This is a higgledy-piggledy thought trail. A bit like one of those roads that twist and turn and loop back and cross over and duck beneath. You get there eventually but you have to trust that the trail is not tricking you.
Firstly, I’m on the road again. Well, more accurately, I’m in the air. I’m off to WA for the Big Sky Festival in Geraldton. This is tremendously exciting. It’s a combined homecoming and discovery. I’ve not been there for decades, and my last trip was on tour as a beginning actress. Geraldton was occasionally a stopping point on the way north to the Gascoyne when we were driving home after a visit to Perth, so I have sketchy memories of it, but I have none of my other destination – the Abrolhos Islands.
Yes, a few lucky writers are being taken over to the Abrolhos, to stay the night. It’s a sanctuary and a wild place. I looked at the expected temperatures, and the maximums and minimums are the same! There are seals and turtles and birds and…wildness. It’s a great privilege to overnight there. Usually only the fishermen who work there are allowed to stay, and under strict supervision. I can’t believe my luck.
Meanwhile, from out on the roads in Spain I am getting missives from pilgrims. September 2009 was when I walked the Camino Frances, my first camino, and so I feel very sentimental about those who are currently making their way. Protective. And a bit envious, if I’m truthful.
Only a bit.
Buen camino one and all, and may the road continue to rise. Gracias for the letters and posts and pictures. I’m coming back.
Yes I am.
And in other news, I’ve decided that I am going to do the Seven Bridges Walk in Sydney on October 27th to raise some money for Cancer research. Next weekend will be the 19th anniversary of my beautiful Mum’s death, and as I approach the age she was when she died, I feel even more keenly how much was taken from her. And from others I’ve lost. I’m also walking in gratitude for those I love who have recovered, and for my own strong legs and heart.
People have given me so much since I put the word out that I was doing the walk. Many of the gifts have been stories. Stories of loss. Stories of hope. Stories of transcendence and grief and euphoria.
I have been moved by accounts of gifted doctors and children’s recoveries, courage and fear and perseverance. We humans, at our best, are truly wonders. We can envision a better future, and that is remarkable.
One such person is Emily Simpson, who was the first to give to my fundraising campaign. Emily is a remarkable woman who has singlehandedly driven a quest to create a permanent labyrinth walk in Centennial Park in Sydney. She is a mighty spirit. Not content with donating to Seven Bridges fund, she also sent me a poem, knowing how much I love a verse hit. And so I share it with you here.
For all of us, on our various roads, heading toward our personal Santiago…
The road seen, then not seen, the hillside
hiding then revealing the way you should take,
the road dropping away from you as if leaving you
to walk on thin air, then catching you, holding you up,
when you thought you would fall – and the way forward
always in the end, the way that you came, the way
that you followed, that carried you into your future,
that brought you to this place, no matter that
it sometimes had to take your promise from you,
no matter that it always had to break your heart
along the way: the sense of having walked
from far inside yourself out into the revelation,
to have risked yourself for something that seemed
to stand both inside you and far beyond you…
Excerpt from “Santiago”
From Pilgrim: Poems by David Whyte ©2012 David Whyte
Wherever your road is leading you today, may you enjoy the twists and turns, and duck your head when necessary, but remember to look up and make the occasional wish too, won’t you?
And here is some housekeeping info…
The Events and Media pages are up to date. Click above in the menu bar for info.
I’ll update movements – with Abrolhos pics! – on Facebook.
If you’d like to know more about the Seven Bridges walk, just click here. You might like to put on your boots and join us!