I finished reading the book, A Sense of Direction, by Gideon-Lewis-Kraus, a memoir of the author’s pilgrimage of Camino de Compostela from France to Spain. Added is his solo pilgrimage to the 88 temples in the Japanese island of Shikoku and his religious pilgrimage to Uman with his father and brother.
A friend asked the author to accompany him to do the Camino. On his own the author decided to do the 88 temples and third one he asked his father and brother to go with him.
I found a lot of what Virginia Woolf calls “illuminations”. He writes about seeking forgiveness and forgiving. He cited certain books that he had read that relate to his experiences. What I liked with the book is the author did all 3 pilgrimages for different reasons and circumstances and learned from them and shared them. For me most of all he stayed and finished the pilgrimages. He understood Nietzsche’s “sense of confident resignation” and Camus when he wrote to imagine Sisyphus happy.
“But a life cannot be lived, at least by most people, walking up and down the Camino, walking the circuit of Shikoku until. The real trick, then, to find some ways to recall these feelings of grace and coherence and meaning and forgiveness-for what we gain with this coherence is the ability to forgive, ourselves and others-when the as if has run its course, when Santiago is achieved and you returned to a world where all is conflict and nothing makes itself plain to us, where there is no hope for miraculous intercession, and the people you love most will hurt and disappoint you and you, in turn, will hurt and disappoint them”. For others he writes the memories are there, “perhaps more important, there is the memory of Camino. These are brief encounters with radical acceptance that we do our best to secretly save up in our hearts.” ( from: A Sense of Direction)
Now I have more time for “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” by Katherine Boo.