Pádraig and I went to join a ceremony at noon today following the stations of the cross. Whatever you think about or believe in relating the stations, it is one of the most powerful prayers and ceremonies I know. I had half forgotten about it, so it really hit me very deep down. – To me it’s an allegory for what life is in essence. Life, from the very start is deemed to end, no matter what you do or think or try to do. In between birth and death, there’s a lot of suffering, whether you admit to it or not, whether you have experienced it yet or not.There are also those dreamboaters along the way who do the most incredible things to encourage and help you.

But while I was joining the prayers I could not help but thinking about the poem by Antonio Machado, used as the lyrics for what I would consider to be one of the most significant and memorable songs ever, La Saeta:

¡Oh, la saeta, el cantar
al Cristo de los gitanos,
siempre con sangre en las manos,
siempre por desenclavar!
¡Cantar del pueblo andaluz,
que todas las primaveras
anda pidiendo escaleras
para subir a la cruz!
¡Cantar de la tierra mía,
que echa flores
al Jesús de la agonía,
y es la fe de mis mayores!
¡Oh, no eres tú mi cantar!
¡No puedo cantar, ni quiero
a ese Jesús del madero,
sino al que anduvo en el mar!

I can’t and I don’t want to sing to the Jesus on the cross, but to the one who walked on the sea.

If you have a few minutes, listen to the song by Joan Manuel Serrat, and remember the times in Spain, one year before Franco’s death. It’s from a cassette (!) I bought and played and played and played at the time Pat and I lived in Salamanca and met for the first time. There are days when I wonder have I move on at all from those days. And I think I have a bit in myself of the young people who don’t like their birthdays, because they don’t want to grow up?