A Certain Claustrophobia


Justin Timberlake – Blue Ocean Floor

There were no grand truths written in clouds in the sky that I learned while we walked ‘cross the country. It’s always back to the basics for me – how to pray and how to live in community, how to savour life and exact a good pace, how to make peace (again) with self. This time around the carousel, it was an extreme version.

In the weeks leading up to the trip, I often joked that we would likely spend most of our time crying on the side of the road, finally exposing my emotions and not having anything to distract me from the naked truth. In some measure, this was true. We did the hard work just getting to Spain, sanding off the layers that cover up our true selves, those things we tend to hide behind that often end up hiding truth from us. We endorsed our pilgrim costume of quick-dry clothing and a total of nine kilograms of the bare necessities, and felt totally unlike myself most of the time. But we were refreshingly without social anxieties, no pressure to do anything but walk in a day. And it was the little things that came to matter so much – a hot shower, a meal, enough water, a good laugh, coffee, friendship, a bed. And this is where transformation occurred, because after a month focused on the literal basics of life, I feel as if I have super-lenses to see through the clutter to those things that matter a bit more on the grand scale of life. Of course, we each have our own scales that balance worth and use, scales that construct our whole individual lives. But I do know that there is a lot of chatter and challenge that stage my everyday that are flat and useless.

In the end, while you bicker with and complain about people, you would give your mat to someone if they needed it. And if you knew someone was truly without food – even if it was someone you would never associate with – you would give them the rest of your bread, and maybe some of your chocolate rations too. If you could see that you were the perfectly cut answer to someone’s need, you would come to their rescue, and you wouldn’t be too busy. I am confident that if you realized that we are all just here to walk, you would share the road with people you didn’t realize you had a shred of anything in common with. I believe this to be true because I saw people from every walk in life and corner of creation do the same. 

What I’m trying to get after is that the rest doesn’t matter, really. In the end, we weigh in economies of eternal importance. So, let’s keep it simple, because I feel so claustrophobic. Let’s get back to the basics, because this is also a conversation about survival, and because we need each other more than we think we do.

(Image via here)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s