Guest Post – Julian Lord ~

As many of you might know, Julian Lord (who is a regular on this blog) last year completed another Camino.

Julian walked his first Camino back in 1992, when most of us had never heard of it, and it was nothing like it is today.

He’s since walked several more – each tumultuously, it seems. This last pilgrimage was no different. In fact if anything, it was even more demanding, on many levels.

Here is his guest blog:



My 2014 walk was the hardest ever, but at this point I think the worst of it has been after the return.

I’m lingering in the No-Mans-Land of an unfinished pilgrimage, in a manner that is shockingly new to me, and both raw and painful.

Physically, I am simultaneously strengthened and diminished – because whilst my weight is seriously down and my knees far less in pain, my still-healing broken wrist suffered at El Burgo Ranero continues to trouble me and it is a constant reminder keeping me in the then and there of the Camino, not in the hic et nunc of a proper return.

Physically, my motivation for last year’s walk continues to exist – I still need to lose weight ; I still need to build up my muscles ; and that medical need is about 2/3rds done, but the last 1/3rd is still waiting for me, over there, on the Francès.

Practically, the Camino bust my backpack, it bust my boots (and I need the next larger size now LOL), it stole my phone, it stole my camera and virtually all my 2014 photos, and my Staff of 15 years good friendship has just now shivered over nearly its entire length – and yet all of these things simply bring to mind the sheer beauty of that part of the return journey on the Camino that I was able to do, how natural it felt, how proper, so that for the very first time in my career as a Pilgrim of Santiago, I’m feeling myself subjected to the very feeling that I’ve warned so many others about, of feeling “stuck”, over there, yonder on the Camino and detached from the true destination of one’s pilgrimage – Home.

Religiously, last year was a failure. It is quite clearly not insignificant that I found myself unable to perform my ordinary Catholic religious duties at the Cathedral – and I mean physically unable, not religiously – especially given that this physical difficulty has become quite annoyingly persistent on the Sundays.

Financially – LOL what a disaster !!!

Mentally, all I’m doing now is biding my time and trying to kid myself that there’s any other real possibility other than getting back to Santiago to actually complete this Pilgrimage and then to walk back from there to France.

I feel lost – not mentally nor in fact spiritually, but geographically ; as if I’m not where I’m supposed to be, almost as if I’m living my current circumstances as a squatter instead of being where I belong – elsewhere.

I want to walk to the Pyrenees and over them, to France and home, from my favourite city in Spain, and to go and get there all that I lost, all I suffered, and bring it back with me as precious belongings so that I shall at last take them home with me in my heart and body and memory and soul.

I have lost something on the Camino – and I need to go and get it back.

Sus Eia – Sus Eia ; and may God bring me back to what I need

KODAK Digital Still Camera

15 thoughts on “Guest Post – Julian Lord ~

  1. Julian
    I remember reading about the problems you were having on the Camino and hoping that it would all get better for you. Sounds like it was just the opposite. I hope you can get back on the Camino and sort it all out. You did have some good out of the pilgrimage though. Lost some weight and strengthened those knees!
    Buen future Camino!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Julian, it did give you what you needed, not the way you wanted it, and it will give you back what you seek and the way home, at last, when the time comes.

    Suseia my pilgrim friend, paso a paso, it will be as it is mend to be. Light and Love Ingrid

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much for your wonderful post, Julian.

    I feel very much as you do – your words “to go and get there all that I lost, all I suffered, and bring it back with me as precious belongings so that I shall at last take them home with me in my heart and body and memory and soul” deeply resonate with me. I lost the ability to be a walking pilgrim in the future on my Camino back in 2012, due to a bad injury sustained just before Santiago, but I hope to bring back precious belongings from my bike Camino this September. Even though life is GREAT and I’m very thankful for that, I just don’t feel complete, and won’t until my next Camino is done and all is well.

