It’s a crisp morning in Logrono. It’s going to be another beautiful day in Spain, if perhaps a bit hot, especially given our late start. The women have gone ahead, while Julio and I sit in a café-bar called Ibiza and consume bocadillos and café con leche (me) and hot chocolate (Julio). Julio reads El Pais, one of the national papers, and translates for me the occasional outrage. Julio often sounds outraged, but you don’t ever detect
real anger, resentment, or bad faith. It’s more of a stance, like performance art done by someone who’s a comic at heart.
I’m now sitting at a table outside Ibiza, opposite a park. The streets are largely deserted. The dearth of thinking I have done on where I shall live, or what I shall write, or what direction to take next in my vocations, is more than a little surprising. There was a time when I could not get certain topics off my mind. Now I can walk and have nary a thought enter my head that’s aimed more than a few hours into the future.
But I must credit my instinct with knowing what I need, and apparently what I need is, truly, a break from the thinking and weighing and analysis. Indeed, yesterday I had an intimation, a sense, that the detachment I feel from the life I led before the trip would prove to be fertile ground for feeling my way into what’s next. I had the sense that I needed to quiet the chatter of before so as to be receptive to the whisperings of what I might want now. This is a change from what I expected, which was to have ideas drop into my head via the alchemical process of walking meditatively.
Some of the Spanish cheeses are delicious. Yesterday I discovered ventero, a soft cheese reminiscent of freshly-made parmesan.
I’m hoping Mom’s ailments do not worsen. It would be ironic if, on this spiritual-
emotional-health pilgrimage, her health deteriorated simply because she could not get access to the food she needed. Her diet in the U.S. is so rarefied and esoteric (compared to what now passes for nutrition in our country) that she usually has to shop and cook for herself to stay on it. It’s even more difficult to be a vegan in Spain than in the U.S., and that’s not even counting the pilgrim’s diet. To eat as a vegan here would require her to do more investigation in each town, walk farther, and spend considerably more.
But her spirits are indefatigable. There is so much life in her that it’s unimaginable that it could leave her anytime soon.