I have a confession to make: when walking the Camino, every time I enter a Catholic church I have an adverse physical reaction … this is not because I am Jewish, it is not psychosomatic … I emphatically protest … it is a natural physiological reaction. Look, I am walking along 3-4 kms an hour from early morning to late afternoon, thus often subjugated to the midday heat … I am hot and very very sweaty – my tee-shirt and cap are often drenched. I then walk into a church which is 10-20 degrees colder than the air outside … it’s as if I entered into my butchers walk-in fridge … my wet hot stomach just cramps up on me … it actually hurts … and this often results in immediate flatulence. … No disrespect intended … almost every time I enter a church on the Camino I have to fart … very embarrassing if the priest or deacon or some other kind person approaches me to make pleasant conversation or show me around … get the picture??
My only defense is that, as opposed to almost all other pilgrims I have met or walked with, I at least from time to time do enter an interesting church (albeit often cajoled by G.) and I almost always go away having learned something and/or having had an aesthetic experience, my flatulence notwithstanding (see my next blog on Churches in France and Spain)