Remembering and Now
If you have a problem before deployment it isn’t going to just disappear because you have deployed. I know it’s a thought drawing me back to those days as an Army Chaplain. Today I have thought about that old thought several times.
I went to the Art Museo here in Bilbao. I was moved by several pieces. I love art. I love the way that an expression of color and imagination from another person can interact with my own emotional content. This experience is often deep and personal it was today.
The nagging injuries of my past have not gone away. I am very thankful for Medical Marijuana and the fact that Florida “got” with the program years ago. In Florida, I am able to live without certain pain. I am able to offer my body the opportunity to sleep without constantly tossing and turning. How did so many get tricked into demonizing Marijuana? Who knows. It is easy to trust and who has time to question everything with the price of vehicle payments?
Today I found out that CBD is legal here in Spain. So, tomorrow when the shops open I will get some. It will not work immediately and it is not in any way as effective as THC. It is still a good thing. Till it accumulates in my system I will just thank God that ibuprofen still works. I never use drugs for pain back in the States unless it’s surgery, dental work or a kidney stone. Having done too many drugs (thanks to overzealous docs and a system that at one time gave Vets whatever they wanted), I don’t like using drugs -at all.
This Pilgrimage reminds me of deployment. I don’t know the language. I’m away from the “One I Love.” There is danger. Hardships abound many of which I am unaware until they present themselves. And most of all, I am still Matthew Owen Williams. The same guy I was back home and all the problems I had back there I have right here. That is why I spent a bunch of time in prayer today.
I prayed in several beautiful churches and attempted to pray in the Gothic Cathedral (the doors were locked, at least to me - symbolic of one of the reasons we started Vet Church). In all three of the Amazing Church Buildings in which I was able to pray there were people begging for money on the doorsteps. One of them even opened the door for me (Oh to be a door keeper in the House of the Lord).
I lit candles where I could but I gave the money to the people outside begging, asking, hoping. I don’t know anything about them. They could be rich or poor. Traveling or living here doing this every day, I don’t know. I live with the thought, -when did we see you hungry and cold and in need? When you saw the least of these-.
The poor would never chose to be poor. I was once poor. I hope to never, ever for any reason be there again.
And there was dancing in the streets. I should have filmed it. But the journey is not over. The contrasts going on inside me today are intense.
I am in pain and in some ways I feel great. I am in Love yet yearning for a lover who is thousands of miles away. I am alone though surrounded by people. I am communicating although I just don’t understand.
As I write this I don’t understand how He could stand there and not answer the question. Pilot had asked Him “What is truth?” and He just looked at the Ruler. All He needed to do was explain but history tells us He didn’t need to do that at all. He just stood there.
They cried out for His crucifixion and He just stood there. They mocked Him and spit on Him yet He just stood there. They whipped Him -still standing. Then He stumbled along under the weight of the very cross upon which He would soon hang. They nailed Him to that cross. They stuck a spear in His side -He mumbles something to His Father asking for forgiveness on their behalf (our behalf) because they were ignorant and did not know. (Pretty sure I don’t know either).
Tomorrow I shoulder that pack again. It ain’t no cross. All my pain pales compared to His suffering. I have a credit card. I have food. I have a wealth of friends who would gladly lend some silver or send a bit of gold to keep me from the gallows pole (Led Zeppelin reference).
Tonight on Good Friday I broke tradition, of course y’all probably expect me to always break tradition. Tonight I had Duck Confit. When I was done the bones made an arrow. The Camino de Santiago is marked with yellow arrows. Pilgrims find their way by looking for the arrows. I guess I’m back on The Way.