- Paperback: 203 pages
- Publisher: White Knight Publications; 1st Edition edition (June 5, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 097341863X
- ISBN-13: 978-0973418637
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,084,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sue Kenney's My Camino: A True Story About the Spiritual Journey of a Woman Confronting Her Deepest Fear Paperback – June 5, 2004
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About the Author
As a pilgrim, Sue Kenney has walked over 5000 kilometers in total on five different pilgrimages on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, in Spain. It was on the first journey that Sue came to the realization that her purpose in life is to inspire others, using her voice. Blended with her profound of her experiences as a pilgrim, her athletic discipline as a competitive world-class Master's rower and her extensive background in the corporate telecommunications industry, Sue offers a unique perspective to her artistic projects and developing leadership skills by applying the lessons and virtues of being a pilgrim on the Camino, as a metaphor for being on a life journey. Sue provides leadership coaching, workshops, and inspirational speaking to both community and business audiences. Sue guides groups on the Camino and just completed her 8th walk with a group, this time barefoot. She wrote, produced, recorded and marketed a storytelling CD, Stone by Stone, reaching sales over 4000 copies internationally. She is an accomplished writer and has published her first book, My Camino, a Canadian bestseller and has released her second book Confessions of a Pilgrim. Sue also publishes and distributes a monthly newsletter to over 3500 subscribers. As a freelance writer she has written for Muskoka Magazine, Toronto Sun, Barrie Life and Times, LIFT among other periodicals. A recent recipient of a BravoFACT grant for a short animated film called FlipBook. She also co-produced another short film based on her second book. Sue has Directed her first feature length documentary Las Peregrinas, which was previewed internationally and raised over $16,000 for various causes around the world. Sue also wrote and performed a one-woman show called My Camino...a storytelling performance (she walks on a manual treadmill while telling stories of her journey )at the London and San Francisco Fringe Festival with critical acclaim. Sue has co-written the screenplay adaptation of her book My Camino which is in development as a feature film by Item 7, a production company in Montreal, Quebec.
Top customer reviews
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I have been wanting to walk the Camino for over 10 years. Being a petite woman (and not bilingual), I am not very comfortable with the thought of walking it alone, however, this book makes me consider the possibility. I've read her second book and seen her documentary. Both are quite insightful and enjoyable as well.
Unlike me, who walked the Camino de santiago with my son, Sue walked alone, confronting her deep fear of setting out into the unknown alone. She undertook this 500 mile walk because she was 'lost in a society that valued material goods' - and along the journey she found her calling, learning to live in the moment instead of planning for every possible scenario that may or may not happen.
I liked her observation as she neared the end of her walk that journeying along the Camino is like being accepted by the Universe because it welcomes one into a world far beyond the limitations of the ego.
I too believe, as she does, that on the Camino we "recreate our bodies and recreate our minds" , "each person we meet adds to the person we become" - and "when the Camino ends, one's journey begins".'
A very readable and thought provoking story.
There is a saying that everyone walks their own Camino. That is true, but Sue Kenney's My Camino brings out the common threads we all share: the past experiences that influence our walk; the separation of friends and family, the physical demands of this five hundred mile journey and finally; the changes it brings to our inner selves.
The book begins interestingly with a competitive rowing scene: eight women rowing across Lake Ontario: "the set cadence acts like a mantra to free the mind to focus on the body." This phrase made me instantly think of walking across the meseta. "in a moment of transformation the boat and crew's 1500 pounds propel forward with force and grace." The rowing results in a gold medal in the World Masters Rowing Championship in Montreal and provides mental resources to draw on for the challenge of the Camino.
Then comes Kenney's background: the despair of having a younger sister with terminal cancer, the typical downsizing job loss - being called to a meeting and handed a box to pack your office belongings, age over forty, teenaged daughters, divorce. The rowing allowed her to put her anger at cancer into the water.
The demands of job and family result in a lifetime of giving and little time for herself. Sue Kenney looks at the Camino as an opportunity to face her fears and love herself.
She started her trip in early November, so had a very different experience than those walking in the popular months of May through September. Many refugios were closed. Winter weather was setting in and pilgrim numbers had dwindled to the very few. Those who have walked or are contemplating walking off season will find much to relate to in the thread of the physical journey that makes up most of this book. They can appreciate the themes of pain, friendship, rain, mud, distance and darkness, closed refugios. During a highpoint of the day, a hot shower, Kenney talks about "the simple pleasures of being a pilgrim."
During this off season time the refugio experience was quite different than it would have been a few weeks earlier. Sometimes a refugio would be staffed by caring hospitaleros, but frequently refugios were not staffed and just a basic room with the companionship of a few other pilgrims. The pilgrim experience during this season is usually a more intimate one with the fewer numbers of travelers. Frequently they would share meals in the refugio kitchens.
One of her chapters, "The Honor of Being a Pilgrim", talks about the freely given support one gets from the local people who honor the effort of those on pilgrimage. She talks about an old women caught her attention from across a square, made the sign of the cross and bowed her head with respect.
One thing that is very clear in this book is Sue Kenney's openness with others on the Camino and with her readers.. She connects with people even though her Spanish is very limited. Her search for self love is not my search and though she finds herself on the pilgrimage, those parts of the story don't hold my interest as much as the tale of the walk itself. Contacts with home happen infrequently on the Camino, and I do relate to the rejuvenation drawn as she gets a phone call through to her daughters.
I think Sue Kenney looks at this as an inspirational self help story, but it is also a fine adventure tale and a worthy addition to the modern pilgrim accounts of the Camino.