    Thank you again – Jenny

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My temporary replacement staff is on its way here by delivery service, though the only place I know where to get the proper replacement I’d need is just next to O Cebreiro — and yesterday I spoke with a gentleman in Marseilles who makes French army boots ; and these are the REAL ones not like the German imitation ones I’d been forced to use these past years — and he makes them up to French size 56 !!!! (US size 19, UK/Australian size 18½) … I need the size 48s myself now, US size 13, UK/Oz 12½


  5. My temporary replacement staff arrived — and as anticipated, it’s about 10% heavier than should be.

    Better length than my old friend of 15 years, as I was able to saw it down to the ideal length myself, and it’s the right essence of wood and quite serviceable indeed ; and these past weeks since my staff shivered have been physically difficult, just from the extra walking fatigue to my knees ; but the new one is still quite definitely just a fill-in ’til I get the one I really need.

    It might be a great staff for a gentleman who felt more comfortable with a heavier and sturdier stick, but it’s not the exact right staff for me.

    In IT news, to carry on from the previous thread, my broken drive (that I’ve mounted in an external USB case linked, for the time being, through a router) has today been working non-stop without a single crash for about 7 hours so far — which is happily suggestive of the original problem being a simple formatting failure rather than physical damage — touch (new) wood.

    It’s probably the second most painful personal hardware crash I’ve ever had to deal with — the top one being the time when my main rig destroyed itself, swiftly followed by FOUR independent backup systems over a two week period during an important work project — but it’s also been the most directly productive ; as I’ve not merely secured my data, I’ve doubled my basic data storage capacity ; nearly doubled my CPU capabilities ; have the best motherboard I’ve owned in 12 years ; will quadruple my RAM tomorrow I think ; and all this after having switched from 16:9 to a 64:27/21:9 aspect ratio monitor — so that this crash has essentially forced me to create the computer system that I wanted in the first place.

    It’s the only catastrophic computer crash I’ve ever had where I’ve actually lost nothing of importance, but gained a quite drastic computer upgrade instead.

    (my 12th September 2001 computer crash that irrecoverably destroyed the 80% complete first draft of the final paper for my Master’s Degree was also somewhat memorable LOL)


    • Julian – sorry for the delay. This PGS film is consuming me at the moment. Isn’t there an apocryphal story about how Dickens accidentally left the manuscript of David Copperfield on a train when he was traveling down to London to hand it to his publisher – and he had to write it again? If so, maybe the draft left on the train wasn’t nearly as good! Great that you’ve got a new staff, albeit it not perfect. Bill


    • Esthel !!!!

      Je t’envoie de très très très grosses bises, et tu peux pas imaginer combien je suis heureux de te retrouver ENFIN !!!


    • y a-t-il toujours des feux d’artifices opportuns à Monac’?
      Je suis à Belvezet (30) où le vent s’excrime à déraciner les vieux arbres hésitants. Tu ne m’as pas dis si tu avais retrouvé ce que tu as perdu?
      J’ai à nouveau emprunté el Camino en 1995 y ai retrouvé de trop grandes résonnances éthilico-gastronomique, puis en 1999, seule, pour arriver – sans calcul préalable – à Santiago le 11 mai où l’on est venu me chercher.
      Le 12 février 2000 Othilie est née.
      J’aimerais repartir pour tout y perdre ce qui retient la vacuité, marcher pour devenir un vase de glaise ou un bol chantant.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Je ne vais pas continuer a “discuter” sur ce site où je me suis inscrite pour te faire signe et que je parasite. Je ne comprends pas tout ce qui y est écrit, tant mon anglais est déficient et c’est dommage. Si tu as envie d’échanger en direct c’est bien;, si tu n’en as pas envie tampis.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. For those with no French — Esthel is the best friend I’ve ever had, and we’ve just found each other again, after many years of separation, via PGS the way …

    Esthel was my companion of the failed Camino of ’93, and we failed that Camino together — and we both of us have three Caminos since then, different years, different circumstances, different routes, different purposes, and intrinsically the same Way.

    If not for Esthel, I would never have become a Pilgrim.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.