Day 15th of the virtual Camino.
A long and difficult day filled with things I cannot talk about. My students, being drama students, are often people of few words and large gestures. Office Teams chat with its limited GIF selection is not particularly helpful, and a terse hyperbolic is unsettling.
Pinteresque text only really works on stage.
I had a good cry. And I will never really know if it was necessary. I always choose to err on the side of compassion – and hope it isn’t the side of melodrama.
I’m fortunate not to be moving through these days alone, though. Husband-hugs, and dog … what-do-I-call-them? Suspension flops? There is little in the world that can be likened to a 30-kilo hound who presses his forehead into yours for two solid minutes, then flops onto your rib cage with a sigh, trusting you aren’t going anywhere for another chapter or two. Leonard is the master of the micro-dramaturgy that makes up my days.
I am loved. And am grateful for the hugs and the presssssssssssss-plops.
On the virtual Camino today our guide takes us past ruins, which I suppose have a particular resonance in our imagination these days. I love ruins. It’s easy to romanticize when the darker ages become concepts we can wear like heirlooms. Vicarious courage? Maybe a more generous perspective would be a connection to the hopes and fears of previous generations?
It’s funny. This plague. It does not feel like a “dark” age. It feels plastic and slick-yellow.
Ah, but the sky. Yesterday the blues were soothing. Today the grays are varied, dark as stones – and still soothing. A variable constant.
I grabbed the mail at the beginning our walk around the block. Silly, but a book in the mailbox will override common sense. The cardboard of the package soaked through by the time we got home. Leonard shook a cup-full of rain over the walls in the entrance hall while I opened the package. I don’t care. It’s a book written by a friend from long ago, whom I’m grateful to have reconnected with recently.
I have thought about gratitude before on this virtual Camino. How sometimes it doesn’t come honestly to me, and how I choose to open myself to delight instead – and let gratitude come. This, if I find easier. Small delights. Dog-flops and hugs, and the I-don’t-care-if-my-house-needs-vacuuming-come-in moments.
The we-don’t-have-any-furniture-yet-but-come-over-and-let’s-kose oss moments.
I think there are a myriad of ways that people define friendship. Mine is rather simple. And it is also rather one-sided: I don’t see friendship as an agreement. People who delight me? I count them as friends.
Ah, but don’t get me wrong. I am delighted by a wide-range of things.
Honesty delights me. Intention delights me. The fundamental goodness of people delights me.
The delight in ruins? No one built those cathedrals, bathhouses, or amphitheaters alone. I clutch at the heirloom of every community that ever was.