How many of you have felt, on coming home from the Camino that nobody really wants to hear about it? There you are, fresh from this great, burgeoning, life-altering adventure that you're exploding to talk about -- and no one's listening. You don't get so much as a 'How-was-your-pilgrimage?'
A big part of this, of course, is that the Camino can't be summed up in the sort of easy categories we use to talk about other trips. I mean, how were the accommodations on the Camino? How was the food? What did you see? The highlight of your Camino might have been the meal of potatoes and onions fried in olive oil that you whomped up with some pilgrims one night at the refuge; or the time you looked down at the path and saw your name written in stones by some friends who had gone ahead; or the day you tripped and busted a tooth and the first person you met in the next town was a dentist who fixed it for free; or the icy night when you looked up at the stars swirling in the black skies over El Burgo Ranero and tears began to stream down your face for no reason that you could tell.
All these things happened; some of them happened to me. They were things of the heart, of the moment, of feelings that can only be understood with a thorough knowledge of the circumstances and the context that gave them meaning. And who has time for context these days?
It's one reason why I write books. It lets me get the tales out of my system. It's a funny thing, but I know people who wouldn't listen to me tell stories for ten minutes, yet are happy to spend hours reading them. Still, that old hankering to tell, to just open up my mouth and let the stories out, never goes away. Which is why I enjoy reading from my books so much and why (ah! I sense he's coming to the point) I have recorded four passages from All the Good Pilgrims FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE.
Yes, once again I have ventured into the recording studio with Our Lady of the Soundboard, Helena W., and emerged with... Well, hopefully with something you'll enjoy. The shortest of the four tracks is under three minutes, the longest nearly twelve. There are plenty of rough spots and mistakes, and I have an awful time trying to locate a Dutch accent, but what do you expect from an amateur? Give 'em a listen. Hope you like 'em.