What is it like to walk the Via Podiensis, the Le Puy Camino? I’m starting to gather my thoughts and my notes for a talk I’ll give at the American Pilgrims on the Camino Gathering of Pilgrims next month in Asheville, and I keep coming back to the story of this day, which happened on … More A Day on the Chemin du Puy: Saint-Côme d’Olt
“People ought to saunter in the mountains – not hike! Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’ It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they … More To Saunter in the Mountains
Happy first day of summer! Two months from today, if all goes according to plan, Laurel and I will be walking from Santo Domingo de Calzada (the chicken church!) to Belorado, where it’s 91 degrees (32 Celsius) and sunny. But here in Seattle, we’re still in the depths of “Juneuary,” and summer seems a long … More The Grey Day in Condom
“Nature is always lovely, invincible, glad, whatever is done and suffered by her creatures. All scars she heals, whether in rocks or water or sky or hearts.” — John Muir, John of the Mountains Photo taken just outside Fineroyls, France, in the remote high plains of L’Aubrac. This was … More Invincible Nature (Almost Wordless Wednesday)
About a week after leaving Le Puy, it starts to feel almost routine. You follow the red and white stripes of the Chemin de Saint Jacques (the Way of Saint James) along shaded paths, crumbling castles towering above. You enter a village, another one of France’s most beautiful. In this case, you’ve come to Espalion. You … More Scuba Diving the Lot River?
(An excerpt from the book in progress, describing the morning of April 8, 2015.) Despite the wine and the jet lag, I slept fitfully in Le Puy, waking every hour to stare into the darkness and listen to pilgrims breathing in the cubicles around me. We were so close to beginning this thing. When my … More The Morning We Became Pilgrims of Le Puy
In my day job back in Seattle, I help writers revise and develop their work, which are often works of fiction. One of the things I’ve learned to look for is what we call the “sagging middle.” A good story starts off with a lot of drama and tension. Things happen. Everything is new. … More The Sagging Middle
I have always known That at last I would Take this road, but yesterday I did not know that it would be today. — Ariwara No Narihira Photo taken just outside Figeac, France. The red and white stripes on the tree mark the Chemin du Puy, the Camino stretching from Le Puy to … More I Have Always Known (Almost Wordless Wednesday)