Days should be merry and bright, what with my favorite people here in my favorite place with me. But they are not.
These people are family, after all. Families have this reputation, y´see, when they get together in wintry, closed-in conditions.
Figure in days of rain, lots of wine, some claustrophobia, jet lag, culture shock, old wounds, and just plain old boredom.
Then "the truth" comes out. Plans go to pieces. Doors slam, hearts break, teardrops fall.
So we are living in an Edward Albee play, or a Chick Flick, or maybe a Billy Ray Cyrus song. We continue to function, though. Nothing irrevocable has happened.
I think both kids are already ready to go home. Even though I want them here always!
We also are hosting Federico Sheppard, a guitar-building osteopath full of energy and plans and stories. He wants to start a studio and build guitars out here on the meseta somewhere, and during the Holy Year of 2010 host concerts by well-known guitarists and Fulbright-grade guitar students. Sounds interesting, eh?
And so we took him into Sahagun to see possible performance venues, meet dear old Paca and German and the Abadesa, and poke around places with For Rent signs, just to get a feel for the place. Sahagun is looking pretty severe these days, despite the jolly holiday lights mounted over the streets. The leaves are gone from the trees. Leaves and greenery hide a multitude of sins. But we did find an abandoned trade school down by the river. It´s owned by the town. It´s full of tools and extractor fans and workbenches and dust. Up at the pilgrim hostel there´s a 250-person auditorium. Four churches. Lots of places for visitors and artists and composers to stay. A stop on the main railway line between Leon and Madrid. And The Peaceable a mere 9 km. to the east.
As to all that, we shall see. Meantime, Federico is making himself helpful around here, him being an orthopedic doctor and a woodworker as well. Pad´s ankle has been seen-to, the underfloor heating system balanced, the leak in the upstairs shower sealed-up, the hammocks hung. Philip is pulling his weight, happily digging and driving nails out back, putting up a new door in the chicken house, excavating a retaining wall, chopping up firewood. He´s bored enough to work hard! Wish I´d discovered this back when he was a teenager!
Nothing else is getting done. We are not walking any caminos, at least not the physical kind.
Loving people is very hard work.