Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Episode 3: Poet and musical therapist Bob Shea shares "Running as Pilgrimage and Poetry"...

Bob Shea reads a few of his writings and reflects on Walking and Running on the "Camino de Santiago" as a Pilgrim (from France to Spain and Portugal to Spain)  AND  Running on the southern Atlantic coast of Iceland!

Bob and his favorite running mate for the day.

South Coast of Iceland

Looking Downhill on Volcanic Rock. (Iceland)

Where the shoe hits the rock. (Iceland)

American Pilgrims of the Camino Link:

Poems and time of reading in the Podcast:
10:30 GOODBYE CHURCH ON THE HILL Goodbye church on the hill. So much like every other church on my own hills back home. Like all the other churches, so distinct in the details. Yes, made of stone and wood inspiration and sweat, you rest on the earth that carries your burden. And to her someday, you will also surrender. You travel in space under the same stars that I gaze up at from my little church at home. And like the breath of the transient traveler, your whispers will linger into eternity from which they came. Passing them on like good deeds travel from person to person.
Camino de Santiago, somewhere in Spain

I turned from the dark future to look at my past and there you stand still on the hill. Dim lights give a soft golden glow to your yellow stone. Your skin. And the edge of the hill cuts into and put shadows on your foundation building the mystique even further. Like a ship on the sea viewed from shore. Except you are the Stone and terra-cotta lighthouse for the lost souls, or the steady to keep the keel true and straight. I will forever be grateful for your warmth and shelter during this cool autumn’s night sleep. Your scent will linger and belong to only me,as a painting once viewed and then abandoned. Designed to be reflected upon as an old-schoolmate with both fondness and loss. Ciao, my refuge.

13:15 DOG IN A BOX Hello, dog in a box. With your ferociously happy bark. I am glad that your bark has lost its edge. It’s now hidden behind your kind eyes. You bust out with another set of yelps. This time out the corner of your mouth With your head slightly turned to the owners of the house. I took that as a gesture that you’re performing your duty.
Galicia, Spain
Autumn is here and your coat is thick and shaggy, and it carries the dirt from as far as your chain goes. I like your house, dog in a box. It’s simple. One room. No need to be cleaned. It’s just swept several times a day. By your fur. But, I think I like your landscape better. It’s a country setting. It’s a barnyard courtyard. By the side of the road where you see thousands of pilgrims walking bye with backpacks and their sticks clicking. Still you throw your barks at us. Where I come from dogs sit on peoples laps. They have no collar or chain, and their courtyard is a Mercedes-Benz where they sit on the driver’s laps. And they get their nails done in special boutiques. And humans follow them with plastic bags to pick up their droppings. Are you unaware of these things? Maybe you are, but you look quite content not knowing. Perhaps you’re like the poor child who doesn’t know their poor until someone says they are. Sometimes nice old dogs just bark. Kinda like the cowardly lion Wizard of Oz. “Put ‘em up! Put ‘em up!” Thank you dog in a box for educating me today. That I can be content wherever I am too. And carry kind eyes and a soft bark.

Atlantic Coast Morning, Iceland

26:30 "Out of the Log" from Iceland:
It was a cold day in Iceland, the kind of clean cold air that a runner can't refuse her calling. I could sit comfortably in this geothermically warmed home content in my jet-lagged state of mind, or I could do what runners do: Breach the threshold of the door and explore. My run took me along the Atlantic coast on where the mist of turbulent waves mingled with the land. I launched out in the field careful not to twist an ankle on the hidden volcanic rocks. I transist to the road whose components are made up of... yeah, more black rock.

The road climbs and my breathing labors, I pass a field and a short, stout horse draws near to me. We meet, in mutual fearless love. Nothing like Icelandic Horses, ancient beauties. The hills in the distance are rounded and blackened by the clear, blue and white skyscape. I follow the fenceline and turn up into the hills. There was a beauty in this dark martian landscape. It drew me further and further into my run. The openness of the sky and landscaping gave me the power to not think about the level of difficulty. The demands upon my muscles and lungs. Then the road descended, as I hit the apex of my run. The road winds and the sea gets closer. I now feel the mist and am thankful that the air is so cool and clean. Back at the Air B&B I take out my phone, and see it's time to jump into the jacuzzi. And the hot water is replenished, by the earth's hot water.

33:00 Final Poem, 'Unnamed stream of Consciousness'
I approached her opening from a half mile away. The road was straight and I wore the wide-open Florida sky like a domed crown. The Rhythmic sound of The raindrops hitting the rim of my baseball cap and the crunch of the seashell path disappeared as I entered her welcoming portal. There was a slight and cool drizzle during my run in the forest today. I knew what my life was going to be like in the waterlogged Forest today. Yes, it was beautiful and it made the running soft and muffled. One of my favorite places to run, I approached her with such enthusiasm. I thought to myself how she smells different today than my run through her yesterday: dry and cushioned tinder created from timeworn seasonal droppings.
Finesterre, Spain ("end of the earth")
Waterlogged trees, shrubs and undergrowth instantly infused and suffused clean and organic compounds into my sinuses, lungs, skin and organs. My body was changing instantly with these chemicals as was my soul.
While running I scared a rabbit. It sprinted straight for 5 yards, darted radically right and left in succession. It was hard to follow so I concentrate on his big white tail.
Instantly it ran into the bushes to my left and all I could see then was its white tail. Suddenly, it hopped 3 feet in the air And another radical right turn but 3 feet high in the air. I was confused. And kind of sent into another consciousness. It was radical and logical it was like this. And then it went to the left again and up 6 inches and then to the right: and then down and then out into the trail where I found out that it was a white moth. The rabbit must’ve scared it and serendipitously the moth picked up the path and drew my attention away from the cottontail. Happy Easter, I thought.

Back on the trail. The light rain softens the Pine needles and Oak leaves and bike run is silent. And in my own slow run I am lean into the small trees that the path goes around. Looking ahead of me like a downhill skier preparing for the next turn, right turn left turn. Slow run but still cutting corners. And then the straightaway where the squirrels clamor and chatter as if annoyed. And as I get closer they stop and hide behind the base of the tree. Kind of looking at me with one eye visible to me. Kind of like a child playing peekaboo.

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