Sunday, January 18, 2009

sacred steps on the camino de santiago

Over the past few months this blog has featured three exceptional visual artists of the Camino. Well, here come some more. The Sacred Steps exhibition, which has already visited several university galleries around the United States as well as the Spanish Consulate in Montreal, is on its way to London, Ontario and Toronto. Sacred Steps brings together the artwork of eight American and Canadian Camino photographers and painters.

I'm a fan of the saturated colours and understated symbolism of my friend Wanda Sawicki's work, which was a highlight of the 2005 joint gathering of American and Canadian pilgrims in Toronto, but I'm also looking forward to seeing up-close the topsy-turvy townscapes and steeples of Father Jerome Tupa, the scenic watercolours of Katie Lopez, and - well - anything that evokes the Camino. (Click to see Wanda interviewed by London Free Press, January 18th.)

The exhibition appears at London's King's College, January 23rd to February 15th, with an opening address by Arthur Paul Boers, author of The Way is Made by Walking, then peregrinates off to Toronto's Saint James Cathedral for a February 19th to March 8th run.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

happy new year! (and a call for collaborators)

January 1, crawling out of the smoking debris of 2008 - and into a bright shiny 2009! First resolution: blog more often. No, wait. First resolution: be a better person. Second resolution: blog more often.

Seems it's been a snowy snowy winter on the Camino. (A cold coming we had of it, just the worst time of the year for a journey, and such a journey: the ways deep and the weather sharp, the very dead of winter.) And the bedbugs are still biting (for updates, tune in to Yahoo Group Santiagobis or Pilgrimage to Still, there's nowhere I'd rather be right now than slogging through a metre of snow up the slopes of O Cebreiro...

No, wait. Where I'd most like to be right now (with slogging up O Cebreiro a distant second) is where I will be this time next month, in steaming hot Argentina. Don't know what kind of pilgrimages I'll find myself on there (gaucho? tango? the Che Guevara trail?) but promise to blog about it (see resolution #2).

Let me peer a little deeper into the future. March and April 2009, I'll be doing several talks and readings around Toronto. If you've never come to one of my readings, I'll be expecting you. Dates and places to come. And then in May, I'm off to start work on my next book. Off to where exactly remains a secret even to the author. Feel free to contact me with bright ideas.

Before then, however, I hope to have some news about what turned out to be my project for 2008, Discovered Madonnas, a three-act play full of magic, miracles, poetry, passion, twists, laughs, pilgrims and twisted ankles set (where else?) on the Camino de Santiago. Alert to theater folks with a love for the Camino: I've done the writing (or the first six drafts, at any rate). I need your help to get it on stage. No joking, I'm waiting to hear from you!