In The Fine Night We Marched

by Dave Migman

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about

This is the second part of The March, a theme begun in 2012 in Greece and Turkey. In 2013 I set out with my backpack and walked the Camino Del Santiago. What follows is an account of that journey; not in a blow-by-blow narrative, but a poetic text set to music and song. This is my attempt to convey my experience of the Camino, truthfully and insightfully - a complex depth that roamed a pagan heart. Yes, one man's quest to reach the ancient temple of Fisterra at the end of the world, with respect to fellow peregrinos.

The LP includes a booklet of pictures I took during the Camino accompanied by the relevant lyrics.

credits

released July 5, 2015

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Dave Migman Edinburgh, UK

Dave Migman's audio word is not restricted to genre or form, rather he likes to investigate various formats and ideas.

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Track Name: Beginning On The Trail
At some point along the Camino, as the flies gathered at the wounds on my legs I lost and found some kind of bruised integrity. All the beers were gone, I had no less, no more, the smiles remained, I was glad of heart and every single poem had been lost, as though in sacrifice beneath the altar of The Christ. As though my Heathen soul was cherished by stapled hands. I could ask no more, no less, no more.

So, I am St Migman of the Camino - really, don’t get me wrong here, the frenzy still echoes in my blood like beaten shafts of golden spears off bronze shields. I walk on these shanks of tormented bone, flesh, each jammon compact like Serrano, my shoulders are burned scarlet, I walk in the shadow of donkeys and madmen. There are trees that explode with ‘Van Goghian’ vigour every morning, as we navigate the trail across the Mesita.

We are shifting, ever mutating company. Strangers whom swiftly earn the ties of friendship in this strange land.
We: each gripped by their own convictions, notions, ideals, preconceptions, demographics; committed to memory, repeated from guidebooks, murmured in childhood dreams (the Camino, El Camino!), passed down generation after generation, stories of community, of feet cleansing ceremonies, yellow arrows, plates of shining pinchos and cheap, good wine

We: all the same in our difference,
all chanting the same song, at odds
with the clarity of bells
Track Name: The Rasp Of Silver Birch Across The Vega
St Migman, once loner now reasoning with the crowds of Peregrinos that gather at each Albergue. Consumed by a pretty brown face. A softly sweet Italian accent. A girl whose sad eyes beguile me, whose oft serious countenance confuses me. We are of the same stuff. We are locked on the same course. I hold this locket of hope. That’s it. Enough!

We press on. The half-way mark is near. We are seared by the sun but the change in weather is evidenced by the shivering of bells in the trees. The rasp of silver birch across the Vega. The cloud is building, torn plates rise around each panoramic expanse. The multitudes of severed, dry stalks demand their cut of the weather. They are ever so thirsty. The ground around them is cracked.

Surely we are cracked! To embark on such an escapade! To endure this! Station to station, the kilometres pass, we stumble and stride fortified by coffees and beer. Nights in communal dorms of creaking bunks and snoring (surround sound!). Grabbing toast and brews of dark, rich mud in the morning, if we can - but often the trail beckons and we grab a bite further down the line. The kilometres pass. The golden rays of the conch and its arrows mark the way.


We are all marching
In our own fashion
With our own hearts
Held in traction
As the barriers recede
The miles pass
In some kind of earthly
Salutation
That takes us
Into occult
Dimensions
The one, the all
And back again
Splintered
And back again
Through each storming I
Track Name: Then Rains
Then comes rain. The outreach of some tropical catastrophe blown across Northern Africa by troubled winds. Rain across the plain. Soaking through the tenderised layers of each pilgrim. Rain blows across these vast fields of stubble and ploughed dirt. Rain slanting across the endless straight track that guides us… no… draws us across the flatlands towards unseen mountains.
The quilt begins to ripple before we halt. A one-horse town. Here the modern is imposed upon the old. An architectural amalgamation of adobe faced with doorways reminiscent of terrace houses in Manchester. This red brick effect endorsed by the sudden shift in weather as the scuds of battered storm are hurled north.
The town is a working quadrant, but there is hardly a soul a round. Except by the rotting church that looks like it was built whenever the locals could afford to add a brick – there an old man stares after me… perhaps in case I steal a few of those precious bricks!

