The Camino de Santiago and Life as Pilgrimage
by Teresa P Mateus
October, 15, 2019
This is not your grandma’s pilgrimage book.
Teresa Mateus’ newest book, Going Naked, offers a vulnerable and deeply personal collection of stories which explore pain, loss, grief, transformation and celebration as they are exposed through the pilgrimage of Camino de Santiago and beyond into daily life.
Mateus offers up her own Camino journey from Sarria to Santiago and onward to Avila, Spain as she reconnects with her own ancestry and history along the way. She explores themes of identity, race, gender, ability and socio-political context as they erupt in her walk of Camino de Santiago and onward to the city of her namesake—Teresa of Ávila.
Beyond the Camino itself, Teresa explores the themes that pilgrimage shakes loose as they disrupt her own memory and reflection on her life. The reader is given glimpses of childhood struggles, adolescent trauma, adulthood divorce, and medical mishaps as expressions of the pilgrim’s beckoning into struggle and transformation on the journey of life.
Each and every stumble and fumble in Mateus’ own path are taken on with complete sincerity and brought forward with a side of self-deprecating humor as she carries the reader along in her pack through every raw and authentic step.
In this third book intersecting pain and healing by Mateus she takes her most personal approach to the subject matter, offering up the artifacts of her life and soul. In this stripping away of herself, she truly embraces the ethos of going naked and losing it all to find what is most essential. She does this first in the excavation of her own life, and through doing so she invites the reader to do the same.
Each chapter closes with a guided ritual or practice for the reader to join in and engage their own pilgrim’s process in the context of their own lives.