The Magician and I left our friend late in the morning, starting our walk out to Lauzert. The Camino out of Montcuq took us past the market where we shopped leisurely for our lunch. And if you’ve never been to a French market. Stop reading now, go to France, what are you doing still reading this? Get going now!
Although this was the first day we were walking just the two of us, we’d always agreed that we still had to walk separately. As we both had different things that we needed to work on. The result of this was as soon as we walked out of Montcuq, we walked separate to each other till lunch time. Where we nestled together in a field desecrated of its crops, before separating again to walk on roads winding through French hilled fields bathed in golden sunshine.
I spent the morning working hard to feel every step of the walk and to enjoy nature around me. I felt peace and joy sprinkle through me as I watched sunlight sparkle through the leaves. The walk in the afternoon became emotionally very hard for me though. As during lunch we’d had an awkward question back and forth. Do you still need time alone? The answer came back as a resounding Yes. Every time the Magician and I re- discussed that we needed to walk separately, in the back of my mind I interpreted this as a rejection. But I knew ultimately if I was to ever have a relationship with him, that I had to learn to accept this and give the Magician his freedom. As he is a free spirit and freedom is the most important thing to him. I also needed to learn to be me, finish coming back to myself, knowing what was me (and what I had compromised of myself in my relationship with my soon to be ex-husband).
Our discussions continued to develope on this, as to what true freedom would mean? Including having an open relationship. I’ve only been in monogamous relationships in my entire life. Although admittedly I cheated on one boyfriend once (when I was 21). My relationship with my husband of 13 years was purely monogamous. And being frank, our sex life got bad, really bad. So on the one hand it intrigued me to have an open relationship (especially as I’m bisexual). But on my other hand, there was a little seed in the back of my mind thinking, does he just want to have his cake and eat it? Having an open relationship though would mean for the first time I may be able to satisfy both sides of my sexuality. Thinking this idea through (about the pursuit of complete free love) versus my continual fear that I was being rejected because the Magician wanted to continue sleeping with other women left me in an emotional turmoil for a number of weeks. On this day in particular it hit me hard. I sat hiding in fields trying to meditate- trying to accept my emotions; surrender to the moment without pre- conceived judgments on who I thought I should be in a relationship, or to judge my relationship with the Magician against stereotyped standards. Needless to say, I spent most of the day frustrated, angry, wanting to hit something, scream and generally run till I fell down from exhaustion (and thus not have to feel or accept my emotions). I eventually gave up, and dragged my sorry carcass to Lauzert, knowing that I was keeping the Magician waiting.
Over my time on the Camino, I saw if you seek something, you can inadvertently draw it to you. Whether this is something you seek from fear or love. It will come to you. And it was here a game began between us. This would poke needles to me about whether I was a beautiful woman or not (especially to the Magician), drilled a question into me about when would the Magician run off with another woman (and was I really ok with that). But this also touched a much deeper nerve with me. When my husband left me, he very kindly pointed out, I was fat and he didn’t find me sexually attractive. I hadn’t had men take a second look at me for over 6 years. Not until the beginning of 2017 when I’d finally started to lose some weight and gain back some of my lost confidence. This dangerous game for me, was who had the most people looking at them, as though they wanted to sleep with them. This started with the barmaid in the pub looking at the Magician as though he was an edible treat that she was going to take home with her. And all the emotions I’d been trying to accept during the day burned in me like a furnace of self-doubt and self- loathing. And there they stayed.
We eventually finished our beers in the beautiful square of Lauzert. Enjoying gazing at the cathedral’s yellow sandstone and beautiful stain glassed windows. Going back to the Gite for the typically 4 course dinner we settled down with a large group of middle aged French friends. The Magician kindly acted as translator again for me all night, and it was here we were first asked by strangers to tell the story of how we met. This was the beginning of how I would be known on the Camino, as one of ‘les Amoureux’- The Lovers.