Category Archives: Camino de Santiago

The Gift of Alienation

Through Advent, I will be writing reflections on the lectionary texts for the website Light Reflections, and reposting them here. Hope you enjoy! Please feel free to use any of them in sermon, teaching or other church education type prep.

WEEK 1: Luke 21:25-36
25 ‘There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. 26People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27Then they will see “the Son of Man coming in a cloud” with power and great glory. 28Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.’ Continue reading

The Hospitality of Yoga

Before I left for the Camino, I purchased a livingsocial deal for an overnight yoga retreat a couple of hours from my house. I wasn’t able to use it before it expired, but the man who runs the centre was kind enough to let me book my time there for after my return. This was only the beginning of the kindness I experienced in this place.

On Friday afternoon, I thought I had budgeted well for a timely arrival – I did not, however, budget time for getting lost, nearly running out of gas, a chiropractor appointment to treat a herniated disc on the way out of town running waaaaay over time, and a nightmarish amount of Friday afternoon Toronto traffic. What was supposed to be 2 hours in the car turned into 4 hours, and by the time I arrived I was in quite a state.

It’s one thing to mess up my own plans through failures of planning, but I just hate messing up other people’s plans. Continue reading

Bilbao: Part 2 – The Scattering

I wrote before I left for Spain that I didn’t know how I’d feel when I reached Santiago, but that my first pilgrimage was actually to Bilbao – and the walk proved me true.

We reached the city about a week in. By that point we’d made some good friends, a couple in particular, and we were treasuring our final moments with them. I think we all knew the good-bye was approaching, and this allowed us to push into our rapidly expanding intimacy with a little more courage than an expanse of time allows. Tyler, walking with our Brazilian lawyer friend tested and expanded the limits of language barriers Continue reading

A Confession Against Learning

Dear reader,

I have a confession to make: I started writing the post “Bilbao: Part 2″ as a follow up to last week’s reflections on the Guggenheim, but I found myself stalled…as I have done each week I’ve sat down to try to write about the Camino. Something strange happens each time I try; I get this drive to summarize the experience of the week with the lesson it taught me. I don’t know why I do this. I know consciously that these experiences matter – have meaning, impacted me, had their own power, etc… – regardless of whether or not there’s a “take home” to take home. And yet each week this odd compulsion takes over and I find myself pressed to sum the stories up neatly with something I learned. I don’t know if this compulsion is annoying those of you who are kind enough to read…but it’s annoying me! And here’s why:

Continue reading

Bilbao: Part 1

I have wanted to visit Bilbao since I first studied Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum there in my undergraduate Art History degree. This was the building that inspired my love of Gehry – of architecture in general, really – and I fantasized about one day visiting this fishing town in Basque country with glee as I memorized all the pertinent facts and theories for my final exams. I remember being captivated by the fact that Bilbao was not – at the time of the building’s construction – one of Spain’s more major cities. And so it was like the underdog won the competition for the fancy art collection and fancy architectural design. And I loved that piece of the story – I wanted to visit an temple of aesthetics in a place where no one really expected it to be. Indeed, while Tyler wanted to do the Northern route to be near the ocean, I wanted to do it so I could walk to Bilbao. It really was the first pilgrimage of my pilgrimage. Continue reading