Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Camino

By A.J. Llewellyn

Some years ago, I was in Spain with my brother. He had a mad urge to run with the bulls in Pamplona. I love bulls and saw the whole thing as animal abuse, especially since the bulls are running for their lives to a certain death in a bull ring.

We went to Pamplona for a couple of days and it was gruesome because a young man was gored to death. People chastised him for not being prepared for the annual festival. He was ill dressed, too casual, I remember people saying.

Me, I was more interested in the people who'd arrived around the same time to participate in The Camino, the spiritual walk thousands of people take each year through Spain and France.
To me, this was more worthy than killing a bunch of bulls. I like bulls. I guess being a Taurus maybe I feel an affinity. I certainly feel a respect for them. I am certain they could kill me and I have no desire to prove my superiority.

I became obsessed with The Camino, the antidote to this mindless pursuit.

My brother and I walked only to the first town on the route. To be honest it was not much fun because it was jam-packed and we stayed in a crummy hostel that had no sheets and scrubbly blankets.

He has not stopped reminding me of that long, long night ever since.

What I learned long after that was that this particular route of The Camino is called the French Way and is the most popular because the towns are picturesque and designed to cater to the pilgrims, as those who walk The Way are called.

I am sorry now we didn't keep going and I know my brother is, too.

Recently I had lunch with my friend Gina who walked The Camino for thirty days. She took a different Way and it changed her life.

She is married with kids and was questioning her life. On The Way she met a man who dazzled her. His name was improbable, he was sexy and she fell hard. She almost called her husband and asked for a divorce when she glimpsed her new man's passport and opened it up. He wasn't who he said he was. He was just a guy, like her, walking The Way.
The Camino is like that. You search for your truth and find it. It's just not necessarily the truth you think you'll find.

When I started writing my book, The Camino, I remembered what Gina had told me. She said, and I get emotional writing this, that she missed hearing her children's voices every day. I like that. My story is about Antonio, a young man destined for the priesthood who meets a Storm Demon on The Way. Improbable?

Maybe, maybe not.

The Camino is a story of love, lost voices...and finding your Way.

We are all pilgrims in this life, no matter which way we walk.

The Camino is out now at eXtasy Books, I hope you'll feel inspired to check it out! Here is the purchse link:

Aloha oe,



Silver Pixies said...

Wow! How beautiful and disturbing all at the same time.. I always feel bad for the Bulls and not so much the idiots running from the bulls.. I hope that someday i can walk this trail myself.... thank you for once again sharing something beautiful with us

AJ Llewellyn said...

Thank you, Silver. I want to walk too. Wanna come with me?

Silver Pixies said...

In a heart beat!!! You mean in Spain and France with all those Hotties... we could be dangerous lol