Saturday, June 09, 2007

My one-month muse

Today it is exactly one month since I landed here in Madrid to start this new phase of my life, and to celebrate the occasion, as well finally having Internet at home after three years of public cafés, I gifted myself with my role model’s new album, ‘An Ancient Muse’. As usual, Loreena McKennitt, the bard of Wanderlust, sets off to the possible outter reaches in the wildest, unofficial domains of these wild rovers of yore, the Celts. This time, after living for months with a family of nomad cattle breeders in Mongolia, a northern asian country where redhaired mummies thought to be predecessors of the Celts were found, she marvels, journals and sings about homecoming, pilgrimage, promised lands and the dust of the road.

As is the nature of open hearts, stories and History are gently parallelled with current affairs and circumstances. Loreena muses on her travel logs about how the ageless dramas and the grave pain created by the fight for the land and its gifts of various natures appear in our contemporary times, and I gain understanding on my personal moment.

One month in a foreign city is not long, but it is certainly enough to having learnt that I am not one of the locals, for instance. There is literally an ocean of differences between us. So far, I didn’t have money, time or courage to travel all around this country of many faces, but I managed to visit well-off small towns (a contradiction in my native country), ran my naked hands on extremely coarse ninth-century walls made of solid stone blocks and blackened iron, saw actual windmills that produce electric energy and mill grains, discovered a place where it’s okay to be gay and to be out, but not vegetarian. Not what I had been used to: sitting behind a computer screen and ranting over it. (I’ve come to discover and confirm that the Ivory Tower is not for me)

After her many miles, Loreena concludes that “harmonious, integrated diversity” is a gift that the road offers. After my past month, I coulnd’t agree more.

Photo: Self portrait, in the Madrilean Jardín Botánico, earlier this month.