The Pilgrimage Ahead

Already I can see the cobblestones and the yet nameless shoes
I’ll have to wear. I see the steps I take in multiples of two. And I see
the hundred kilometers of questions: Does God intend each of us
to walk far enough to graze the skin of the earth? And by the way,
who am I? Out of the office shoes, having erased the people I love
from whatever logbook the heart keeps. Who would I be?
Had I been born in a country that, instead, curses the cold weather
under the fog of their breaths? We have forgotten. To survive,
we must take all the downhill paths. But isn’t that all a bit too beautiful?
Nope. My feet are beaten. A week without a shower walking along
Galician hills. A clarification of the important. All I want is movement
and laughter. But are we ever prepared for those modest servings
of being inescapably human, and still always plotting an escape?
Look, for 400 years those builders carried their tools and climbed
the pillars of that church to clean the faces of those who have shown
in their life a kindness we can worship. Some of their grandchildren
must still persist in these cold winters. The man who poured us wine
in the hostel and told us about his daughter who will one day return
to that candlelit room away from the snow. The old woman who took
our photographs, and us of her, all the while only talking in secrets.
Even her ex-husband who, once in his life, must have helped a driver
change a tire, who may have just misinterpreted what it means
to love, as we have all done. I want to believe we can all be right.
That this is all right. How our feet are carving questions into the earth,
addressed to God, or to whoever is watching. It may be him. It may be
no one. Who knows. Already, I’ve begun walking. Already, I cannot stop.

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