the judas tree lied.
in france, our first floor was on the second story. out the front window was a 2 story stone alley wall. looking up at the village rising up the hill, first thing we saw was the judas tree in the courtyard behind the wall. judas trees burst into purple blossom first, then sprout green leaves second. in the mornings, i’d wait for the sun to hit the purple flowers and explode deep blood brilliant.
judas trees are supposed to lose their flowers before chirst rises on easter – the flowers drop to the ground in show of blood shame for betraying christ. the judas bloods in barcelona did not fall.
had 4 hours to explore barcelona’s easter barcelona. first city we’ve trained, bused, taxied, subwayed, and walked. went to the sacred family church designed by gaudi. looked like a mad baker snorted too much of his own flour and over iced a demented mismanaged cake. gaudi is gaudy. tacky too. gaudi believes more is more is more, then adds even more – a few gimcracks here, some gewgaws there, stone snails and fluty flowers sticking out the spires… was what the witch’s gingerbread house would look like if it took too much bad acid before eating hansel and gretel.
decided to ramble down the waterfront ramblas instead – that’s where WeBeHigh.com says to buy hash in barcelona. unfortunately, hash dealers are night critters – while we searched in high noon light of day.
hashless, we returned to train station, tried to find our platform. ever since lady k jumped and clung to the outside of a moving train leaving the station in poland, we’ve been leery of not knowing which platform we’re to be on. doubt feeds on confusion, and both feed fear when you’re in a new place, a strange place where you can’t read the signs or understand the language.
my body pain is beyond aspirin. lady k says it takes me 2 days to recover after we move on to a new place. for 13 hours, we moved friday from bezier france to barcelona spain. spent half of saturday moving from barcelona to barcelona. moved yet again today barcelona to madrid. will fly to marrakech in 2 days. that’s 8 days of required recovery i’m not getting for four moving-ons in five days. instead of recovering, it drains you more. you get so tired your fingers become thick, slow, clumsy. you drop things. your legs turn rubbery, your mind to mush. resolve becomes resignation, you wait through rather than do. it saps your aliveness, your joy. blinds you to possibilities. you dwell on the problems rather than revel in the wonder. i understand why fugitives get caught, or turn themselves in.
i’m not complaining, mind you – i’d rather be doing this than anything else. this is true adventure. but i’m beginning to see why most 61 year olds don’t wander the world with 40 pound packs on their backs. it costs the body, and can drain the mind. lady’s 27 years younger, and she’s out like a light right now. i’ve lost 3 pounds in 2 days, my insides are gaseous, upset, my excrescence chemical warfare. the body like any vehicle or machine requires maintenance, recovery time. this feels more like an endurance test. brings to mind that old duane eddy hit – 40 miles of bad road.
still, you gotta smile. my mental database is being filled with stories, images, memories, magic moments with lady k. and we’re in madrid now – looks like we’re staying in the heart of the old city. go out and prowl tomorrow and everything will be worth it.
the train across spain rode atop the mountains. gorgeous country. they call montana the big sky country. i’ve driven across montana – its sky is nowhere near as big as here.
the young man across from me on the train had 3 cell phones. he’d talk on one while checking the second. occasionally the third would ring, he’d take it out of his pocket, check it, put it back. for four and a half hours non-stop he did this, never once looking out the window at the real world. there’s theories cell phone radiation cause brain damage. not sure he’d notice.