Sunday, 23 December 2012

Words on strike








There were friends and movies and accidental clothing coordination.



I played lots with my cat

 


I went to the swimming pool. This hadn't taken place for at least 4 years...


I saw the Hopper exhibition in Madrid. I reached the conclusion Hopper was a mixture of Buscemi and Tim Curry. Do you agree?


Had a wisdom tooth removed and there were lots of pills to take. Sometimes they had pretty colours.



I took one last picture of Nino. He was as good and beautiful as ever.


Found some weird relics at home...


I also met one of my favourite artists, illustrator Sara Morante:


 There were many walks around town. Gentrification brings cool art, too. Mixed feelings.




 

Tea offered some weird adivice... And what IF your lover is also a camel?


Autumn is almost unkown in this town so you have to take a picture when you see something like this:


Also, quintessencial cold season food: chicken peas and spinach. YUMMM!

                                        


There were books, as always. Here some cattiness by Luis Cernuda.


Bat for Lashes was a constant companion throughout the year. As an aside, I was terribly sick when I saw her. I regret nothing though.


There have been lots of short trips and glorious skies to behold. Here is a mixture of both.


Some students know how to be both a pain in the ass and unbearebly cute at the same time.



I saw the sea, the Mediterranean, after many years.


There was London. Always London.



 There were many demonstrations that so far have been fruitless...


 And meet the anarkitties!



So it seems I can't keep my mouth shut even when I say words are sometimes meaningless. Some pics I didn't include were about one of my 2012 obsessions: buildings of any kind. I think I might do a separate post about it.

One last thing. I'm going to London for the first week of January and I'll be spending New Year's Eve there as well. I hope this sets the note for the rest of the year.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Mammals



My cat died last summer. He had been sick for a year, more or less, but had a good prognosis so when the situation took a turn for the worse it all was quite sudden and unexpected.
I always thought I’d make a big post when this happened but here I am, writing about it many months later. I remember, though not verbatim, how in King Lear Cordelia says that if she felt less intensely, she could speak about her love for her father more easily. I’ve always felt identified with those words.

You see, the good thing about animals is that you don’t have to talk about feelings. You don’t have to talk at all – even though that didn’t stop me from doing silly talk to Nino. In these last 3 years I’ve lost people I deeply cared about – real and metaphorical deaths – but the absence that hurts me more is that of my cat. I miss his constant and quiet presence, his feline calmness. I miss the smell and softness of his fur. His purrs. I miss his friendship, for he was that, my best friend.

I miss this type of friendship, of wordless communication. The relationship with our animals is pure and simple love, unadulterated feeling, untainted by human expectations or obligations. Mammals interacting with each other.
Very often, relationships exhaust me. I’m a classic introvert, I need my own space, my alone time. This can be a couple of days or a month. This doesn’t mean I don’t care about my loved ones but there are many ways of loving, all having the same result but I can understand how some people might feel hurt or confused. I’m also liable to those feelings myself, I’m much more sensitive than what I’d like to admit.
This is why I feel at home with animals. You can love and respect each other while you’re peacefully ignoring the other.
Also, animals don’t give a shit. They don’t care if those shoes you’re wearing are new and cost you a small fortune but will lay down in bed with you when you feel sick, tired and everything around you seems to be collapsing. They might wake you up in the middle of the night and still you love them because you love them. They only want a carer, a bowl of food and a roof. They won’t be with us for long and yet we jump into these relationships because that kind of love won’t hurt us, won’t make us feel raw or vulnerable. Your pet doesn’t expect an anniversary dinner. You don’t welcome a pet into your life thinking “Ah, at last I have my mini-me” or “Now I feel whole”. When you introduce an animal into your life, you end up realising you had been complete your whole life. And that you could love selflessly, no matter how much it hurts. Love for love’s sake.

I learned a lot about myself through Nino’s life, but also through his death. The moment that remains in my head is the night we took him to the vet to put him down. He had been hiding the whole day; it was painfully obvious he could no longer fight so the decision had to be made. I expected him to be silent and passive when we took him but instead he surprised me by meowing really loudly, just like any other trip to the vet. It was as if he was telling us “My body might be broken but my spirit is whole.  I am me, I’ll always be me, and nothing is going to change that. I am ready for the next thing.” Indeed, the only calm mammal in the vet’s surgery that night was Nino. It was as if he knew his end was near and that’s how things were meant to be.

Or maybe this is just wishful thinking from my part.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Hello world!



I didn't mean to post because I'm very busy with life minutiae right now BUT...

This picture was taken a few days ago in Madrid. A few days ago, not in 1940. What you see above is a Falange demonstration (the Fascist Party, still legal here) approved by our government. Just typing these sentences fills me with shame and rage but I know people around the world read my blog and, even if you're just a few, I think it is very important for you to be aware of the things that are happening in Europe. Don't be fooled, this has nothing to do with economy.

I feel it's a very complicated issue for us Spaniards. First, there's our grandparents' generation, those who lived a civil war won by the bad guys. They later saw their country, utterly destroyed, remain "neutral" (not really) during WWII. They lived most of their adult lives in a dictatorship, knowing nothing but fear, hardships and repression (especially if you had lost the war). Then came our parents and here there's a clear division: those who belonged to the middle classes and those who were working class (they probably had lost the war) (a.k.a. my family). The first group was educated and rebellious, they wanted to bring down the system. The second, if my parents are anything to judge by, continued with the same lifestyle of their parents until they jumped on the Democracy bandwagon. And then there's us, those who were born in a free and peaceful country but are now living in strange times. But... was Spain free and peaceful after all?

I'm not fit for a political essay and I can't begin to explain the complicated history of my country, especially if you know very little of Spain BUT...

People living outside Europe, just so you know, the results of the Greek elections did not happen in a void. This continent is rotten and in some places, like Spain, we didn't take a hard look at the mirror before shedding the past. In fact, we didn't shed the past. We just put a nice ribbon on it and called it Transition. People living outside Europe, you should care about all these things because they are contagious.



In case you want to take a look at the photos of the demonstration, click here. If you want to learn about the context, here's the wikipedia entry.