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The Way

February 2, 2018

 

 "Heartbreak, it's so universal and yet it never seems to get easier." She says. 


"Never. It's so disorienting." I said. 


I grew up in the bush of Northern Ontario. Everything and everyone was a long road apart. Straight shots through the blasted Canadian Shield and on and on. When I was young, lying in the backseat while my Grampy drove home after church, and watching the black spruce trees light up in the headlights of oncoming cars, I'd feel deeply unsettled that no matter ow many times we drove the same distance, it never got faster. You could not get better at it. It could be the most familiar, in-your-sleep-road, and it took exactly the same amount of time and effort. I mean, obviously. But I found it super disturbing as a kid. As an adult, I think so many things in life are like that. Roads that do not get shorter no matter how much you travel them. "

 

 

These photos are from 2007 when I did the Camino de Santiago. The roads were pretty long. I spent all day making pedestrian amounts of progress. Plastic duct taped to my arms for water-proofing. bags on my feet for mud-proofing. It was amazing how it could be done. Leave town on your own steam and walk in the place between places and arrive somewhere. But it was also distressing and I quit in Burgos and went to Paris for the first time instead. Now that I live in Spain, I think all the time about finishing. Now that I know you can not get better at it. You can not actually be bad at it either. It's just the way. And that's how long it is. And how rough it is. And how uphill. You can only keep going till you get somewhere.

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