We move on. We have lost and found friends, pounds, kilograms, t-shirts and skin. The blisters aren’t so bad. But the rain seeps into our socks. Our feet swell. Chaffing on the interior of our coveted boots.
Track Name: The Noise Behind Each Light
And there was our gracious guide. Sweet Pablo the giant, with iron legs and the moon in his face. Ex-military once danced with bullets in Lebanon.
Gone now.
Gone with his laughter, his sharp humour, his mischievous whiles. With him a host of names, their faces still fresh, familiar, like old friends… Tom, Matt, Henry, Paul… we’ve moved on… gone too fast… I follow a Latin princess. I want her to be queen.
Ghosts rise around us, cloaked in habits of belief, they move on open sores, muzzles shorn of all redemption, eyes fixed upon the horizon. Helmets shining, Romano Mohawks livid with intent, great squalls of beast and man and beast crowding the horizon, from past to present, all bent upon salvation, for all it is worth… salvation!
The gods grow old and worn lips tire of libation… a single eye, a simple cross will now suffice, fixed upon the breast of every pagan prince. The politics of power; prey to pray.
Track Name: Some Become
The trail. We are sure it is a living breathing entity, a being in its own right. Over centuries the sentries foot fall after footfall an endless tread like a drum roll into oblivion, the stomp of feet and the tap of the cane: a certain amount of energy is released by every peregrino, everything that is shed, these feelings, memories, like flakes of old skin, like ghosts they surround us along the path.

There are spurious rumours. Some town kilometres back whose name is lost in the rubble of my mind. The word is that Paul, the drunken Legionnaire is around, but we see no sign of him. Are the empties in the Irish bar his? We have no idea. And Matheus? What of sweet Matt who listens to the mighty OM of the wind? Matt with the beatific smile. Born 10000 years too early, 10000 years too late (in other words at exactly the right time). But there are others, a sea of unfamiliar faces. Some will become, others will fade. Perhaps we all do.
Track Name: The Expanse Within
There was news. A cryptic text from the Ironman – they found Irish Tom, staggering on blistered heels, lost his phone, his watch, and when they found him thus he dissolved into tears and they held him together with brotherly hugs and sticky tape.

Brick wall, an adobe village, empty tractors sit idle, shiny, like new, the beer is overpriced by any stretch of the elasti-plast imagination… but hey… the clouds are driven across the sky, I could be West of Carlisle, heading out Silloth direction. So familiar… so far away. Guess this ‘familiarity’ is just a veneer.
I am plugged into the ground. Staring at antennae, bright lit against a solid, dark background.

Animated by winds
Here we clutch our pains
Moving and moved
We, peregrinos
Justified by
Our own
Expanse
Within

St Migman, God Bless ye! – godless (Un)god is silence. The space between electrons, the name you cannot attach to the sea of possibilities: potentiality. The sense of none.

The word is nothing, the zero’s border is (Un)god’s realm. From there all things divide unto themselves.
Track Name: More Rumours
More rumours: we meet a face from the past. The Celt from Galicia with the boxer's face and a lion’s mane! Pablo is maybe 10km behind us. Somewhere back down the endless line. Back down the long, straight track. Gravel crunching like bones beneath his iron shoes. That giant’s strides are equivalent to two of our own.
The dawn holds its breath, the threat of rain recedes with each heartbeat/bohdran beat.
More rumours: Last night as we lay in our bunks, separated by the bottomless divide, in the half light, we stared across, held each others gaze, I eased down my boxers, exposing myself to her and her eyes remained fixed upon me, her hips swaying gently… how I want her!
Rumours: the nights are long, the Camino offers signs, symbols. It is alive. We do not walk the Camino… it walks us. It is our teacher.
The place is by donation, the volunteers work stints of two weeks, each locked in a routine of camaraderie and service they are joyous souls. Here they gather dishes, only kindness is doled out in generous measures like stew, bread and blood.
Track Name: Jig Sawn
There are some piece ... Missing ... Shape shifting darkness ... I cannot read this ... I should not try

