Saturday, 25 July 2009

Gut Check

Usually it happens in July. I shall call it my annual gut check.

Usually in July I wander off the warm fuzzy Peaceable ponderings and write about what´s going on in someone else´s life. It´s usually an abstract of how I view someone else´s behavior or lifestyle or issues.
The people I write about get around to reading the blog. And they´re offended or hurt.

Offending and hurting people is what you do a lot when you´re a journalist. You write it how you see and hear it, and you have to disregard a lot of the self-image and PR and family pride you might trample underfoot on the race for deadline. When you are exposing crooked politicians, or typing in the list of Drunk Driving Arrests, or describing the hellish home life that led to a criminal career, truth-telling trumps all.

But I am not a journalist any more, and this blog is not a newspaper, and I am writing about my life in Spain.

So I should not have written about my friends´ troubles in Paris, even if they figure into my own troubles, even if I didn´t reveal any gory detail. I am not Eminem rapping about his Mama, nor Leonard Cohen indicting an unfaithful lover, nor Philip Roth, novelizing the horrors of surgical scars and incontinent old age. Maybe because they are so talented and famous these peoples´ friends and loved-ones know their foibles and pain may show up in their art someday, and they give them a pass. Or maybe these people have burned through all their friends by now. In any case, they all make beautiful use of anguish.

I am not so gifted as they are. And I value my friends more than I value a blog... much as I love having my little cyber-soapbox!

So I´ve taken down the Paris post. If you missed it, just let it suffice that I spent some days in Paris holding a friend´s hand, and it was difficult.

My mother´s health is taking a bad turn. Una will likely soon have her leg amputated at the university veterinary hospital in Leon, if the cancer has not already spread to her lungs.

It is hot here, the garden is burgeoning with green peppers and eggplants and green beans. The dust is bad. Sunflowers are blooming everywhere, putting big squares of bright yellow among the amber fields of cut grain. The pilgrims continue, and we continue to help them out when we can.

We are not saints yet.


M.A. said...

Siempre hermosos tus escritos, aunque a veces te parezca que tienen espinitas.
Estuve el fin de semana pasado en Astorga; brillaba un sol glorioso y corría un vientecillo fresco, también glorioso, que nos animaba a seguir el rastro de piedras llenas de grabado muuuy antiguos. Algunos peregrinos estaban contentos de que el verano fuese tan clemente esos días.
Besitos a las espinas.

claire bangasser said...

I thought your mother's heart was OK. Sorry to hear that it may not be as good as you hopes.
You're having me storm heaven and pray that Una's cancer stops where it is and does not go any further.
We miss the Camino very much these days and following your life in Moratinos has a way of making me feel better while increasing the longing to be back on it :-)
Thank Godde for your being here!

Gary White said...

Sorry to hear about your Mom and Una. We three (Elyn, Gary, and Anne) take off tomorrow for Barcelona. Thanks for showing Anne a great time while she was here. She is taking many positive memories away from Spain and you were a big part of it.

Hope to see you when we return in 10-15 days.

Teri said...

Just hugs - whatever you need them for.

Anonymous said...

You're having me storm heaven and pray that Una's cancer stops where it is and does not go any further.
Getting a Payday advance is just a few steps away