Awe come on folks! Vic, Spain -June 21-27, 2022
Retrospective It’s june 22-I am lying in bed. I have a view of three beautiful horses who are chasing each other about their field. Two tiny dogs – a chihuahua that looks like a tiny fat bat who I have nicknamed “potato” or if you wish, “bat-dog” and a jack russell named Momo, are snuggling at my feet. We are resting. I am doing my best to kick the cold I have (gonna take a Covid test, to be sure). I’m too wiped out to be pissed off.
Yesterday, the 21st, I was feeling fine. I rose early, played with all the dogs, ate a meager breakfast because I’m determined to continue fitting into my clothes, or better yet fit into smaller ones, walked around the ranch, was fed lunch by seventeen year old Daniel (what a sweetheart) wrote, meditated, talked to the horses and napped. I felt fine until evening when I felt a scratch in my throat. “No fair,” I thought to myself (There’s no point in bitching to anyone else, is there?) and after dinner I hit the sack after drinking several cups of very hot herbal tea. I got up and popped every imaginable homeopathic I had in my kit hoping at least one might do the trick.
I tossed. I turned. I played solitaire. I dozed. I moaned…insert more inner self deprecating bitching alternating with “this is only a cold”, and a renewed sense of determination “this will be over tomorrow.” It was probably 4 am when I thought I might slept some more after guzzling the remainder of my liter of water in hopes I might exorcise these demons from viral hell from my bod.
At 8am I wake feeling better but it doesn’t last. WTH ? I make more tea, eat some yogurt and consider taking a hot shower to further the purge of my pores. Alas the shower in my room goes to instant scald, which I discovered when I was already buck naked but fortunately found the strength to leap out of the way of third degree burns. I opt for a sponge bath later on.
I am lounging in bed and feeling ready for some more napping. My daughter, Julia had said, when I had gotten food poisoning a week or so ago and was considering flying home Immediately, “you can be sick at home in 104 degree heat or in Europe where it’s cooler. I opted for the latter and am doing the same now.
It’s days later. I hate colds. Metaphorically speaking I did not think it possible to be struck twice by lightning. I mean come on, really? First torn leg muscle in Madrid, then food poisoning in La Alberca, then a rotten cold (thankfully the Covid tests were negative) in Vic? Thankfully I am improving. I will not complain about a stuffed up nose. Is my body wearing out? Is this what happens as we get older? I refuse to believe it. Screw you aging cells, our concept of beauty, plastic surgery etc.
Last night the boys, Alva, 13 and Dana, 17, watched Ted with me while parents Marti and Sylvia dined with fellow soccer parents. The movie was a perfectly raucous movie for teenage boys. I would’ve preferred a Marvel or DC offering but, whatever, the boys enjoyed it, which was my aim. We ate ice cream. We bonded.
Let’s see, back to what else I can remember. In spite of the congestion in my head, about my week here in the beautiful countryside surrounding Vic. My days were punctuated by early, light breakfasts of toast and coffee, while the athlete-horses frolicked about after their morning meal. There are so many types of birds – lots of chirping and squawking, occasional hoots of owls, duck quacks and sporadically one can hear peacocks yelling in the distance, but the most interesting are the magpies who seem to pick on all the others at will. Alva, the thirteen year old found a seemingly injured magpie and brought it to me the other day. I told him to set it down, that perhaps it had flown into a window and was merely stunned. It managed to fly, somewhat unsteadily, away. Was I correct about the window? Whatever.
This morning I heard a whole lotta bahs. Lo and behold there were a bunch o’sheep in-the pasture just outside my bathroom window. “Howdy lambchops!” I yelled. I don’t think they understood nor if they did would they have cared or appreciated my words. Undoubtedly they were busy mowing. Did you know this shepherd drives a Land Rover with his dogs barking in the back? So much for walking and carrying a crook. Pretty funny.
The other night I had the window open in my bathroom and accidentally left the light on. In the morning I groggily walked in to observe that the walls and shower curtain were decorated with an assortment of moths. Both Pretty in a sort of nature has her own design sense and weird that I didn’t freak out. I tried to coax a few to the outside then figured I’d allow them to find their own way the following night by remembering to turn off the light. Most had gone by morning. There is something pretty special about living in a more natural environment and weirdly embarrassing how our seemingly innocent acts of urbanity can have negative effect upon it. It’s been so many years since I’ve lived outside the city…a wake-up call.
This week has given me the opportunity to look with new eyes and appreciate the simpler ways of pleasant, delicious, sometimes noisy, family meals, regular siestas, depending upon well water for bathing, toilet flushing and clothes washing, the neighing and galloping hooves of horses, birdsong and bunnies frolicking about. The colors are more vivid as are the smells though none of these unpleasant.
27, June- I’m heading home to Austin in a couple days. In some ways this past week has been a bit hazy. Taking my unfortunate malaise out of the equation this time has afforded me the opportunity to know my friends a bit better, to spend time relaxing and enjoying a world far from the crazy world at home. Have I mentioned I’ve spent little time noticing the clusterfuck in Texas or the Not so Supreme Court? I’ll jump into the fray probably next week.
This afternoon I am planning on spending with Martí’s mom, Catalunya’s living treasure, artist Pilarin Bayes. Her work includes hundreds of books, thousands of works of art. This 81 year ball of non stop creative energy shows no sign of slowing down, which is good since she has a continuously growing list of patrons. It seems everywhere I’ve walked in Vic has been touched by her, from a colorful drawing on a butcher’s wall, a hanging sign outside a cafe, books on a child’s shelf and soon a mural on the wall of a business. The list goes on. We spent yesterday under giant linden trees beside her pool at the family’s home. The boys frolicked in the pool while we discussed in English, French, Spanish and Catalan the state of our collective worlds and the importance of artists during troubled times.
I feel so fortunate to have friends who have been kind enough to open their home and lives to me. The graciousness of their family makes me feel there is hope for the future of our world. am I feeling sappy? You betcha.
It is now evening – it rained so my visit with Pilar was cancelled. I’m so glad we were able to spend yesterday together. Tomorrow I head to Barcelona to spend the night before flying weds back to austin. I’ll be on the hunt for last minute birthday gifts for grandkids and last minute crème Catalan to nourish my healing soul.
More later. Adeo
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Safe journey home! Janet, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your reports on this adventure you’ve been having. I hope you return to full health immediately and can enjoy your last moments there. MA
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