Friday, September 07, 2018
"No cotton. No cotton. No cotton. No cotton."
Our Camino leader must have said those sentences at least five times during our last group conference call.
"Hypothermia is real, people," she said. "Cotton will keep the sweat in. You need material that will provide you with wicking: (synthetic fibers like polyester, polypropylene and natural fibers like merino wool) and dress in layers."
I groaned thinking that I was going to have to spend hundreds of dollars on new clothing for this pilgrimage.
I started making a list of the things I'd need. I always follow my grandmother's Rule of Three: One on your body, one on the line, and one in the drawer.
So, pants, shirts, socks, underwear, bras - pretty much the whole Magilla.
Three of each.
Ugh! Ugh! UGH!
I spent HOURS on the internet, checking styles, comparing prices, following leads from some of my FB friends.
The longer I looked and thought about it, the more I realized that, with the exception of underwear, some of the clothing I was seeing looked a lot like some of the stuff I already had in my closet and drawers. Indeed, as I started checking the labels of some of my shirts and pants, it turns out that I'm in pretty good shape.
I'm going to buy a pair (or two) of "wicking" baggy sweatpants (so I can dress comfortably in layers) and some underwear: bras, camisoles, panties, and socks but other than that, I think I'm going to be just fine.
Meditation time is a required discipline, along with physical exercise as preparation for the pilgrimage. I woke up this morning with what the Buddhists call "Monkey Mind."
My mind was just jumping from one thing to the next and I could not focus. No matter what I did, my mind just kept dragging me back to a cascade of images of "wicking clothing," most of which was the stuff that was in my drawer and closet.
So, I decided to just focus on the things my Monkey Mind was focused on.
Funny how that works.
As I created some distance between my self and my brain, I was able to focus on what was going on in the deeper recesses of my mind.
I came to an interesting insight:
A pilgrimage doesn't start on the road.
A pilgrimage starts within you.
A pilgrimage isn't so much about what you will find "out there" but how being "out there" will lead you to discover more deeply what you already have within you.
I suspect there's another metaphor in the fact that what I need really to invest in are the things closest to my body.
When I realized that the socks I just purchased - "Darn Tough Socks" from VT - came with a 'lifetime guarantee" I laughed right out loud and ended my meditation time.
Our Camino leader said, "No one is ever ready for the Camino but the Camino is ready for you."
I'm ready for what I'm not ready for.
As Cory Booker said in the Senate hearings yesterday, "Bring it!"
But, no cotton, please.