Robert Ward
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Jean-Yves the Penitent (pg 283) Finisterre (pg 312)

The lighthouse is an hour or so from the town. The time is hard to estimate because it’s impossible not to stop and look out at the ocean, or go clambering up the slope to the spine of the promontory. The land is bare, brambly, littered with boulders, like a neolithic playground. The lighthouse stands at the very end. This being Spain, there is a bar in the lighthouse at the end of the world. You stand on the rocks behind the lighthouse and feel you have really reached a limit, the end of the road. But it’s only a feeling. The road never ends. Tomorrow you’re still walking it, wherever you may be.

Still, there’s an urge to turn this comma into a chapter break, or at least a period, in the book of life. That’s why pilgrims burn a piece of their clothing on these rocks, as a sign or assertion that here something has ended, and a prayer that from here something new will begin. Today at least, I don’t feel the need for this ritual. Let the story roll on like a road.

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