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By Kurt Koontz

Kurt Koontz concept he was once ready for his 490-mile strolling journey at the old Camino de Santiago pilgrimage course in Spain.

He used to be healthy and robust. He had an outstanding guidebook and all of the correct apparatus. His pilgrim passport may furnish him entry to the defend of hostels alongside the best way. yet all that, although important, didn't start to surround the grandeur of his exterior or inner experience.

A Million Steps climbs over the excessive meadows of the Pyrenees, quests throughout the unceasing wind of the Meseta, and dances within the rains of Galicia. whereas following the yellow arrows that mark the path, Koontz additionally navigates via his own historical past of habit, restoration, and love.

With outgoing humor and friendliness, he embraces the great thing about the nation-state and pleased connections to different pilgrims from worldwide. half diary, half travelogue, 1000000 Steps is a trip inside a trip the entire strategy to the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela and past.

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He knew that the only thing that could fill that emptiness at the core of his being, the only thing that could give him back himself, was love: love of wife and children, love of the earth, love of God. His writing blossomed into new and happier forms, that told some of this story. In truth it became less important to him, since the centre of his gravity had shifted in favour of living and away from artifice. Everything that had delighted him in life – beauty, music, poetry, faith – merged into a new homogenous totality.

His writing accompanied him throughout this pilgrimage. It was the means of his awakening to consciousness, and the route of his social advancement. It was the instrument of his descent into the inferno of sin, and the route by which he found a way through hell to look once more upon the stars. Writing was his innocence and his experience, his pride and his passion, his heaven and his hell, his sin and his redemption. Through it he knew what it was to be in love with the world, and to arrive at a bleak disenchantment; what it was to be bound upon a wheel of fire, and what it was to be delivered into a state of grace.

Feeling the power of his pen, writing became his means of living, and his raison d’être. Nothing else in his life mattered as much to him. 22 Nine Lives of William Shakespeare He attained wealth, fame, some measure of cultural authority from his work in the theatre. But for him true happiness lay in the exercise of that absorbing craft of writing. In time it became an obsession, in which he would forget himself, putting the real world at a distance, and losing himself in the cold snows of his dream.

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