There is a night of holding, searching, falling inside her wetness, gasps whispered into our faces as we try not to creak the bunks. I lose myself inside her. For a brief moment sanctified. All the next day the memory warms me. I am aglow.There is an albergue in Leon where Pablo catches up. The Ironman has grown a beard of black wire. He leads a troupe of blistered comrades. They limp in happily and we embrace. There is Matt’s OM smile, Henry the Actor; but Tom is no longer there. He has been lost again. There is an albergue of religious nunnery that summons up some terrible reaction in me. Like the bites that adorn my body. Red welts on ass, hips, back, like some wretched plague victim - itch, moan, slip into some alcohol fuelled hiss, slinging negative platitudes at the troops.
I tell a nun to fuck off. Fortunately she doesn’t understand English. The night is spent laying in state, locked in regrets. Wondering whether I should just run, move on, ship out alone, leave the Italian princess, deal with my wounds alone because they are too many, too numerous for others to handle. At the bar below the albergue in yet another one-piss-pot-town on the Galician side of Leon the old men stare at the good looking woman with all the hunger such a small town instills.
There come the flies. Straight from the mouth of each saint. The flies of Santiago! Steeling on every pilgrim’s best intention with tickling legs, they dance whirligigs of irritation. Many have fallen from the path. It consumes them with a sense of Destiny. They are driven by purpose but the trail eats, not their hearts, but their bodies, their patience… all these weeks living in the pockets of others, sharing, nightly, the same air, sharing our dreams and nightmares, the skies during the day, tales and tribulations.
And it comes… a sense… a particular sensation, gathering force… as if in adulation, expectant, like the wind before the storm… the scent before the meal, the hush of the crowd before the band reappear for an encore. It’s in her wrist, the odour of her skin, the grace of her girlishness.
Track Name: The Rising Of The Land
We move out, a trinity locked as a solo entity, linked by our silence. The road yields visions. A starred ground of sun-striped wonder, strafing shafts prod the distant wall of mountains beyond Astorgas. Milky stars between our toes, constellations of mica glinting, the dust of the trail glows at night above us.
Nature speaks to us. Her language entrenched in the parlance of cloud and light, in the concentration of sunlight… each piercing glance. A dragonfly prone in the slick, a sudden blaze of diamonds, her tears pearled across the bonnet of a tractor.
I no longer hear my own tongue. English is far removed from me, only my thoughts buzz in the mother tongue. The girls talk in Italian, a light chatter. My mind is my own. I chase it well. The past surfaces, breathes, lets out a jet of steam, then vanishes into the subconscious.
In the albergue, in Astorgas, I meet again the Galician chief, he invites me to dine with him, he halves his meat, his single beer.
In the hills before the quaint town we feel release from the oppressive monotony of the flats we have traversed now for over a week. I experience a tremendous thrill in the rising of the land. The peaks look like freedom!
The town, with its antiquated clock tower and Gaudi edifice, shops stacked with bricks of multi-coloured chocolate, has a quaint touristic air, while still displaying a local variety of freaks and deviants, social outcasts and the like.
Track Name: The Dissertation Of A Fathomless Eye
They move town to town: a Galician Chieftain, an Ironman, a warrior monk, a Byzantine trader, gypsy girl, Italian princess, traveler woman from a country of your choice. They move as separate entities of a universal whole. The trail is beyond them, behind them. They are we, are him, her, you, I, It.
May (Un)god deliver us from the whiles of those fettered to pages where the entrails of doctrine coagulate… ahhhh maaan!
I began my descent
Toward Roncevalles
With the breath of the valley
Clutching at my toes
In Leon I saw
There were those whose only company
Was the sound of their voice
Talk, all… the mountains are...

