the long road
“We are not going in circles, we are going upwards. The path is a spiral; we have already climbed many steps.” ― Hermann Hesse,
A SPIRAL PATH
The last time I posted on this blog was January of 2011. Since that entry, much life has been lived. I went on to travel the Camino de Santiago at least two more times, and in the in-between, veered off-road into the real world with the all of the Beauty that had been handed to me on that dusty, strange and sacred Way, deeply imbedded inside my heart.
After I left the Road in 2011, I returned to the island of Key West, my home of more than 26 years. In the days, months and years that followed, I ran the salted soulwork gauntlet. I fell in love with a sailor, became a trusted caretaker of carolyn’s bottle wall house, a true gift from the island (and Carolyn’s daughter, Becca), opened an art gallery and became a seller of sea salt and wild island honey. During this time, I learned the hard-way about how to be an artist and run a business, but also experienced the joys of letting life come to me as I stayed put.
The months passed as I sifted through piles of old Dade County Pine and made art with bits from the sea with that holy rascal Rumi whispering in my ear. Published another – what would be my last – issue of the arts & literary journal that I created after that first Camino in 2003. Celebrated life’s magic and mysteries with the island’s most creative and talented characters, experienced the ending of that love story I mentioned earlier, realized and remembered that I was not cut out to be a seller/shopkeeper and in synchronistic fashion, sold the business to an old friend and mentor. In a bold practice in the art of letting go, and with the faith that in doing so, a new beginning awaited me, I give away that literary journal/publishing company in a separate, sacred pact. My old friend assured me that he would do his best to care-take the pearl that had been handed to me on that old Pilgrim trail, the ‘boon’ from my hero’s journey those years ago, something to bring back to my people. And, as a talisman to send with me on my journey, he slid a copy of Patti Smith’s M-Train across the old wooden drafting table in the salt shop. The now dog-eared pages between a cover, well-worn from traveling by train, tuktuk, into ashrams and on café table-tops, contain tender and poetic words like shiny keys unlocking the creative gates inside of me that I had thought were long forgotten.
“The transformation of the heart is a wondrous thing,
no matter how you land there.”
― Patti Smith,
Shortly after I had wrapped up my life on the island, The Road summoned … turned out it would ask me to take the longer, steeper path to get there. I had a flight ticket to Madrid in hand when I received a call from my dear old dad that I should come West instead, and sooner than later. That plane flew northeast over the Atlantic without me as I was headed over the mountains by train in the opposite direction. I was in Colorado for the next six months where I was witness to my sweet mother’s transition from this realm into the next. I ate peaches with a broken heart, connected with my kind and down-to-earth colorado family, saw Elephant Revival at Red Rocks with my spirited and soulful aunt Pooh-z, and took morning walks with my dad by the winding river. We spoke often about him making his own Camino when the time is right. I would try to scare him with tales of wild dogs and Knights Templar, blisters and blazing heat … but, when St. James stirs the soul, you can push the snooze button, but it is hard to go back into deep sleep.
BRAZIL, COSTA RICA, INDIA, NEPAL
About a month after my mom passed, I traveled on to Brazil to tend to my heart, Costa Rica to re-wild along the Pacific coast, and then on to India for a month of satsang with Mooji to let the fire of self-discovery burn all that I was not. When my Indian visa expired, I headed for Nepal where the Universe moved me like a chess piece in perfect timing for my meeting with the goddess Durga and two Camino angels in Kathmandu. All that I found on this long journey would remind me that I was on the right road after all. Steady on old girl.
SPAIN & THE PEACEABLE KINGDOM
And just last week, a reunion with my old friends (family) at The Peaceable Kingdom in Moratinos. Most of the tribe was there, a new beast or two and a beloved one or two had moved on. But the heart of the place remains, we shook off the dust, generosity flowed as well as a tear or two over beauty, loss and the alchemy of ever-changing life. It was good to be there again. Full circle.
I am back on the Camino once again. This time, I am different. I found something since that last post all those years ago. A discovery that had to be lived. I will share more about what that might be in the coming days. I felt called this morning to write a few words here to open the window and let the light shine in … I have a few beautiful offerings/projects that I will be sharing as I drift gently down the stream Spiraling up towards whatever it is that Santiago has in mind for this new beginning of mine.
This Holy Road has remained my silent witness, guiding me along my path as I navigated many changes. Still listening to the wind of my soul. Wondering, is anyone out there?
Kim, Peregrina de la Verdad