OK, now that the blog about pain got such a resounding response...!
The really painful stuff now is past. I am thankful. I also am thoughtful.
When you´re in pain, you cannot think about much of anything else, and why it´s there, and how long is it going to take, and what do I gotta do to make it go away?
Which means for five days or so I really dropped out of living life. I missed me.
I apologize to all the people whose mail and/or phone calls I delayed answering or completely forgot. (the mail was my decision. the telephone I blame on Movistar, my mobile phone provider. Their telephone sucks, and their service sucks.)
Now that I am back to feeling like myself, I can look forward to things again.
This week we may go to Valladolid to hear a guitarist play. Federico the guitar-building dude from Wisconsin is back in the neighborhood, and he´s bringing a guitarist from Burgos ´round tomorrow to visit. We have some cool pilgrims due in, including an Israeli kibbutznik and a trio of chanting Dominican monks.
Brian, a Pittsburgh boy who lives in Lucca, Italy, is coming soon to stay a little while. In August Gareth is coming back too, during his break for the Big Vatican Seminary. Johnnie Walker will hang out after his long hike from Madrid, and Adam Levin will bring his guitar here for a concert at the Moratinos fiesta in August. And in September me and Kathy and Piers will hike the Camino San Salvador once again, taking good notes this time for the Confraternity of St. James guide.
If you want to be trained here to be a hospitalero, I´ll be doing that in November. Let me know ASAP so I can properly prepare.
Somewhere in there, if the veterinarian is right, I will lose my friend Una Dog. (Or maybe I will not. Inspired by my neighbor Christy, I made a vow to God via San Roque: if Una´s alive and healthy next year, I will walk a whole honkin´ camino in thanksgiving. With you bloggers as my witnesses.)
It is not very Buddhist to look so much into the future, because it´s really best to live right here, right now, in this moment. Ironically, I find that having a nasty pain is the best way to keep myself in the present -- not harking back to the hurts or triumphs of the past, and not driving myself toward something next week. Just existing. Just enjoying the happy faces of dogs, or the evening wind in the treetops, or the amazing sight of a great "dust devil" traveling across a freshly-cut field outside Sahagún, a huge, swirling column of swirling straw! The garden is producing green and yellow beans at a great rate, tomatoes are coming on strong, and wide acres of farm fields are now going brilliant yellow with the annual sunflower show.
One of the readings at Mass last week was about the "thorn" in St. Paul´s side, the undisclosed pain the apostle said kept his feet on the ground. Kept him humble, and aware.
Kept him In the Moment.