Romantic or Realist – Triacastela to Sarria

The online Oxford English Dictionary gives this as its second definition of the word “romantic”: Of, characterized by, or suggestive of an idealized view of reality. That’s me, at least in part. I have always been a “romantic” in this way. The Camino both challenges and affirms this romanticism in me. A few thoughts…

  • A romantic sees beautiful form and color, a realist sees a rotten pear.

  • A romantic meets a guide sent by the Spirit, a realist is irritated by a homeless dog.

  • A romantic experiences a walk through a lush green forest, a realist suffers through a painful trek up a hill.

  • A romantic remembers the beautiful countryside, a realist is frustrated with the dangerous traffic.

  • A romantic worships in a space where people have brought their hopes and dreams for centuries, a realist decries a crumbling building and institution.

  • A romantic delights in the stories of the many people she meets, a realist doesn’t want others to use him to unload their problems.

Now please don’t think me critical of either one of these perspectives. Life takes both romanticism and realism. Both idealism and down-to-earth decision making. So does the Camino. Good feelings and hopes won’t get a pilgrim through a 15 mile day. But without an ideal to reach for, why bother?

Author: Jim Zazzera

I find myself thinking about the past, wondering about the future, and doing my best to live in the present.

6 thoughts on “Romantic or Realist – Triacastela to Sarria”

  1. Love your perspective. I think there is a romantic and realist in each of us. Finding a balance between the two makes life worth living. Buen Camino 💞

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  2. Jim, although both are necessary, stay in the “Romantic” zone. There’s enough of us firmly footed in the “Realistic” zone to keep a balance. Stay with your strong suit.

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  3. So I know that Lena is a romantic and I think you are a bit of both, as am I. It is good to have all these qualities in all different ways in all people. That’s the balance Roy refers to.

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  4. Embrace your romanticism where you find it… reality breaks in often enough.
    And now I’m worried about that dog being lost. 🐶❤

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