Blue sky pulsing over the Camino. These familiar voices. Sometimes I wish they would fade. Other times they are so welcome. These big voices deny the little wisdoms. The silence of sufis bound in the breath of an eye.
A living son over the sun, these somnambulant with prayers in their heads, clacking tongues of gibberish. The child has his playful dreams.
There, a latent purity.
Sweet chestnuts in their spiny coats and fistfuls of vibrant berries that shine like pearls of bloodied promise in Galician valleys.
They lost old Tom again. Where he stumbles now is pure mystery.

If it is the mind, then I summon you
If it is my mind I choose
To retain this hope
Remain positive
For in each storm
Is the essence
Of our redemption

If these coincidences are merely
Internal reflections, peregrinations
Of template seeking machinations
Interpreted with poignancy
Then blow me down. Who’d
A thunk it so!?
Internal, external
Perception, construct

Part of me, an essence
disappears in clouds
everyday. At some level
previously ignored

These peregrinations
of thoughts' insolvency sundered
in perfect, amber moments
of solitude

Tonight no bunks
no creaks… groans?
Track Name: Lover's Hands Turn
The chimneys are little castles
Like gaming rooks
Poised to take
Each cresting knave

Walls tumble, wooden balconies
Balustrades and porticos lilt
Twist to the lure of time
It h as their core
We all bend to this waltz
Leaves pirouette to the cracked slabs
Lovers hand turns, uncertain…
Track Name: Sunlight Projects My Shadow At The Wall
In the construct, matter matters
Is measured, is relative
Binds our fractal whiles
Who can measure these thoughts?
In this Real I am a man
Bound
The serpents are at play
(the wolf face one
The other with lotus eyes
Grapple, sliding in looping knots)
For ever
Here on this Camino
Take stock
Here, where am I?

Some Galician new town
Above the ruins of the old

How far have I come?
Hundreds of kilometers
I have moved
Nowhere at all

Did something shift
In the catalogue
Of the mind?

Did anything give?
Was there any
Fucking time?

The serpents clash
They wind around our erstwhile hearts
Screw a little jealousy
To entertain uncertainty
Bolt a little hope
To bolster their little jokes
Did anything give?

I did cast my staff at the boughs
The apples fell like sweetened hail
Track Name: Lost And Found
I lost it found it
Lost again
Found a song
Found a moment
Dissolved in a clasp
In arms around me
I die, again and again
No one can find me

I am a song without purchase
A fist without the five
Burning in the circle
I can’t get out alive
I’m through with each moment
I’m done with the stars
I’m a penitent alighting
Some dull throne in a bar

I lost it, found it
Lost it again
Bound by the sunset
Alone with the rising
The blood of this pen

Fulfilled in the dark
By a promise whispered
From a goddess's lips
A distant bark
Track Name: Sleeping Moons
We arrive, another multi-storey bunk bed destiny. Like this is it. Snores and whispers. The stanchions of bedbugs. We are in another town and sunlight burns the red formica tables. The single beer warms quickly. We don’t drink much, when we do it hits us after a day on the trail. I wish she would come to me.

A multi-layered/faceted gem where inner is outer, is the same, of the same immaterial material. Of bone, dust, thought, the saliva of gods, the slavering womb of the goddess. A thread, a point, the wave is a particle (the bullet is its own master)

People keep telling me the pearls of
their wisdom.
Their nests are dirty.
How can I believe them?
All the moons rest their heads
The park is alive with birds
Windmills roll
Endless for the wind.
I am not a pilgrim
Just a man
A walking man.
With miles and miles
Under each nail.
Track Name: The Weight Of Revelation
There was a single, solitary mountain. It lay to the west. I believed I could climb it. I thought I was it. I consumed myself within its hide. The weight devoured me. It was merciless. It was terrible. I could not escape it. I was the mountain. I was merciless.


