I watched a beautiful movie tonight called ‘The Way’ starring Martin Sheen. It’s about a man, Thomas Avery, who goes to France to collect the remains of his only child and ends up completing the journey his son started on the Camino de Santiago otherwise known as the Way of St. James. This is a famous pilgrimage route that covers hundreds of kilometers from France through northern Spain. Traditionally you walk it starting from your front door and ending at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the place St James’ remains are said to be buried. The story of Thomas’s journey along The Way is one of those old-fashioned tales that moves slowly but grows on you with each step (boom boom).
The Way reeks of this card…
Eight of Cups
The pilgrimage along an ancient spiritual path. The tag line: Everyone loses their way but some of us find the courage to start again. The initial isolation of the main character. The fact that he doesn’t really know why he’s making the journey, he just feels he needs to make it. The fact that every character he meets along the way is unhappy with the status quo and is looking for something in their life to change. Even the mountains Thomas climbs, a metaphorical reference to his own inner transformation. He is literally trying out another way of living his life. His son’s way (exploring the world) vs his way (the daily rut of work/home life). They argued about this very issue the last time they saw one another on the way to the airport (boom boom again.)
Like the movie, the Eight of Cups is very much about the journey, not the destination. I used to hate that saying by the way. (Ha ha! By ‘the way’. Get it?) I always seem to be on the f-in’ journey. But as I’ve got older I’ve come to accept that this is my path. Middle age is good like that, who knew?
Have you ever been on pilgrimage? Please share your experiences with us. And if you do ever go on one, be it physical or psychological, as they say over and over again in the movie, ‘Buen Camino’. I wish you a good journey.