Monday, March 5, 2012

The Noise of the Spirit

Today is my birthday, and I'm leaving in a little bit to meet Nisshin Jen, another blog friend, in town from Japan.

Before I go, I wanted to write something more about the shifts I've experienced this past year.

A change I distinctly notice is that I dwell much more on the ground these days. I'm even becoming a nursing assistant---about as grounded, physical work as you can get. (I just started applying for work last week).

Walking Camino de Santiago this past summer, I experienced a shift in where I locate the Spirit. I've usually imagined Spirit as being an silvery slip of wisp; but I heard the Spirit clearly the first night on the road, in the cheese-grater snores of my fellow pilgrims.

Instead of being annoyed at the roncadors (the wonderful Spanish word for "snorers"), as I had when I walked the Camino in 2001, I felt instead such tenderness toward the sweet, vulnerable little creatures we are, asleep, our lives depending on this slipstream of air...
We're all breathing together, sharing the air, walking along the same road for such a short time.

Another night, I lay on the narrow, saggy top bunk-bed in a crowded albergue listening to the in and out breaths of laughter---an old man and two old women from the Netherlands were having giggle fits about something. I fell asleep smiling.

Speaking of the noise of the Spirit, Momo sent me this 40-second video of young rhinos making the most amazing noises!

 Marz calls me Baby Rhino (even before we met in person), so I've been paying more attention to rhinos--I had no idea they are so playful--the young ones scamper like colts. (Like tapirs, they are relatives of horses.) They are the most talkative animals in Africa too!

Here's my alter-ego and me:

Off to catch the bus now!


bink said...

Are you sure these sounds aren't someone blowing on a blade of grass to amuse the rhinos? Too cute! I have a backyard... shouldn't I have a rhino in it?

poodletail said...


Jennifer said...

It was really wonderful to see you and have wonderful conversation (and cornmeal pancakes!) together! And OMG, those rhinos! They're obviously just having so much fun making noise together, I love it.

Emma J said...

I love that image of the roncadors. I get caught by this same tenderness sometimes watching people riding the bus -- we are all so tender-bodied. Thanks for this!

bink said...

I just looked at the tooth brushing pic again. That picture deserves more praise than it got... I'm a genius if I do say so myself. :)