As I’ve been thinking about the nature of pilgrimage, it feels odd to speak of beginning a pilgrimage – as I am clear that it began long ago, even before I had the language for what I now understand, in Heschel’s words, as an “endless pilgrimage of the heart.”
In just a month I leave for the next steps. I head for Paris, France on September 1st. I’ll be staying near the Gare Montparnasse train station, and around the corner from the cimetière du Montparnasse, where the pioneering philosopher Simone de Beauvoir is buried. Also will be walking to The Tour Saint Jacques on the Rue de Rivoli, which was a traditional starting point for the Camino in the middle ages. I’ll take the train from Paris to Bayonne and then on to St. Jean Pied de Port, the traditional start of the Camino Francés route. One of my hopes is to live fully in the present, not rushing from point to point, but inhabiting the journey – so I am looking forward to experiencing the Monday market day in the lovely medieval town. The first day on the Camino is often described as the toughest as it ascends over the Pyrenees. I will be making my first stop at Refuge Orisson – and then the next day will cross into Spain on the way to Roncevaux.
I’ve uploaded a map that shows my probable route and I’ll be posting photos and thoughts along the way.