The sky is full of herds of birds, lots flying south, a few heading north! This afternoon we saw eight gray geese fly across the fields near St. Martin de la Fuente. The sky is becoming silent now. In the morning, out on the Promised Land, nothing can be heard but crows. I saw a snake out there the other day, black and gray, running away.
It is manure-spreading season. The familiar perfume hangs in the air. The flies are bad.
At the bodegas work continues on the new underground restaurant, with a forest of floor-jacks and elaborate cement-injection machines blasting away on the roof. Someday, something awesome is going to be there. Around the other side of the hill the Segundino family is rebuilding a collapsed bodega, connecting it inside with their current cave. Beautiful arches of bricks, all of it going to be buried at the end. We are keeping busy too, taking care of business: furnace maintenance, new front tires on the car ("Fear As Tony," the tire man recommended: Great for farm vehicles. Tough as nails. American. Then I saw the brand printed on the side of the tire: Firestone! Aha!) All we need now is a window and door out back, for Paddy´s painting studio.The next ordeal.
It all would be rather boring and anodyne if I was not working a good four hours each day on Zaida, the novel I wrote last November. I am doing an overhaul, a re-write, smoothing out all the repetitions and stupidness that slips into a document that size. It is productive, it is creative, and it is funner than just about anything else I do. Half my day is spent in Sahagun, but a thousand years ago.
The work is only apropos, seeing as Autumn is on its way.
Next to the downstairs toilet we keep a copy of "The Unquiet Grave," a series of epigrams by that cheery old elf Cyril Connolly. In there this morning I found this:
The creative moment of the writer comes with the autumn. The winter is the time for reading, revision, preparation of the soil; the spring for thawing back to life; the summer is for the open air, for satiating the body with health and action, but from October to Christmas is for the release of mental energy, the hard crown of the year.
Hear, hear, Cyril. I could not agree more! And now that I have the re-write half finished, other projects are flowing in -- Mitch is going to Bolivia at the end of the month, and will be writing madly after that to have his book in shape for a November deadline. I agreed to do that re-write, too -- no doubt chapter by chapter, as the draft is finished. Should be fun. I might actually make some money, too!
And then there´s the Vadiniense guide, and an article or two about the route for a couple of pilgrim magazines. Kim sent me a huge zip file of blog entries and photos... I haven´t had the nerve to open it yet.
It is very good to be booked-up. Things like blogs, housework, friends and birthday cards are neglected, but I don´t feel too guilty. I am doing what I do best, what I love most.