Oh, I See. OCD

I’m finally seeing some fellow pilgrims on the camino de Fe.

it’s not exactly what you’d call busy . But compared with those first weeks its a veritable traffic jam.

When you’ve walked for six to eight hours a day without seeing another soul, well your mind is apt to start going walkabout itself

it was those little yellow arrows that are painted on trees, fence posts and telephone poles that started to mess with me
Those arrows are your lifeline. Your safety net.  They tell you where to go. They reassure you that you are on track
In the absence of another human being they become your little friends

So for some reason – and I Dont know how it began – I felt that I had to nod to them as I passed by

Cos if I didn’t they would disappear and I’d be lost. And Brazil is a big place to be lost in

You can understand that , right. Makes sense ?

But then I decided that just nodding to them wasn’t powerful enough. I had to tip my hat to them

But what if they weren’t looking? Sorted: point my bamboo walking stick at them and say:”Hello little friend”,

This had to be done for every single arrow. Which made for one bizarre incident at a junction with no fewer than eight bloody arrows. It took me five mins before I could move on

Then I realised These are BRAZILIAN
Arrows.  They don’t understand English you idiot

So what the hell is portuguese for little friend.

Amigo?

But are arrows masculine or feminine?
Amiga? And if I get it wrong they will of course disappear and I will be lost

Solitude. Can do odd things

I’m over it now. And can laugh at it. And if you read this far, maybe you did too

Because sometimes laughter is the best way of dealing with these pernicious mind farts

I know someone who is battling OCD right now. Its a debilitating crippling condition that ruins your life

We laugh about it sometimes. Because the rituals sound totally absurd and – well laughable –

But deep down its not funny.  And when your mind is stuck in that rut for whatever reason the rest of your life is just exhausting

I didnt want to do this walk for charity. I didn’t ask for donations at the start and I’m not doing so now

But when – if – I get to Aparacida I’ll be making a donation to this charity:

OCDUK.org

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4 thoughts on “Oh, I See. OCD

  1. Wyre Davies

    Entertaining reading Bob and, yup, you are losing your marbles.

    Interestingly, while living in Brazil as a young child, going to Aparecida (Brazil’s national shrine) was one of life’s most formative experiences – turning me completely against religion for various reasons which I’ll explain over a beer when you get to Rio.

    Good luck with the rest of the walk & beware the arrows,
    Wyre

  2. Mike Hutchinson

    Hi Bob , keep in trekking . I still get the yellow arrow syndrome even now 8 months after the Camino!

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