Taking the El Camino de Santiago to Pluto via the NJ Turnpike and Smelling Flowers on the Way

Hello friends!

You may have noticed I’ve taken a pause and a breather on the weekly (or so) blogging pathway. Perhaps the pause has taken me. And maybe that’s just what I might have expected to happen, as soon as I invoked the spirit of Pluto. Except that I didn’t expect it at all, so it came as a big surprise…

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I’ve been travelling much recently, in a gentle fashion, along the underground pathways of Hades, stopping here and there to notice nettles and smell some fine flowers – yes, whatever ground level story you may have heard to the contrary, some amazing blooms can flourish in the netherworld – at least they have been doing so through my own recent underworld journey, once Persephone had encouraged her mother to stop worrying and her eyes had become accustomed to the changing light…

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Last week’s blog for your delectation and delight has in fact been sitting here unpublished on my computer desk top for many days – I will soon be able to count it in weeks – complete, yet also curiously incomplete. Apparently it is not yet ready to let go and complete whatever state of silent solitude it is in that would permit it to be reborn on a public stage.

I’m not quite sure what is going on here. It’s as if someone drove a large truck slap bang into the middle of a scene of a play I was writing, or a piece of music I was composing. The words feel interrupted; the melody has escaped and is off and away somewhere, wafting on the wind.

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I need to trust and honour this process, whatever it is and wherever it may be leading, that currently seems to be urging me to go deeper, more internal, more solitary. But I also suddenly felt it could be experienced as churlish, at least by any who might have noticed and been wondering, if I were not to at least name and acknowledge the change in rhythm that’s come over Midi’s Blog lately.

I don’t know whether ‘normal service will be resumed as soon as possible’, since I haven’t yet worked out what normal service is on this particular Night of the Road, or even whether ‘normal’ has a place on it at all…

Meanwhile, it’s Memorial Day here in the USA. A useful day to be stopping and thinking and feeling about cycles of life and death – uh-oh, there’s Pluto pulling at Persephone’s petticoats again.

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John (86) and Alicia Nash (82) left the planet together this weekend. They were ejected from a taxi on the New Jersey Turnpike. They were pronounced no longer here at the scene of the crash, Nobody else seems to have been too devastatingly hurt.

Leaving quickly. Leaving together. Leaving at the ages of 86 and 82. That seems entirely appropriate for such Beautiful Mind…s and Beautiful Hearts. A graceful if abrupt way to go.

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When I heard about the Nash’s departure, I had just watched a movie that I missed the first time around: The Way, from 2010. If you haven’t seen it and feel like taking a rich visual journey into gentle contemplation of St Jacques’ and Pluto’s realms, without ever being called upon to incur sore feet or overtax your brain cells and emotions, I can heartily recommend it.

You’ll be treading El Camino de Santiago de Compostela, the Path of the Pilgrim St Jacques, in quirky modern-day company with Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez (who also wrote the screenplay, directed the movie and dedicated the whole to his grandfather Francisco) and some other fine actors.

The storyline? To quote its IMDB entry: “A father heads overseas to recover the body of his estranged son who died while traveling the “El camino de Santiago,” and decides to take the pilgrimage himself.”

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An easy ‘quick-fix’ path to pilgrimage? Maybe; maybe not. That is one strand of the story. Speaking personally, the film perfectly fit the mood of my present inner journey. It offered just enough closure to satisfy that part of me which enjoys movies with a message, while giving space for me to dream into what that message might be. It also forebears from giving a ‘tied-up with a ribbon solution’ as to how and where the – as it turns out– several protagonists’ ways might lead next.

So for now, with the question of where Midi’s Blog may lead next and when still to unfold and be known, I’ll wish all fellow travellers who are celebrating Memorial Day and all who are not, my favourite Celtic blessing for El Camino:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

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