El Camino de Santiago: The Things We Carried

The Greenery

If you plan to haul an object on your back for 900 kilometers, carefully consider its importance.

And its weight.

Here are the objects I deemed worthy:

*Osprey Sirrus 36 “Full Day Adventure” pack (2 lbs, 14 oz; 1.31 kg)

*REI “Travel Down” 45-degree sleeping bag

**Salomon Gore-Tex hiking boots (I HAD NO BLISTERS. Take a moment to absorb that.)

*Leki Makalu “Ultralite” titanium hiking poles (alt. use: Intimidating oncoming livestock.)

**REI Rain jacket and pants (alt. uses: Snow suit. Wind suit. Freezing cold suit. Nakedness prevention suit on wash day.)

**2 pr Smartwool socks (I would marry these.)

******2 pr Ex Officio quick-dry underwear(The importance of good panties cannot be overstated.)

2 long-sleeved quick-dry shirts (1 hoodie, 1 button-down)

1 short-sleeved quick-dry shirt

2 yoga tops with built-in bras(alt. use: PJs)

1 pr fancy hiking pants

1 fairly tasteful black…

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The Law Is Human and Flawed


What is lawful is not always identical to what is right. Sometimes it falls to a judge to align the two. Ward’s judgment runs to more than eighty closely typed pages. It is beautifully written, delicate and humane, philosophically astute, ethically sensitive, and scholarly, with a wide range of historical and legal references.

The best of judgments, as I was to discover, are similarly endowed. They form a neglected sub-genre of our literature, read in their entirety by almost no one except law studentsand fellow judges. And in the Family Division particularly, they present a hoard of personal drama and moral complexity. They are on fiction’s terrain, even though they are bound, unlike the fortunate novelist, to a world of real people and must deliver a verdict.

But as we all know, verdicts, indeed the whole system, can also be asininetough, even tragic, for its innocent…

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