Saturday, 28 May 2011

Camino bore: just a normal day.

Ooooooooh! I'm getting so excited, I had to go out and have a little walk about before breakfast, having been lying awake for a little while musing on my Mother's advice to me when I was 21. "Oh Vivienne", she implored, "BE NORMAL!" (I can't remember exactly what prompted that comment.) So I lay on the grass and took a pic of our vicarage through the middle of a worn-out grave stone. And then I found a perhaps accidental St. Jamesey thing that I confess I had not taken notice of before. St. James gets everywhere, and he rescued me from the melancholy thoughts that were bubbling up. Why, lying there in bed I had been trying to count up how many times I have said to anyone over the years, 'Oh, I love you so much because you are so NORMAL!' It's certainly never been said to me. But it's such a normalday here compared with last year, and I have lots of normalthings to do before I can get to doing the blog for 28th May 2010.

Towards the Humber Bridge last night
Sorry! This page was looking so melancholy I had to rescue it somehow!
(Mum's comment was obviously like a red rag to a bull!)
But I keep thinking about Belgian Mark's comment (after a week of walking): 'The camino is doing its work'. How will I know if it is doing or has done? By what standard does one judge? I doubt it has to do with normalness; though perhaps we are all striving for what is normal for ourselves, so maybe the advice wasn't as bad as it seemed. Personal equilibrium.

Sometimes I need some help to steady myself, and a ride on the boybike is a great way to try. I came in after last night's ride and read in the Church Times of 20th May 2011 a little article by Peter Graystone, who outlined 3 reasons for being a Christian (for the purpose of summing up for telling a neighbour):

"one rising from joy at the complexity and beauty of God's creation; (fine)

one delighting in the life and teaching of Jesus; (fine)

and one describing a personal improvement that has come from going through life in the company of a loving God." (eurrrkk! Tricky one!)

I seem to be looking for ways to travel light, creed-wise, and in every way ("Oh yeah? Well what about that stash of cloth?" "Look, I'm trying to USE IT UP before I die!"), and in the same issue there's mention of a tiny Bible, the Transetto Bible published by CUP:

This as well! Help! Mi Mum'll kill me!
Oh! It's so CUTE! I have a very un-pilgrim like wish to HAVE IT! But it'd be so useful to a pilgrim, it is tiny and weighs next to nothing. 'Transetto' seems to be Italian for 'transept'; not sure why they have chosen this name, I shall try to find out more.... Oh of COURSE! The penny has dropped!

A little more info on the concept (I can't think why I haven't heard about it before now):

As it says there,

(from Dutch dwarscrossways, transverse; intractable, contrary and liggen to lie). A person unwilling to cooperate, who is stubbornly resistant to everything; obstructionist; troublemaker."

Travelling about a bit lately, I noticed as I often do nowadays how normal it is for people on trains to be tapping away at laptops. When you look sideways and try to see what they're busy with, they're usually collating exam results for business-studies students or summat like that. The other day on the train, the woman opposite was writing BY HAND in a notebook, and I could feel mounting excitement, as I could see upside down that some of the words were names prefaced by 'St.' I didn't start a conversation with her, as I was busy drawing pics planning my Sarah and Hagar art project, and somehow we co-existed in wordless companionship, and perhaps she could have become a life-long friend. It's good to know there are such people should a vacancy occur. (Oh VIV! You say such AWFUL things.) On the camino, it's normal to see hordes of folk sitting scribbling in little notebooks, as well as tapping into Blackberry-thingies. (What ARE we on about? Does it matter?) I've mentioned the many Victorian blogs that exist written by ladies who pilgrimmed to Santiago, illustrated with sketches. And so here's a pic of some normalpilgrims in the back yard of a very pleasant albergue, (inlcuding woman obviously suffering from some version of Pilgrim Leg/Foot) and the cross in the corner is reminding me that I have a cake to bake today.....

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