PC #47 – The Slow Set

Anyone who's lived through the 60s will remember the term The Jet Set.

The Jet Set were these really cool people, mainly young people, who travelled around the world on jets. They were special people. They were with it! They were The In Crowd!

They lived life in the fast lane. Everyone wanted to be a part of the jet set.

It's funny now, but at the time it was the epitome of cool.

Cut to 2013.

Cut to The Camino.

Cut to pilgrims..

They're The Slow Set!

They're the people who want to live life in the slow lane. They don't want to move fast. They don't want to catch jets or speedy trains. They want to walk!

They want to spend time looking around, savouring each moment, talking to other Slow Set people.

There's a movement in gastronomy called The Slow Cooking movement. Where the uniqueness and flavour of a dish comes through the slow and careful cooking process.

I think some of us are getting bored with the quick and superficial lives we're living. I believe that's one of the reasons the Camino is becoming so popular.

Because people are intrinsically wanting to slow down.

A water-skier goes fast to skim over the surface of a river or lake. That skier never sees beneath the surface. Unless he or she slows down.

 

 

46 thoughts on “PC #47 – The Slow Set

  1. Bill,

    How true that is. I want everything slow now – well maybe with the exception of getting to the Camino. But once on Camino, I want the time to slow down.

    I want to see and experience the wonder of this age old route to Santiago. I want to touch the stones of the cathedrals and of the many ruins along the Way. I want to smell the fertile earth and taste the ripened fruit of the vine. I want to savour the wonderful food of each region. Oh, and the wine, can’t forget the wine! Since my return from the Camino last year, I have dreamed of returning to experience all that history and wonder again.

    And that, my friends, is why this Slow Setter is returning to the Frances this September.

    Arlene

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    • Hi Arlene –

      I don’t think going slow is restricted to age –

      I notice that a lot of the Gen Y kids now aren’t learning to drive. I read some stats a while ago that were really surprising, of the number of “young ‘uns,” as I call them getting their drivers license before they were 20, compared to 30 years ago – and it knocked me sideways.

      So I think there’s emerging a feeling, generally, that we don’t need to live so fast anymore.

      (Bet you can’t wait till Sept!)

      Bill

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  2. Brilliant as always, Bill. Yes, the speed of life can keep us from enjoying it, but also the idea of being so “cool” and “perfect” is wearisome. From what I hear most of you saying, the Camino for many pilgrims is a time to shed the designer clothes, make-up, and fancy cars and watches 🙂 (I read your other post in the forum) to find out Who they are underneath all of that. Is there any substance left if I strip myself down? Why am I using “stuff” to hide the real me? Do I have something to hide? If so, what is it? Shall I “Camino it” into my past so that I can live a cleaner tomorrow with a purified soul and heart?

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    • Hi Julie –

      I call the Camino “reductive.” It reduces you down to the necessities. It strips you back, simply through WEIGHT.

      You can’t carry all the STUFF around with you that you might normally, simply because there’s no room in your pack, and if there was, you’d still have to carry it.

      So it forces you to discard. It forces you to REDUCE.

      Bill

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    • Hi Julie –

      I call the Camino “reductive.” It reduces you down to the necessities. It strips you back, simply through WEIGHT.

      You can’t carry all the STUFF around with you that you might normally, simply because there’s no room in your pack, and if there was, you’d still have to carry it.

      So it forces you to discard. It forces you to

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  3. Hi Bill,

    As I have posted before, I did the “Jet Set” in spades, even had the jet. What I would give to be able to redo those fast yet unhappy years when to the world to see, I was on top of it. Reflections give us such clarity. One of the blog posts on my personal blog while walking was entitled “Living Within Our Needs”. If anyone is interested find it at steve2013dotnet@wordpress.com. My life has simplified and slowed down, and I am closer to living within my needs than I have ever been. Walking the Camino helped bring all of this to light. Just being alone with my stuff and my thoughts. It can be magical. More than I realized at first. I was a bit of a slow learner even on the Camino.

    Steve

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    • haha –

      I’m up at 5am today again, getting ready to write.

      This damn book.

      I thought I could whiz through it, but it’s going to take much longer than I thought.

      I’m averaging a chapter a day now with my revisions, but that’s starting at 5am and going through till about 3pm, when I fall in a heap.