I realised I was alone. So I coated my hide with vegetation so as to entice the ground around me to rise and coax another entity into my sphere of influence. I was fake and falling. My mind was done. I was gone. I was alone. I could not move.
Track Name: Drawing Close
These early morning mists sit in the valleys, like cut-out stencils for an artist's spree, trees rise like steeples of a holy city airbrushed on the morning's tabala rasa. There is a measure of reality in each stride. A little laughter, gravity, leaves tumbling
in the reflection
of our eyes

30 km from Santiago. We feel it drawing near. The warrior monk skips, regresses, picks himself up, realises he’s back in Los Archos, with all the dreams that that contained. The last pit stop 20km from sacred Santiago del Compostella. A strange thing indeed. A fancy albergue, quiet, unobtrusive. Serene while Serena and Anna begin cooking Some dream fell away from me. Shook out its talons and flew far away, got bored of me. Farewell bastard. Here the Peregrinos walk like their feet have been flayed. Tender pinions.

We guard our precious miles
From St Jean to Le Puy
Or Leon
We all know
Each mile
We served them well
They are stitched
Upon our hides

There is joy and sadness in the reflections of each pilgrim. I have been four weeks walking, the French Legionnaire 2 months. As for Pablo and the Galician Chieftain they were lost in the blaze of egalitarian confusion. The movement. The river.


The river is a grand concert
Bound in the fuse of life
Our living, breathing, laughing
The grip of each expanding day
With sparkling eyes, gritted teeth
In gardens of crystal we play
With garlands of jasmine
Cracking ice between smiles
Turning white, red, brown
glistening legs

How will I feel? Asks the monk to the wall. He is stowing his staff, folding his dark habit “will I… have I… changed?”
The wall laughs back
“even the mirror doesn't recognise ye!”
And St Migman, what of him? Clasping a tin, in a park as the sun dips and the Italian girls are cooking (and hopes she has forgiven him), what changed?

Everything. I am a little older
Knocked down, closed a door
Bolted the skeletons
After cleaving the flesh
From their aching bones
Shed a tear, raised a smile
Brought a sparkle
To beauty's eyes.
Track Name: This Acolyte's Gown Of Leaves
This morning we walked hand in hand through cloisters of a true cathedral , the trunks of oaks, arching boughs, the truculent pillars, elegant eucalyptus, the starry ceiling. More breathtaking, less… inhabited. Understood. Chaotic, not the enforced sense of order (of something we can never grasp – (Un)god).
There came thoughts. A sense of our connectedness. Of deity experiencing itself, of the double helix'd serpent, of the princess and I entwined in union.

A sense of presence, here, in the construct (with its laws, its paradigms) and beyond. No loss, no fear, just continuation. There is no end in Santiago just a new chapter following the old, a little newer, older, changed, returning, a yin, a yang and out an in… fine… night!

t is religion in the church of Santiago. In the cathedral before they swing the gigantic incense burner (the disguise the stench of blisters and BO). Religion in all its slick pageantry. A vice in itself. All ritual becomes habitual. They stake their hearts before sightless idols. Dios, el Signor… continue a dictate of a dictate handed through a series of Chinese whispers between Russian dolls.
“Hope!” I cried. Well, I whispered it into the Princess’ ear.

Tonight is an evening of reflection and tristess. They stare at the cathedral, as though the last weeks were projected upon its lichen mottled walls. It is a beautiful thing to behold!
How can I know? I know nothing. I am a wolf, a dog man wishing I had the Princess to myself these last few days.
To the ocean then. Tied to a little affection. No doubts but those sown in contrary fashion… the wind owes me nothing… but I need to learn to listen to its single, sonorous tone. “OM!” Matheus would say, (stumbling ahead between the golden arrows, grinning and grimacing at some point fixed upon the horizon. A distant face , a visage, his wife, a million miles away, smiling up at him from his evening beer).
The Iron man messaged. I wept as I read it, his text was a hug in a strong vice grip of friendship and it struck me like a bolt and I wept in a little gift shop in Santiago Del Compostella.

