Showing posts with label Spain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spain. Show all posts

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Granada, Spain

April 30th, 2008 The city smells of orange blossoms. The streets are narrow and crooked, crumbling and cobbled with rough gray stones. I get off the bus and walk out of my way, get lost, or am I just exploring?

I weave through the city neighborhoods and corners in the late afternoon known as the siesta slumber.

Granada means pomegranate in Spanish and the city is already revealing its wonderful red rubies to me. I finally make it to the hostel hidden in a small little placeta courtyard with windowsills decorated with hanging vines and purple and white begonias. I take off my pack and lock up my valuables quickly to rush back into streets in search for the perfect falafel pita. I find it for 3 euros at Kebab King, extra tzatiki sauce and hot peppers.

I walked toward a narrow street that is sandwiched between old apartment homes and Rio del Darro. The weather is cool in the shade but sparkling warm in the sun and a seat by the river seems just as appetizing as my juicy falafel pita.

I cross the precious arched foot bridge to the other side of the river to find a path down to hear the water passing by.

White cotton blooms are falling the sky and spring turns my eyes into blurry Picasso painted puffy circles. There are 6 white, gray and black speckled cats cruising along the sides of the river, a young girl reading a textbook, another long-haired young man smoking puro and mediating in lotus position. Someone is playing guitar on the upper ledge of the river.

The sun has gone over the Alhambra, and dusk is settling into the sky. The Spanish guitar chords are bleeding into the streets. Rooftops are dim and the sun casts a warm glow upon the Alhambra walls.

The sundown brings more people into the streets, more guitars melodies in the distance, with the birds singing an introduction piece as they fly sharing their song to every rooftop.

Who built these streets that thousands continue to get lost through each day? Each stone of the streets are laid out in a pattern and picture, sometimes even into a figure of a pomegranate, Granada. Tiny terraces and flowering plants frame each delicate window like a cherished family picture.

Granada. a fruit of many seeds

many histories

many more stories to share

to the melody of guitar plucks

through stories of flamenco.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Learning a Language of Chords

April 24th, 2008
It's lunch time in Pamplona in the middle of Ciudedela. Old men in collared shirts and polyester pants sit on the bench near the young man playing his livelihood: the accordion.
Spring birds chirp as insects fly past the daisy weed grass we are sitting on. Grassy patches of land that surround the fort of the 1500s: Military architecture del Renacimiento Espanol. The outer fort walls have plants bursting through its aged stone cracks bringing life to its modern age existence of a bustling Spanish city in Estado Espanol. I am in a province that not only speaks Spanish where you can hear and read signs in Euskara, Basque, as well. I am in Spain for a month intensive Spanish course, but Spain represents a plethora of languages, history and conflict over topics such as language, religion and sovereignty. The clouds are painted in the sky dancing with the sunshine's playful manner of peek-a-boo on my back. I travel with my cotton fabric from Mozambique almost everywhere, and I am laying on it in Spain, as it soaks up the dewy lawn from yesterday's spring rain.
Caina jingled her bike and joined us on the lawn. She has wild curly hair and a simple sweet smile. She's from the Canary Islands and is studying sociology with my friend Nani, who I am visiting in Pamplona. We greet each other with kisses on both cheeks and chat about the change in weather from the usual rainy days in Pamplona, the accordion music playing in the park. Our conversation deepens into the politics of Basque vs. Espana as a passing couple speaking in Basque triggers our dialogue. We explore the language laws that exist in Spain and the parallel situations around the world.
She was interested in what South Africa was like, and we talked about the realities, dynamics, and questions to be explored in relation to Nicaragua's current leadership and conflicts and then to Nani's experience with the Zapatista movement-the organization, the struggles, etc. I wondered what life was like in the Canary Islands where she says no other languages are spoken there except Spanish. Histories and rhythms of Mozarbic, Ajami, Basque, Euskara . . .
I continue journaling as an ant travelled across my pages, inspecting the edge of my journal and the curves of the words that I scribe. Speaking Spanish again is like a riding a bike, but there are still tricks to be learned. Language may be better explained as a guitar rather than a bike. If you remember to play some chords you once learned and feel comfortable playing them, you can transition from one to the other.
Making different and authentic tunes, maybe even with your eyes closed.
But there is still a whole range of notes, chords, songs and melodies left to learn. So even though you can play some tunes, and its fun and enjoyable, there is still a desire to learn more. One day realizing your own melody can harmonize with what you want to express. What you are feeling: to communicate through a new language.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...