      Writing is exhausting. For me, it’s as exhausting as digging up a road. It absolutely drains me, so I get to a point in a day where I almost feel nauseous at the thought of writing another sentence.

      There are 30 chapters in the book, and this morning I start on Ch 4. So that’s another month of revisions, minimum. Then probably more time doing revisions on revisions.

      Still, slow as it is, I’m happy with what’s emerging.

      Bill

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  4. Great post, Bill. I have always been part of the slow set, even more so post Camino. Never had the jet, or the desire to be a jet setter, but my past history is filled with using material possessions as a measurement of both my worth and happiness. I work to put that past behind me, but I still struggle at times. This is what I really wanted to work on during my Camino that lasted only 3 days. Thanks to this blog and all of its wonderful contributors, I find myself working through this issue while recuperating at home.

    Steve your “living within our needs” really resonates with me, and my struggle to stop measuring my worth and happiness with material possessions.

    I have trouble understanding my fixation with possessions because I am now so much happier with simple experiences. Why can’t I just let go of any remaining vestiges of this fixation on possessions as worth? I know that with at least some of my possessions come with an emotional connection (e.g., that is the black leather jacket my mother gave me, or that is the stuffed rabbit my ex-husband gave me, because they loved me), but what caused me to equate the gifting of a material thing with love. How do I truly get out of this cycle? Living with this fixation is NOT life simplified. It is not “living within my needs.”

    You are all helping me work through this complex and emotional issue which has plagued me for 50 years if not longer. Thank you for that, and for sharing your insights on life and your struggles. I’m grateful.

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  5. Arlene,
    My husband and I (mostly me due to my hips)are part of the slow set. We leave on August 13th from Seattle and once we work our way thru Iceland, and Paris we start from SJPDP on the morning of the 19th. When are you starting? You may pass us.I’ll be stopping to take pictures of everything, partly to rest my hips but mostly to see the places, people and history that I’ve only read about.

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    • Hi Lynda,

      I’m beginning the year’s Camino from Logrono in September……..my boots should be on the trail the morning of September 17th. I’m so very excited to be walking the Frances again.

      Arlene

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  6. Bill,when I first became chronically ill, I cried and was angry for over a year. I felt my life had been stolen from me, and I was mad as hell. But once I accepted it, I realised it was perhaps the best thing I had ever been given.In “The Way “, Daniel says to his father,” Life should be lived, not chosen”. My disability has taught me to live slowly, carefully and attentively. I learned to listen to what my body says about rest and eating, solitude, work hours, and saying no when I just can’t do something, which is so.unpredictable. Now those “no’s” are opportunities to spend a day with God and my ‘PGS’. When I can eat, I eat right and savour it. Same with sleep.I have no choice but to live slowly, or live in hospital -and I am living the best life, better
    than I could have imagined, slowly, like, a gourmet, celebrating and sa
    vouring every moment.To slow down and live with senses open and receptive, is to live as we were meant to live, finding joy around each corner. AND IGNORING WORD TAILS!!!
    recreceptive,
    than

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    • Hi Sister –

      I had no idea you were chronically ill.

      That’s dreadful.

      What you say about listening to your body, slowing down, living the best life – all that is so true.

      Bill

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      • Bill, that’s why I get the endless treatments and have the weird sleep disorder.I have been in pain constantly since 1993. But when its 24/7,you learn to put it to a different part of your mind, so you can still manage to have a good life as long as you never let it be the most important thing about you. There are ways to cope, and I have a fulfilling life. Its so far from the worst thing that could happen!

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    • Arhhh Sister……We are connected again. This time thru pain.
      I had an injury in 2004 that has left me with a disability and endless pain.
      The one good thing is I now have is an extremely high pain threshold and a resilience that is like titanium. I am apparently the only client of my beauty therapist who doesn’t scream through a bikini wax. 🙂

      I understand how you find ways to cope…and to put it to one side. It takes great strength to do that.

      Bill….I have…I found this blog to be one of the most beautifully written of your blogs. It was a joy to read.

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      • Abbey, I’m sorry to hear about your accident and subsequent pain. But it can be a great teacher,too. It certainly teaches patience- every time I successfully reach mental pain control, and think-“ok, I can work with this”, I’ll slip into another flare-up, hit a whole new level of pain, and have to start all over again. Then there are two things that help me to cope: faith, and a sense of humour.

