Why are you here… Why are you on the road…


The insult, in the most sensitive place, from a very, very close person

Two months. You have never been separated for so long. You close your eyes and think that maybe this has not happened… But it did. The insult was so real that you wished you had not existed. With just one word that was not thought through you hurled to the past seven years of joy, shared difficulties, journey, smiles, successes, home, friends. Everything. And why? The pressure took over you. You do not control yourself. Now you are a victim of your own irresponsibility. There is no power that can take away the insult. The kind word may go unnoticed, but the insult Is forever. If it were a wound, it would have healed.

You were arguing. She was begging to not get involved with the project for a family hotel. A short term is set and the investor’s requirements are enormous. So what. You have orders for far more expensive projects. You need a little peace. You can make some time for yourselves. You have not taken a vacation almost a year. She had felt tired. She is not going to withstand the pressure. “Shut up! You very well know who is behind the project. Do you want them to ruin us? You have become very spoiled. What exactly can you do? You cannot even give birth to a child!”

You have not exchanged any more words. You felt the power of the insult on yourself. You wanted to turn back the time with precisely two minutes. The stressful day and the regret of what was said were boiling in you. You cannot control those. You went out. Two hours later the alcohol produced its influence, but the fear was there. The fear that She will not forgive you. You will ask for forgiveness. You are an animal. You will tell her that. You will let her do whatever she wants with you. It is not too late and if she forgives you, you can even dine out. Two more blocks. You better hurry. The sooner you ask for forgiveness, the less time she will suffer. The elevator was busy. You climbed the three floors in one breath. You are excited. You unlocked… She was gone. Forever! The note was on the hallway floor. “Farewell!”


Lie harms more than fear. You fail something, somebody, yourself.

“You are going to manage this project! Go ahead! Do it!”

“I cannot. I have never developed on “Perl” by myself.”

They were looking at you speechless. No one uttered a word. The surprise had suppressed any emotions. They accepted this project because they believed that you are going to take and manage it. After three months of preparation it turned out that you had lied. The shock was huge. The director asked you to leave the meeting. You felt the disappointment in your coworkers’ eyes. People of different nationalities. Each of them had been proving their abilities long time before they had joined the council. Great people. The company was their life. They were accepting you as one of them. You betrayed them.

They decided that you can take and manage an independent project. They put together a team for you to manage. Everything had been clear to the very last detail. You misled the company. You misled the people who accepted you as one of them. A lie which you accidentally dropped. So strong was your desire to work here. You never imagined this could happen. On the board you developed in detail all five questions. The technical interviews did not include a test for “Perl”, but during the informal conversation at the job interview you said that you had developed. You had some sketchy knowledge and that was all. The interviewers congratulated you. They hired you. You were doing great with the tasks assigned. They trusted you. Until now.

You wanted to call a friend, to share. You took the phone and… There is no one. You have no one to share with. Is this your life? Yes. You have no friends.


To laugh at, to condemn someone’s life, a love forever hidden.

As if it had happened yesterday. You ugly laughed at him: “She will never be yours. Who do you think you are with this limping leg? She will marry someone handsome. Don’t waste your time.” You were neighbors and childhood friends. A quiet and attentive person. He met a wonderful girl. A coworker of yours. He told you how they met by chance. They went out twice. He was looking for support, advice from you. He trusted you. You are a woman with experience.

You cannot forget it. Time did not help you forget what you had done. Almost seven years now. Today you saw him coming home from a business trip. He was still the same. Quiet, humble. He greeted you. He smiled at you. He was always smiling. Loneliness, monotony, fatigue did not prevent him from being positive in life.

You are hurt. You blame yourself. You want to forget, but it is not possible. You cannot change anything anymore. Has it been envy? Nonsense? No. You don’t have the ability to hear people. To hear the soul, the impulses, what words cannot say. You know perfectly well what happens with your female coworker. She married a driver four years ago. He had either been gone or drunk when he had gotten home. You remembered how a year ago, in a conversation, she sighed and told you about a man she has met in her life. He has been amazing. He has had so much energy. He has left a beautiful memory in her. He has limped a little. He has just disappeared. As if invisible power cut you in two. You didn’t feel the rest of the day. Your husband was worried. You didn’t share. You didn’t have the strength to share.

And here it is today. The invisible power again. You will carry this guilt in yourself forever. You are doomed. Is there a power that can change the past…


To steal a thing, to steal one’s happiness.

You were cleaning. You have decided to put things in order. There are so many things to throw away. Useless things sitting for years. This is probably the purpose of the basements. This way people have a place where they can hide their memories. Even from themselves. And you had memories. Musical notes from the time when you were learning to play accordion, a mask and a snorkel from the childhood, the bicycle on which you fell in the trap, spectacles from your job as a welder, letters from girlfriends…

You were holding it in your hands. You shivered. Your body was refusing to listen to you. The feeling was unfamiliar. A mix of pain, sorrow, regret, suffering. What you were holding in your hand was not yours. You stole it. Many years ago.  Probably thirty or more.

You did not have a mother. You never had. She had gone from this life the day you were born. He didn’t have either. He was your best friend. You grew up together. Same street, same school, same friends, same emotions. The difference was that his mother had simply gone. She had managed to go to America. Such were the times. Not everyone could. Before she left, she had left him a photo of her. She told him that she loves him very much and that one day they will be together again. To keep the photo. And your friend kept it. He has hidden it from everybody. He shared with you only. You were the closest.

