Thursday, June 5, 2008

Day 9, O Cebreiro to Triacastela

"... it’s very psychologically archetypal, my fascination with the mystery of fog."

My perspective on the day, from my journal:

"Today consisted of a surreal hike out of foggy mountain land.  It was actually really beautiful! To be able to stand on a mountain crag and imagine what lies before and below you, because you can see absolutely nothing, is a wonder to behold! Just eerie fog wrapping around you, playing with you...

Never have I been in a fog so thick. And never have I actually seen a fog ROLL IN AND EAT THE ENTIRE LANDSCAPE RELENTLESSLY. It actually curls like a tidal wave up a hillside and swallows everything. Today I witnessed a town evaporate before my eyes in a minute, and telephone wires extending into nothingness. It’s purely amazing.

What the fog held: Like out of a child's book, it's up to you to fill in the rest!
My walk out of foggy nothingness towards foggy nothingness reminded me of Augustine’s concept of time…that both the past and the present do not exist, and that the present is every dying. You can only see what you are passing through, and the rest is unknown. Unlike time, however, approaching cars were still detectable to my keen ears; since I like to live dangerously, I was usually walking in the middle of the highway :O  – but what I was REALLY doing was cutting the most direct path up the mountain, so whenever the road wound around a slope I stayed as straight as I could to shave off meters. Camino cheater! Or just a daredevil. :)

Anyway, on the road I was able to romanticize about the cowbells I heard from never never land, far out of eyeshot. I love taking pictures of livestock! I got a picture of a cow that I plan on blowing up into a poster for my dorm room.

Emily, to complement my sentiments about time and space, raised the provocative point that walking through fog forces one to embrace the immediate present and what is directly in front of one. I agree with her wholeheartedly, but I’d like to add that the fog also adds to the wonder of the future. Contrary to what others have felt, I don’t believe that the fog makes the walk any longer. If anything, it felt shorter today because walking became an adventure of the mind as well as the body."

Me and St. James braving the cold mountain air!

Much Love from the Camino!
Joseph Robert Bertino

1 comment:

Mr. Twenty-Something said...

A student of mine recently found this website and reminded me of our adventure. I think I took that last picture of you, but I could be wrong.

I wish we could all meet and have a reunion sometime soon.

-Kevin McGarry