The holidays are nearing and it seems that there is some hitch hiking in store for me. In memory of my past trips, I decided to work through my old travellers’ blogs, take the mistakes out, change the names where necessary and post them here piece by piece, on Wednesdays. I’m starting with the final trip I took so far, written just after I finished my studies. The series contains a storyline about love and friendship. It has six parts. This is the final part.
August 24th 2011
There is a very thin line between romantic and friendly love. Both are embedded in a space of reciprocal appreciation wherein things just happen; things that would not happen when someone is alone. Loving actively is cultivating this space by being present in it. Exploring it together. Feeding it. A spiritual dance in a small protected paradise. Without taking notice of its limitations. That way, none exist.
Logroño. My final destination before home. I feel isolated at first, but the embracing warmth of the group opens me within a day. Out of the travellers mood into a more together state of mind. Wine. Lots of excellent headache free Rioja. Friends. Eight in number. We have delicious food, the house is tidy and we have daily living room concerts far better than the average campfire tune. An organically working whole.
A. and I go way back, to the time when he spoke spanish only. That’s twenty-four years ago. Dealing with similar challenges, having similar hopes, we’ve become classmates in the school of life. He used to be the impersonation of living chaos. Inseparable from his twin sister’s guidance. An appearance that has become slightly more organized, but his tendency to fly remains joyfully present close to the centre of his being. A vagabond, deliciously charming lady-killer and a great musician. When I look him in the eyes, I know that things are exactly as they should be. I love his insecurities about life and the universe. He wants to know, and through that he discovers many of life’s mysteries.
His brother J. is quite different. More expressively soft and cute. More held back and shy, but more determined in a parental way. They share their musical skills and touch.
N. and I envy that. The amazing concerts they have been giving this week are perfect illustrations of the reason why he and I have been hesitating to pick up instruments of any kind, particularly here.
We reach the monastery by car. Walk from here. We leave the road uphill. I go first. I feel like I’m leading a pack of nomads, asking the spirits of the forest to let us through and to guide us. Pines protect us, rocks lift our steps. We go quickly and quietly. No complaints. We hold, drink and go on. Leaders take turns.
Humming bells of sheep. The volume rises slowly with our step by step approaching of the herd. The sound holds our minds captured in the silence of the forest. As we enter the herd, we feel how our presence disturbs one or two of the sheep. The contrast between their movements and the bells of the other sheep reveals that before we came, there was a magical pond of harmonious rhythmical coherence. We all feel it, no one speaks a word. As we proceed, the volume goes down until we can not even hear the bells’ whisper far away. Hidden somewhere in the memory a friendly fellowship on its way to the top.