This week Nieves walked through, a pilgrim I walked with on the Camino San Salvador two years ago. (We met over at Bruno´s for coffee.) Several other old friends and associates expect to stop in during coming days, including a group of 10 students from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a week later 13 students from the University of Michigan School of Architecture...(we´re going to play in the mud, and call it "cobbing" and "adobe forming.") Maybe most of all I look forward to next week, to seeing my sisters. Beth and Mart are coming all the way from Arkansas and Pennsylvania to see me, and The Peaceable, and whatever little bit of Spain we can cram into just over a week. I occupy myself with planning our sightseeing odyssey, with cleaning up messes left way too long, with dreaming of big new projects. Even though there are plenty of big old projects still pending, or half-started.
Dael, a Scotsman who made a pilgrimage through here a couple of years ago, will arrive just after my sisters leave -- he plans to stay around through most of May, helping out. He calls himself a "dogsbody," which sounds nasty and funny at the same time. We shall roof, we shall paint, we shall, hopefully, discuss the practicality of the big new possible projects. We like Scotsmen around here, generally. They talk sense.
In summer especially we welcome willing dogsbodies. People who stay and work with us, in exchange for room and board and fellowship, and sometimes tobacco and whiskey.
All this good stuff in the offing, and still I feel rather low.
Maybe it´s the stormy sky, the bright sun cut apart by clouds and rain -- it is finally acting like April!
Maybe it´s just the big shifts and changes going on here. Maybe it is my ongoing inability to write anything more demanding than a trail guide or a diary entry.
Maybe it´s Paddy. We are getting up one another´s nose lately, together all the time.
Perhaps it is depression, still sniffing around the door.
I find myself very much missing the people and creatures who are no longer here.
I miss my grandfather, and my Dad -- people who have been dead for decades. And Juli, who still really ought to be here.
And then Kim sends me a video. And I think, Jeez, Reb!
And when the rain slows down I take Lulu out for a run in the dark wet streets of Moratinos. I see the lights on in the houses that are usually empty. And I know this is just a feeling. Like Holy Week, like the bloody tearful suffering statues parading through the streets of Sahagun, it will pass. It´s not real. I am spending way too much time stuck in my own thoughts.
And it´s not All About Me.