This entry is part 7 of 16 in the series Postcards from a Conquistador


Poem: 'Grief was the armor I brought with me from Extremadura.'

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


  1. Grief as armour? Interesting. I’ve just been thinking along similar lines.


  2. Oh really? Well, I guess I was thinking how grief can feed a hatred and/or resistance to forgiveness that’s very difficult to overcome. Extremadura, of course, was always very impoverished and traumatized by warfare with the Moors and then with Portugal. And that’s where so many of the conquistadors came from.


  3. For those who are wondering what happened to yesterday’s post, I deleted it due to a disatisfaction with the image (which I felt when I posted it, even before a commenter pointed out that the rock looked like a piece of toast) and to some extent with the text at this juncture in the series. I may reuse the poem later. (I didn’t overwrite the post, so it should still be visible in the feed.)


  4. Interesting. Lately, I’ve also been thinking about grief as armor.
    How it can provide isolation from potential future pain.

    I was puzzled by the disappearance of the earlier “toast in the snow” image.
    The words worked for me, but the image was definitely incongruous.


  5. Yes, my thinking was more in line with Bev’s, in fact exactly that, a shell to protect you from further pain, you retreat, regardless.


  6. You are both righter than I am, I think — yet another good example of why I tend to shun analytical writing here! Yes, that kind of shell, primarily. The other stuff is secondary. That’s what I meant. :)


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