Walking East Journal


Mar 2010 30

Ready to move

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I am poised ready to move forward to Manzilla de las Mulas or beyond. I rested a day (I did get a movie and couple posts out here, but at least I haven’t walked). I have seen Leon, the provincial capital, several times before and am ready to walk through it tomorrow with only a short stop at the cathedral and whatever store grabs me on passage. I’ll stop when I get to Manzilla unless my feet want to move beyond.
 
In the last week I have walked 94 miles (152 km) and I am feeling like surpassing that in the next week. But if something interesting stands in front of me like the Palm Sunday parade in the last post, I shall stop to take it in.
 
That 94 miles might have been over 100 had I not have stopped before Astorga the other night. I walked past a small alberge in Murias de Rechivaldo. Something pulled on me. I walked back and talked a while with the hospitalero (the guy running the place). We hit it off. I had planned to walk forward but I stayed. He, his fellow hospitalera (the woman equivalent), and I talked until late in the evening on our path through life and so many spiritual subjects. It was no one-way street; we all profited from each others insites.
 
The next night held no less a deep meeting, this time with a Porsche race car driver on the Camino to regroup his life. We too learned from each other.
 
Two intense nights with others and now two days to reflect alone. What gifts! Thanks again, Universe. I am ready to move on.

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Mar 2010 30

Arriving in Jerusalem

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No, not us, Jesus. As I walk into Astorga around 10:30 last Sunday morning, I hear heavy brass band music. In time I come on the end of a parade. People are dressed in heavy black capes with tall conical hats covering their faces except for eye holes. In front of them is the band blasting and pounding away. Beyond the band a huge float with palm trees and statues sways from side to side. It’s a Palm Sunday religious procession.
 
On Palm Sunday Christian literature tells of the people of Jerusalem welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem as they would welcome a king, with palm and olive branches and leaves on the road in front of and beneath him. On the following Friday they crucified him.
 
This parade is a celebration of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Heavy capes and pointed hats cover the walkers’ faces and bodies. As sinners they wear them to hide their identity. (Only much later did the KKK copy the hats to cover their identities in the southern US. The hats were religious first.)
 
I walk with the parade as if I am part of it on the sideline. It moves very slowly. Soon I am beside and then ahead of the band and then the float. I stop and let them pass. The music and drums are slow and deliberate and loud. It resembles a funeral march even though it is supposed to be celebrating a triumphal entry. I continue forward walking in step with the band.
 
I realize this ceremony is reenacting Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem 2000 years ago. I realize we will be arriving into Jerusalem in a year or so. I realize the two are entries into the same city. All goes together and pour into my heart. Tears flow. I let them flow. I let who sees them see them. Our path is one and the same. We are entering Jerusalem symbolically this morning.
 
I continue walkin at the slow pace of the drum cadence queuing the 80 people carrying the float. I walk through the streets of Astorga from the north to the south and back north to the Cathedral. I am entering Jerusalem this morning.
 
Below are links two videos. Use the first if you have a broadband connection to the internet and the other if you who are still on dial-up or are on a very slow broadband connection. The latter has much poorer quality; so retrieve the broadband version if you can or have the time to wait for it with your dial-up. If you are retrieving the small file, reduce the size of your viewer to see it more sharply. This is my first effort at cutting and pasting these together into a single file so enjoy but don’t expect Hollywood.
 
Be sure to have your sound on loud and use your best earphones unless you are blessed with good speakers on your computer and are ready to blast those around you. This was a loud experience; hear it that way. If you have any problems with either these files, let me know and maybe we both can learn something.
 
After you are done listening and watching, realize that you have just heard three minutes of this ceremony. The parade went on for better than two hours as I followed it around the streets on Astorga. I am so happy that I fell on this celebration. But then I suspect I didn’t just fall on it–the Universe had a lot to do with lining us up.
 

Click this for the broadband version (7.9 Mgs).

 

Click this for the dial-up version (about 1 mg).

 
And then I walked forward to Hospital de Orbigo, 9 miles (15 km) east. Thanks for the experience and joy.

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