Monday, June 30, 2014

What is Left When the Present is Gone

The road, like life, for which it is such a perfect metaphor, is as much about the past as the present. What remains when the rest of the journey has vanished are the good times, the many moments which made the road worth walking. Much of the labour, the drudgery, is lost to the mind, and only the beautiful, the striking, thecurious, the great, the baffling, the monumental, the surprisingly satisfying, the unexpectedly perfect, is left in the mind. The 'lubina' I had for dinner in a cider house in Pendueles last night, caught that morning with a line by a man from the village who still makes his living thay way, and grilled to perfection over the charcoal. The bull that blocked our path on the hills near Andrín this morning. Andrín itself, beautifully kept, the newcomers building in the old style, clean and colourful, and with wonderful views of the mountains rising opposite. The bufones near Llanes, sinkholes in the karstic formations of the area, some almost perfect circles, apparently bottomless cylinders going deep into the earth, throwing out sprays of seawater when the high tide forces its way in and under then. The river Purón, ankle-deep and clear and cold, running to the sea just there between high cliffs, looking as though it were a thousand miles from the sea, a pure, green, gurgling stream that you cross on an old wooden bridge. And although it is the road itself that matters, you remember the joy of getting somewhere, when you thought you never would. The path from Andrín to Llanes rose higher and highe and turned ever more away from the town it was supposed to take us too. A strong wind was blowing and I had the feeling we would never arrive, but be forever taunted by the unattainable town we could seen beneath us on the shore, and we would be forever rising and turning away until from fatigue or desperation or dramatic necessity we would reach an edge that we must fall from. The water at the beach of El Sablón felt that much better this evening, because we had arrived.

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