a wandering woman writes

Monday, October 22, 2007

Who says the Camino lacks a sense of humor?

Greetings from Hospital de Órbigo, a picturesque little town at the end of an ancient and storied bridge, and a Camino stop between León and Astorga.

I've suddenly found myself prepared to spend hours at this laptop. Catch up at this blog. Answer all the e-mails I forwarded myself before leaving Salamanca, sure I'd find the time to respond while on the Camino. Write the Great American Novel, perhaps.

At least a pair of chapters.

I'm still again, you see.

Still, and comfortably settled for the night at the Albergue San Miguel, where this morning's soundtrack has left me chuckling, hand raised in a toast to the Camino - teacher, jokester. Wiseguy.

Alanis Morisette greeted me at the albergue this morning.
"You live, you learn
You love, you learn
You cry, you learn
You lose. you learn
You bleed, you learn
You scream, you learn...."

I was just adding "you walk, you learn" when someone jumped the CD ahead to "Isn't It Ironic?"

You know the tune:
"..A traffic jam when you're already late
A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
It's meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful wife
And isn't it ironic...don't you think
A little too ironic...and, yeah, I really do think...

It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid..."

It's like spraining the same ankle twice in a single Camino.


I don't, in fact, know what the chances are, although I may have time to do the calculations between ice applications this afternoon, but yes, yesterday morning, while meandering along a nice flat stretch of Camino, I slipped on a path of loose stones (having inexplicably decided not to use my new hiking pole to protect the ankle) and retwisted the Ankle of Always.

It's three shades of purple and the perfectly rounded shape of one of those yellow Spanish peaches I love so, but I've assured myself, the kind hospitaleros who have taken me in, and my ankle that I'll be back on the road tomorrow, God and Voltarén willing.

Meanwhile, this albergue offers paints and brushes and canvasses and free play in the painting workshop, so we'll soon know if the ankle has twisted only to allow me to discover my inner Picasso.

We each arrive to the Camino with every one of our weaknesses along for the ride, it would seem - and the Camino proceeds to carry each of them out into the open, where he shines a spotlight on them, points a giant yellow arrow, and dares each of us -"See it? do something about it!" Shall we guess that one of my weaknesses resides at the end of my right leg? Or in the hurry with which I carry it?

All the more to celebrate on arrival in Santiago in 12 or 13 days, wouldn't you say? Arriving, safe, sound, and all the wiser, on the Ankle of Always.

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2 Comments:

  • The Ankle of Always ...

    Trust you to make it sound kind of beautiful :)

    By Blogger Di Mackey, at 4:18 PM  

  • hope you get better soon!! as you say, this being the camino, I'm sure there is a lesson you are supposed to learn from the Ankle of Always ;)

    By Anonymous Alexandra, at 3:49 AM  

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