Letting Go of The Facade

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.

Saves 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.


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