Vía Lactéa: A Woman of a Certain Age Walks the Camino

Via Lactea by Ellen Waterston.jpg
Via Lactea by Ellen Waterston.jpg

Vía Lactéa: A Woman of a Certain Age Walks the Camino

16.50

Review

Many pilgrims who walk the Camino reach some form of new understanding of their life and its direction. A fair proportion of these wish to share their insights but words don’t lend themselves easily to describe the inner workings of the soul. Great sensitivity is required and this is where Vía Láctea bridges the gap so skillfully between the sacred and the mundane. Vía Láctea should be in everyone’s backpack, or at least on their bookshelf. --John Brierley, author of premier guides to the Camino including A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Camino de Santiago

This book is a story told through a number of poetic forms that seamlessly carried me along the Camino de Santiago. The narrative pulls readers along, yet the poetry insists that they linger with the music of words and the often-surprising images. In a time when paths and "old ways" are the subject of much writing, Ellen Waterston has found an entirely new way to record her footsteps as they seek out a new direction in her modern life, even while following old traditions. A free-thinker, she is respectful but independent of the Catholicism all around her; honest about her own lack of clarity, she is able to find humor as well as pain in the sometimes grueling task of putting one blistered foot in front of the other. Those who don't usually seek out poetry will find this a compelling read, while those who do will appreciate the craft and creative innovation. --Judith Barrington, author of three volumes of poetry. A fourth, The Conversation, is forthcoming in 2015.

In this original and mesmerizing work, we join with author and poet Ellen Waterston in a dance chiaroscuro, spiraling heavenward, stirring the dust of the pilgrim's path on the Camino de Santiago. This stunning collection of poetic forms rhythmically and lyrically give movement to this fine work of art and reflection of a seeker for whom there is no cure except to walk. By embarking on this literary and spiritual path before you, the Via Lactea, you too consent to undergo the three stages of the Camino itself: exhilaration, pain, surrender. With enviable and original skill, Waterston articulates in image and form, shade and light, insight and honesty a way that itself is a means of "illuminating the raven abyss." Her journey at once destined and random is "exposed to more and more light;" so is the way when we walk in time with our life. --Marianne Borg, an Episcopal priest and founding director of The Center for Spiritual Development in Portland, Oregon.

Ellen Waterston is our guide, our pilgrim, our compass through these beautiful and human poems. One feels as if you are walking next to the poet, your heart full-the sky all starlight. --Matthew Dickman, author of All American Poem, Mayakovsky's Revolver, and co-author of 50 American Plays.

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