Am thinking the last post was a little, uhh, nihilistic.

And so it goes. It is what it is. Shit happens. And sometimes we step in it. And maybe we stop to swear at our bad luck. And sometimes we walk right through it without hardly even noticing. But not very often.

I can remember sitting in a cafe last summer, 3/4 of the way through my walk. It was my first stop of the morning. I was drinking a cafe con leche and writing. A song came on over my headphones, I think I may have quoted it in another post- “Waiting for my real life to Begin”.

In my mind the images of that moment are still as clear as if it was yesterday. But the person I became on the camino (which is, by my best estimation the “old me”) is no longer in attendance. It’s that man I knew from somewhere around 10 years ago, before the subtle shades of intolerance and whispered utterances heard only in the spaces between the black silence began to creep in and disfigure me, moment by moment, piece by piece.

Of course, as i returned home, the old ghosts I was expecting were waiting for me. Oh, they had missed me. They were eager to see me. But as I walk the steps on this sometimes new, but sometimes old and well trodden path, I’ve realize at least one thing: to look those ghosts straight in the eye and start to speak to them, not with fear and apprehension, because when you speak to them with fear and apprehension they feed on it, they like it, and fear and apprehension is what they give back, and it becomes the mortar that holds together the walls of the prison you and they build for yourself.  But when you approach them with love, they cower and hide.

Recently, I ran across an email that I had missed, from a friend. She had sent it while I was walking, and I didn’t check emails much when I was walking the Camino. The email had been sucked into the little macbook air I used to write this blog when I was in Spain, and when I switched back to my other laptop upon return, the email stayed, unnoticed, until I was cleaning out mail from the Macbook the other day. And it said this: “…Keep up the good fight, man. We all deserve to love, be loved, fall in love, be enveloped in lovely love. Be safe and stay awake for the signs.”

And she’s right. Life is a fight, a struggle. But these struggles (with others, and ourselves) are the teachers of our souls. And usually they tear us apart, eviscerate us, and leave us shuddering, cowering, crying. The bigger the lesson needs to be learned, the bigger the pain needs to be. The complexities of the modern conscious obscure the simple needs of the subconscious: to love and be loved.

By the way, my last post ended with a video I cut from my walk. But I’ve since found that those who read my posts via email probably didn’t realize that the barely noticeable url at the bottom of their email was a link to that video. So if you want to view it (it’s all of a minute and a half) you can see it at the link below.

Or, if you want even a mo’ betta’ experience, go to the website and read this post/watch the video there. When you go to the site, you get the added bonus of seeing the “featured image” for the current blog (it isn’t included if you’re emailed the post). And in fact you can scroll though the featured images from past posts simply by using the arrow buttons- just hover your mouse over the featured image. Check out last posts’ picture- a beautiful shot of a field of sunflowers.

And speaking of sunflowers, don’t forget to raise your head today and look at the sun. Cause as someone once said: “mama always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun. But mama, that’s where the fun is…”

All Roads Lead Home 480 from Mark West on Vimeo.