, I walked downhill, stopping to ask a fellow pilgrim to photograph me at this distance marker.
It reads “0.00 km”.
Nowhere else to go.
Nowhere to be.
Just here and now.
I can’t remember any place ever feeling so full, or so empty. Perfect.
The world is rather a whirl just now, as I ready myself to offer up a monologue about the work, this Wednesday night in Melbourne. I’m doing things I’ve not done in years – learned lines, pondered how to project my voice, considered my own body in space.
The road will always surprise us!
But in the midst of the fear around failure that accompanies any task I care about deeply, I took myself out onto the road yesterday and walked along the Great Dividing Trail. After about two hours, I looked up at the wide turquoise sky and began to sob with happiness – that strange, inexplicable thing that can happen sometimes when I know I am in my skin and where I am meant to be, and grateful. So very grateful.
Our neighbourhood is being photographed as a record of the 2012 residents, and as part of it we had to fill out a questionnaire. One query was what we hoped to be doing in ten years time. My answer was – still feeling thankful for a body that is strong enough to carry me along a road.
May you remember to honour your milestones.
May you feel the pleasure of here and now at 0.00kms.
May you be overwhelmed by gratitude when you least expect it.
A couple of reminders!
If you have not listened to my Poetica programme, please remember you can download it:
And don’t forget to read the comments – I love the one from the man in Santiago! Feel free to leave one if you enjoy it – the producer, Anne McInerney, did a glorious job, and is leaving the ABC. She deserves all praise.
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