Monday, 31 May 2010

Trasna: The Crossing Place...

So sorry, but I'm still not able to get back to my historical flow. In the meantime, here is a poem for my patient readers...
I like the idea of choosing in this poem. It reminds me that the Greek word Hairesis - from which "heresy" is derived - means only that: Choice.

About half way through the Montes de Oca on the way to St. Juan de Ortega on the Camino Frances, there is a small plinth at the centre of a crossways. On the Camino, of course, one approaches it from the east. It is a nice place for a sandwich, a little water. But then the pilgrim continues on...westwards. Why not north or south? The path runs there too. This place always reminds me that the Way is the destination and that perhaps we are always on the Camino.


The pilgrims paused on the ancient stones
In the mountain gap.

Behind them stretched the roadway they had travelled .
Ahead, mist hid the track.

Unspoken the question hovered:
Why go on? Is life not short enough?

Why seek to pierce its mystery?
Why venture further on strange paths, risking all'

Surely that is a gamble for fools - or lovers.
Why not return quietly to the known road?

Why be a pilgrim still?
A voice they knew called to them, saying:

This is Trasna, the crossing place.
Choose! Go back if you must,

You will find your way easily by yesterday's fires,
there may be life in the embers yet.

If that is not your deep desire,
Stand still. Lay down your load.

Take your life firmly in your two hands,
(Gently... you are trusted with something precious)

While you search your heart's yearnings:
What am I seeking? What is my quest?

When your star rises deep within,
Trust yourself to its leading.

You will have the light for first steps.
This is Trasna, the crossing place.

This is Trasna, the crossing place

Come !
Raphael Consedine

The photo is from the Camino Portuguese.

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