What do they feel? What are they thinking about? All those animals which come up so close … Guanacos, armadillos, foxes, ostriches, cats, whales, dogs. Especially dogs. Two years ago when I was cycling in Argentina, almost each day I was being accompanied by dogs. Nothing has changed. There are lots of stray dogs in here. And that deep, unutterable sadness expressed in their eyes. That longing. And wild joy when you look at them. When you whistle. When you come closer. First, they get up and want to run away. But as soon as they realize that nobody throws stones, they stop amazed, confused and start to stare. In the end they wag their tails and approach slowly, with caution. Then, they gently lick your hand. In turn, you touch their neck. And that’s it. Now, they will not go away. They lay down and you get their penetrating, yet grateful look. And you feel as if they always stared at you in that way and that they always were with you. And they will remain. They will always be close to you.
I get up and take my stuff – I can not linger here the whole day. Que fiaca! I try to shake off sloth and get a move on. I put my sneakers on. I found them the day before. Typically, there is only one shoe on the road. While cycling, one may find plenty of them. Large, small, for summer or winter, but usually there is just one. For the first time in my life I have found two. They have holes in the soles, but it doesn’t matter. Even their size is good. I saw them on that very day when I thought that I do not have a second pair, and it’s getting warmer. As if someone put them in front of me. Or as if I made them up. Similarly as I did with Mrs. Cecilia, her husband, their eleven cats and fish and chips for dinner.
The previous day while eating old sausages I was dreaming about having some fish. A few hours later I bumped into Mrs Cecilia in a shop, and after accepting an offer to visit her in Las Grutas, I was asked to choose the menu. Fish and chips and pancakes for dessert, I said. Not only did I get what I wanted, but in the morning I also got huge packed lunch – enough for me and the dogs.
I push the bike through the sand, the animals follow me. Then they start running when I start cycling, and in the end I lose them somewhere on the road. And I do not know if they still rush through the pampa, or on the streets, or along a ditch, or maybe they come back or just stay where they had stopped, because they no longer had the strength to move on.
I put up my tent in the same place I had done two years ago. And then the evening comes, and one can hear whispers in the air. “There is silence, every sound is clear, not distorted in any way. The fog hangs over the meadow, grass shines, huge mountains pill up around. Everything penetrates simply to the soul and delights it calmly, directly. It seems to me that an older, wise and beautiful woman speaks and tells something with her low-pitched and calm voice, and each word is full, sensed and lived to the end. (…) I turn myself into an instrument and let somebody to play on me.” Andrzej Bobkowski