You envied him. It hurt you. You didn’t resist. You stole it. And you hid it too. Your heart didn’t let you destroy it. Your mother might have looked the same. He didn’t doubt you. He thought his father had found her. They never shared. They were growing apart more and more with time. Perhaps the disappearance of the photo additionally helped distance them from each other.


„Buen camino!”

The woman who you caught up with was apparently in a hurry. She was carrying a relatively large backpack. Probably just like you she did not have enough time to prepare. The road was not easy for either one of you. She was a woman in her fifties. Alone. You started talking to her. She had been on the road for thirteen days now. She had too left from Saint-Jean. Distances have been difficult for her. She had never walked so much. It is good that at least the weather is nice. She wanted to be alone, but here, on the road, she had realized that it is wonderful to meet so many people. Most of them had something to share. She discovered she is not the only one looking for answers. She has read about Camino de Santiago accidentally. She strongly hopes that the road changes people. Some people have something to change in themselves. She most certainly has. She asked you:

“Why are you here?”

You started thinking. How to say that you have become unnecessary because you are a liar? You dreamed of being a part of an international software company, and you are here trying to find a place to hide in shame. You avoided the answer. You started talking about the people on the road who you meet. Doesn’t she think they are here because something in their life is wrong? Perhaps everyone looks for an answer to a problem of theirs. Perhaps. You stayed quiet. The road led between raspberries on one side and a short stone fence on the other. You came to a tall chestnut tree and stood under its shadow. The conversation was about the albergues, evenings, backpacks. You are not the only ones with heavy backpacks. She shared your thoughts. She had met a man carrying a heavy backpack too who was telling his story. He had insulted his closest person, his wife. He hadn’t tried to understand her. He had been afraid. He had felt dependent on a few influential people in the local government. It had made him nervous. He had come here on the road to be alone. It had been obvious he had been suffering. “You are probably quite right. Everyone here looks for their own answers.”

Was it a coincidence? Four days ago you listened to a detailed story from the man with the long hair. You were having dinner together in the kitchen of the albergue. He seemed like a man who has extensive life experience. He weighed his words. Exuding reserve and security. You reiterated to her your conversation with him. He had felt awful. A long time ago he had appropriated something that had changed one of his friend’s life. From a man with vision and ambition, his friend had turned into an irresolute loner. And it had all been because of what he had done.

“Why are there so many people on the road? Why do they carry so much luggage?”

The woman’s question was left without an answer. Both of you knew the answer, but did not dare say it. Yes, you were afraid to admit the luggage they were carrying were their sins. People happen to be careless in their dealings with others. They allow personal concerns to guide their thoughts and actions. Everyone makes mistakes in their lives. The difference was that some of them realized it and others remained convinced in their sinlessness.

You turned your thoughts back to the past. In the beginning you hoped the alcohol will help you forget? Well, it did not help. On the contrary. It was making you suffer more. It has been over an year since then. The company had grown. It opened offices in two other countries. You could have been a part of this success. You could have managed an office. A lie turned your life around. Enough. You have to put yourself together. Loneliness does not solve problems. Loneliness destroys. When you are alone, you are not productive. You are not an artist, a sculptor of your life. You lose the desire to create, to build. You probably miss caring for somebody. There are no smiles. You turned to the woman:

“Do you find answers? Do you change?”

She thinks that whatever awaits her, walking the road can only make her better. Meetings with people, the time travelled in thoughts every day, the simplicity of life in the villages through which she passes, the greetings of the locals, all of this changes you. Now she feels like she looks at her own life peacefully and meaningfully. The big cities along the road were in contrast to this simplicity. How few things people needed. To have a roof over your head, clothes, and something to eat. But also to communicate with people without being constantly stressed whether somebody will hurt you. Here nothing can stop you from being yourself. You stayed silent for a while. Then she asked, probably herself:

“Why some are so young? Why aren’t they at work?”

You walked silently looking for the answer. Are they already unsteady from the beginning of their lives? You look at the piles of stones placed by the road side. So many people want to forget a bad memory, to part with the past. All of them looking for change. Some have unfulfilled dreams. Others wish themselves future.

In an hour you stopped for coffee. A little village. There were a man and two women sitting on the next table. They finished their coffees and were getting ready to leave. Then the man turned to you and asked:

“Forgive my asking, but why are you here?”

“We are rearranging our lives. Trying to clear our minds. Looking for answers to the difficult decisions.  There are new ideas as well. And why are You here?”  You had not expected such a response from the woman. She was absolutely right. You had nothing to add. The man smiled and answered.

“I justify my walking with the need for physical activity. I test my endurance. I become stronger. As I think we all should be very happy people because we can be here. There are so many others who cannot afford it.”


You communicate with different people, with different experience, different thinking, and you learn to find the truth. Nobody could turn back time and fix their mistakes. Some people were realizing it. They were growing up. Not in years, but in life experience. Every passenger was finding their answers. Everyone was returning with energy for a new life. You asked yourself who the happy ones were. The people who realize it or those who nothing in life would change?

The ones who were here to test their endurance, were going home satisfied. The road was making them confident and healthy.


Fisterra, 09.30.2016