Early visions
In the cathedral of
The forest
A horned Christ
Bound
By
Serpents
Glaring through the red
Dusk
Of creation's
Terminus


I go on


I - Santiago slips away

The sun slipped out, we dashed our mouths against the rough stones, our tears fell upon the cobbles.
The drunken English soldier arrived, we clasped, brief… gone… and Ron was there… striding into the hotel as we ate churros and then we are leaving Santiago for Finisterre. The long but lazy road for 22km through the lushness of eucalyptus forests, those slender trunks, smooth like Serena’s slender legs… and our time is closing fast. I see photos from Camino friends, from Henry the Actor, and it takes me back, to time not yet assimilated… moments of captured light from the trail, rendered in digital bytes that bite. Tears leak out. She will leave… our paths must divide. I want her ever so much.

Santiago slips way: its stone streets, the little tourist shops tucked into every alcove, the smell of pulpo and jammon… the pilgrims coming to terms with the end of their journey, that spells the return to the ‘normal’ life for many. They are dazed, crying, meeting camino pals they spill out of the bars with joyous refrains. All through the night they chant and recant those moments beyond the pain, the trail, the sights, vistas between yellow arrows, those erstwhile guides that glow in the early morning gloom of Galician forests.
Track Name: Your Reflection
Rains came, a light drizzle,
fresh, in beads formed
constellations in your hair
and you looked so
sad, gazing at dark waters
where the heron
gracefully slid
Track Name: Helix Shakes
So I wonder where is the Galician chief? He was right behind us, spear clasped behind his back. He walked fast but blistered, perhaps he dropped from sight. Perhaps he blundered into a set of zeros in the ocean of potentiality! Ha you can’t even hear (Un)god’s laughter from Fisterra or Santiago, all things divide… atoms peeling off to provide sustenance to substance, the building blocks of the construct’s hold. This is where our Galician Prince, our Drunken Soldier, French Legionairre, our roving Dubliner, our Iron man, all… this is where they are. Dividing while the helix shakes.
Others wait in the wings. Tortured perhaps, Happy, Ecstatic, their feet bunched, after weeks in the same shoes, their backs after hauling the same kit along, their burden of sins, perhaps…
Track Name: The World's End
Santiago in the main square with laughing peregrinos, banners and fortunes. Destiny entwined. Like upon the rocks… at Finistere… the end of the world.
I still can’t quantify these events succinctly. Things happen so fast, so frequently we no longer brace ourselves for their eventuality. Still they occur.
I believe I walk fast, towards the rocky promontory, beyond the lighthouse, but I cannot see the ocean, no one can see it. Only white cloud, a sea mist straight from the mid-Atlantic. Drenching us. Beyond the point the howling wind drives the rain into my bones. Soaking my skull, blowing through my pores, rearranging my very molecular structure… headlong I pass down the rocks, peering over the cliff where I make out the broiling ocean through the mist. There I leave my staff, form a doubt, try to retrieve it and it breaks… after nearly 900km it breaks… my fence stob, my post, my mace with its worn leather handle and its slight bow. The staff that tapped my footfall like a yard stick. That hardened the skin on the inside of my right hand thumb. Gone. A sacrifice demanded by the rocks… by the Camino beast. I stumble back, passing other, stunned pilgrims and their sacrifices, books, signs, symbols, heaped in piles, strapped to pylons and posts, a pagan site for sure. And I wish Serena was with me.