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      • You are so right sister.
        I believe in growing old with a youthful spirit and being real. I am neither optimistic or pessimistic. I am a realist and it is what it is.
        A sense of humour is a great gift to help you get through things.

        And Faith……….yes faith…..I had gave praise to God today. I had to travel to an out of town meeting….I missed a turnoff and had to double back on a different road….I trusted my PGS….and also asked God for help…I drove along without a map…until I felt that I needed to turn. I turned….stopped and checked my phone and I was 500 metres from my destination. I put my hand over my heart and said…thank you God….and then patted my heart and said thank you to myself for having faith.

        You are a remarkable Women Sister. You probably don’t need me to say that.
        I am envious that Ingrid may get to meet you on her travels to Monteral. I often think it would be great to perhaps have a PGS reunion one day.

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        • A PGS reunion-that would be great! Maybe we should figure out where everyone is and then pick the destination that’s the same distance, roughly, from us all. Ideas?

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          • I’m wondering if Hawaii would be kind of central for everyone…but that maybe a bit far for the Europeans.
            Or Singapore or Hong Kong?

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      • Dear Abbey –

        thank you re the writing of The Slow Set.

        (I will forgo commenting on the bikini wax reference… I’ll leave that for the “guys”… )

        😀

        I was thinking today that I hadn’t given enough thought to that blog, so your compliment is very much appreciated.

        Sad to hear about your old injury… this evening the plates in my back are hurting. Too much sitting, writing.

        Not enough walking!

        erghhh.

        Bill

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        • You know what Bill….
          I find it easy to keep moving when I am in pain……
          But to sit still can drive me up the wall….
          I have been so in awe that even while you have been in pain with your knee and now with your back…that you can write so beautifully. I couldn’t do that.

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          • HI Abbey –

            Like you, I just put it in a little box somewhere in my psyche and ignore it.

            The book is coming along well. But it’s painstaking work. I’m pleased I got the first draft down fast, because I had so much detail I needed to document, before I forgot it.

            Now it’s in text, I can go back and shape it.

            I love writing. The hours just disappear…

            Bill

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  7. Dear Sister, I only lived with pain for about 8 months, and even then I had days with not much … how you deal with it all the time, is incredible. I know from personal experience that you just HAVE to learn to live it, or you just don’t LIVE, and that you can’t let yourself and your life be defined by the pain, but nonetheless, I so admire your take on life and how best to live it. I don’t do – conventional – prayers, but I do take part in healing chants, and if it’s OK with you, would love to add you to the list of people I chant for? 🙂
    And, sorry, but I get lots of LOL moments when your machinery plays up … so at least know, that frustrating as it is for you, I for one get a chuckle moment for every one of your stuff-ups!! 🙂

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    • Hi Bhasma/Britta/Nellie
      I’m actually glad that my mechanical problems are giving a few of you a laugh now and then.If it was happening to someone else, I know Id be laughing!
      I believe that God has many faces and many voices-as many as there are people who believe in Him. So, thank you- I would be grateful to be added to your healing chant. That’s very thoughtful of you- thank you!

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  8. Sister, so sorry to hear about your chronic illness. Yes, I guess one learns to live with it, but wouldn’t it be nice to just wiggle ones nose…. and “pooofff” it is gone. BTW, this coming weekend I am in Montreal, not sure how close this is to you. My Sunday is free, well, that’s the day I will drive back home, but I have all day. Just in case you might have an hour for tea, my cell is 416-508-6249.

    Bill, hang in there now with the revisions, I am sure you will be done in no time, I am rooting for you.

    Ingrid

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    • Hi Ingrid
      Montreal is a long way from me. I looked at the map, and if you’re driving the 401, stopping to see me will take you about four hours out of your way
      I don’t know, of course, what your schedule is like. I’m tied up on Sundays usually til 2pm or so. We would have to meet in town somewhere, as I am caring for an invalid in my home.But if any of this works out, it would be great to see you! Do you have a camera? We could have someone take our picture and post it on the blog for fun!

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  9. Hi Everyone, I just wanted to let you all know that there has been a fatal train derailment just outside the train station in Santiago de Compostella. A train full of people coming into town for the festivities in honour of St. James. There have been many fatalities and horrible injuries. If you know of anyone who is now in Santiago, or about to arrive, please ask them to donate blood. They need it desperately. Sister, please a few prayers for all the dead and injured and their families. Ingrid

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