The Way of Saint James or the Way(s) of the Heart

The Way of Saint James or the Way(s) of the Heart

On the Path, there is the path of reason, and the path of the heart. The first advises the pilgrim to respect the instructions of the guides and to follow the marked trails. The second invites him to listen to his little inner voice and to give in to the call of adventure.

Or rather Adventure, with a capital A. It is this road that “sucked in” (in his own words) the photographer Philippe Glorieux as he left his home in Lescar (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) on May 1, 2015.

It is often said that you do not take the path, but that the path takes you. This is really what I experienced during this pilgrimage.”

→ says the pilgrim who walked to Compostela and has since completed part of the Camino del Norte, along the Atlantic coast of northern Spain.

A meeting with yourself

The Way(s) of the Heart , a book that Philippe Glorieux has just published, is first and foremost the echo of an encounter with himself. “The famous “Know yourself” inscribed on the temple of Delphi is the prelude to any journey,” he explains.

This is why he left with a mirror which he handed to the pilgrims he met during his journey. These “Mirror Portraits” punctuate the series of black and white photographs that make up this album. “You have to accept yourself, respect yourself, love yourself, and be at peace with yourself to then reach out to others,” adds the artist.

Guided by symbols

Following his shadow, heading west, Philippe Glorieux, “wandering and quickly became a pilgrim”, let himself be guided by the signs of the path: a passage in a wall, an open door, a hedge under a tree, a labyrinth in the grass, a staircase to an oratory, a cloud in the sky, beautifully photographed and presented in this book.

These new landmarks, more interior than the arrows marking the route, have led the pilgrim to make superb encounters, also reproduced in these pages through the smile of Laurent, hospitable in Sarrance, or of Hélène, hospitable in Oloron; the influence of the Canadian Vincent and his family; the nostalgic look of Tony, an Italian pilgrim who has been walking for ten years; the fraternal embrace of two pilgrims arriving at Cape Finisterre.

Three meaningful stories

But Philippe Glorieux is not only a photographer: along the way, he becomes a storyteller. Three stories thus constitute the framework of this book.

That of the appearance, in the middle of the night and as a shadow play under the moon, of a goat that he initially takes for the devil – and which will teach him to face his fears.

That of the vision of his father, lost when he was 14 years old – which will make him feel the place of man in the Universe.

That of a succession of meetings with Maximilien, a young German who has gone on a pilgrimage to mourn the loss of his brother – where the signs will combine to teach him that death is not an end.

Stories, comments and images which in turn reveal to us that from self-knowledge to the discovery of essential truths, there is only one step!

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