Just saw the film The Way (2010) starring Martin Sheen and directed and writhed by Emilio Estevez. I started off watching the film way to prepare for our In Good Faith podcast tomorrow with author Trish Clark who walked the Camino de Santiago. But as soon as Tom, the character played by Sheen, started off on the Camino de Santiago, I was walking right there beside him.
There are plenty of good reviews out there — including Sister Rose Pacatte, FSP, over at American Catholic and Nathan Koblintz at Thinking Faith — if you want to get more of a flavor of the film. But I have to say, get the DVD and walk the Camino with the characters. It is moving and the richness of metaphors give one many entry ways to thinking about one’s own way.
I love the overall image of “the way” (or the journey) and how sometimes it takes a concrete activity like a pilgrimage or a weight loss plan or writing a book to uncover the way that we seek within us. Like Sarah, played fantastically by Deborah Kara Unger, we all have our “outward” reasons (e.g., to quit smoking) but inside we are tending to some pretty core stuff that we may or may not even realize.
These “ways” may be indirect and indeed rather mundane, but they are not insignificant. Consider the Camino de Santiago itself. It is nothing more than walking. And some more walking. And even more walking after that. A very common, every day activity that is transformed into a life-changing event.
I am totally geeked about the Camino and while it is something I can’t do right now in my life (but maybe later!) I am intent on immersing myself in elements of the Camino that I can live in my own life right now. Like looking at walking differently or digging out my trekking backpack.
And I can’t wait to talk with Trish Clark tomorrow night about her experience on the Camino. Her new book, Guide to the Camino, is at the printer’s now and I guarantee I’ll be getting mine as soon as possible!
UPDATE: Podcast available to listen to or download at IGF019.
Vidya July 17, 2012 at 10:12 am
I have been thinking about walking El Camino for a long time, nearly 20 years. I can’t wait to hear your interview with Ms. Clark! There is a chance I could make the pilgrimage next spring. I am seeing more and more mentions of it in the “zeitgeist” and think it may be time for me to make that dream come true…
Wow, Vidya, that’s really cool that you might be able to do it. From what Trish has said, it is becoming more popular although she said it’s so long that there are still sometimes days where you don’t run into any other pilgrim!
Anne July 17, 2012 at 12:03 pm
You have written in the past about your bicycle, and many make the pilgrimage by bike. I have looked up touring companies that offer group tours on bikes, but it will take me a decade to earn enough to join them.
Sister Julie July 17, 2012 at 3:29 pm
Anne! Yes, Sister Maxine and I love our velocipedes! There are probably some books or websites out there that give info on cycling the route without necessarily going with a group tour. Might be a more budget-sensitive option. Could pay to bring bike on airplane or rent/buy when there. Still would probably be cheaper than a tour. Although tours do have the added advantage of having all those logistics covered! Have you done other bike trips, Anne?