Redolent Of Pig

Stone fence, green pasture, cloudy sky
Stone fence, green pasture, cloudy sky

I came home from Spain with way too many photos and if I had any common sense I would be rethinking my picture taking hobby. Around Rochester I collect a few photos everyday and I don’t even notice the time it takes to squirrel them away. When they pop up randomly, while the library is shuffled on our tv, I am usually happy to revisit the reason I took the photo. But we’ve been back for ten days and I still haven’t even seen all the photos from the Camino. I’ve seen most of Peggi’s iPhone photos and I envy the gps tagging on them.

“A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Camino de Santiago” by John Brierley is the bible for most but we ended up using my cousin’s guidebook, “Hiking the Camino de Santiago” by Anna Dintaman and David Landis. Neither come in a download version (because the profit margin is too slim?) and we didn’t want to lug the actual book so Peggi took photos of the pages. She figured we’d get to Leon before we had to return to Rochester and we did so that’s all she scanned. We went downtown today to check the book out again. We parked in the Culver Road Armory lot and walked through the Park Avenue neighborhood to the library. The Magnolia blossoms on Oxford street were falling so fast it looked like it was snowing.

The books on the Camino were in two places, the history section on the third floor and filed under “Religion” in the reference room across the street in the old building. I picked up a book written in 1926 called “Forgotten Shrines of Spain” by Mildred Stapley Byne. Quite a few of the landmarks we had just seen are listed in the index. When we got back to the Armory, a six mile round trip, we stopped in Trata for dinner and sat out on the deck. I started skimming the pages and found this timeless passage. “The vegetarian would be hard put in a Spanish monastery. The chick peas and spinach are redolent of pig just as an arroz is of cod, chicken or chorizo.” But then this, a section talking about the Virgin of Guadalupe, how her appearance was connected to a myth that the Spaniards brought to “the savage Mexicans,” a reminder that 1926 was almost a century ago. And then some downright nasty lines about “the old Muslim and Jew choked streets.”

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