And there she is! My princess conjured like we conjured old Tom the other night (so that he appeared and drank a beer or three, he , similarly drunk with coincidence, like an apparition – we are all apparitions!) SERENA! And we stare at each other, we throw ourselves at each other, clasping madly, there is passion and desperation in that embrace. I feel her sobbing. I am lost, stunned… I feel nothing save the wind through the tunnel of my mind.
Then she is gone. Down goes that little, lithe figure, down towards the rocks and the yawning gulf at the end of the world. I follow, hungry, found, lost, burning, knowing she must do her thing. She must lose something to gain it all. She stumbles, I shout out, thinking she is going to somersault from the cliffs into the rage below, or be blown away by the howl of the Atlantic squall. She looks so small and fragile pitted against the elements and yet I know she is strong. This is her moment. She stares at the water below, tosses sticks and stones at the Atlantic… then… she returns to me and we sink to the ground, a huddled embrace, soaked and clinging, lost, found, clasping.

Soon we will part. The hour is drawing near. There will be more tears, like last night as we clasped in the room, alone at last, comfortably alone, before we made love.
A disbelief. We have walked nearly 900 km together. Been lovers, friends… glued by the Camino and affection. It runs deep this. How could it not. Soon she returns, I remain. There will be words, tears… I will move on. She will remain.
Track Name: Santiago
There is rain in Santiago
There is a sense of deep sadness
The flow of pilgrims
In their shining capes
Clutching their staffs
Rivulets of rain or tears

I think of all the days
Those simple days of rhythmic strides
My staff, my thoughts
Her hand in mine
These are rivulets of rain
Leaking from a gargoyles glare
My open heart
My tenderised heart

Pilgrim of these tender moments
Yearning for your side
I dream
Of your
Touch

There is sadness
In these Santiago blues
In these grey blacks
In the face of angels
Priests and pilgrims

It coats us like rain
As the busker sings
A deep refrain
Of midday blue
A reflection of
The refraction of
Distant Navarre
Rioja, Castille-Leon

No more arrows
Painting yonder
No more a
(a reflection of a reflection)


II - Epilogue

Our identities are surrendered. As I sacrificed my staff on the rocks of Finisterre. So you sacrificed some element and gained precious rewards I'm sure. No longer are we peregrinos of the Camino de Santiago. Somos Peregrinos de vida. We are molecules in the arteries of each street, each path, each road, each city, town, park, wandering over mountains, mesitas, forests, striking out into deserts, peaks, fallen cities, lost empires, the pyres and posts of civilisations disbanded. Cultures thrive on the bones of previous, nothing truly dies, it merely mutates, peaks, thrives, submits, fades from each remnant. We build upon the bones, invent new stories from the threads of ancient whispers.
The peregrinos still pour through the ancient gate, now a street, walls long gone, the portal of the Camino Franca, one of seven gates around the kidney shaped main road that marks the ancient long gone wall. They walk proud, bowed beneath their bags, those sacks they have carried on their backs for over 800 km. They have witnessed the changing terrain, crawling at 25-30km/day in blazing sunshine or driving rain. They have met and made friends along the ever shifting transient community of the Camino. Friendships that will stand the test of time and distance. For how can they not? With every mile we all shed something, gain something, witness nature’s extremes, her beauty, man’s place amongst the folds of her vertiginous quilt.
Each peregrino embarks with their particular burdens, needs, wants, perspective... but along the way we all share something in common, the direction, the albergues, the well trod path, the distance, the little agonies that blister and the inexplicable aches and muscles, tendons and our poor backs!

In our hearts, beating
Double time operatics
From stations of sweet mercy
Guitars echo
Heavens open
Below the colonnades lovers dancing
Magnetised by shining conches
We glide in dreams
1000 km pass in a song
10, 000 more tunes to come
All these roads will guide us
Every path will summon us
Our ghosts will join those past
Our memories like dust
Time and time again

“I am a wolf
I am a man
I was raised upon this land
I am old
I am horned
I am here
And I am gone”