March 21st, 2010
Eyeballs…meet eyelids. It’s been so long I think you may have forgotten you are acquainted
My time here in Spain has been a whirlwind. Unbelievably, I am learning español (don’t test me, though!). I sleep on average 5 hours a day, and usually it is broken into chunks…it´s my travel endorphins that keep me going.
Well, I’ve been going for 10 days now – at some point I think I will collapse (albeit with a smile plastered on my face). I haven’t locked down just the right sleep rhythm that comes so easily to the Spaniards. Mainly because my time here is limited and it’s hard to siesta when Seville is out there. Can they suspend all activities at night so I can settle down please?
I wander almost daily over to my favorite tocadero (guitarist) in front of the Alcazar so he can serenade me…only me, claro que si! One evening around 11pm, I was parked alone, sitting on the cobblestones in front of him, when a young Spanish father wheeled up his baby in a stroller and parked it right next to me and we listened to the soothing classical guitar music. I’d say that beats the ole’ American system of calming your baby by driving around in a car! Perhaps we need to post tocaderos every 10 blocks or so? Let’s start a movement! And while we’re at it, can we motivate city hall to put in a cathedral? I really need my joyful bells…
On a serious note, as I sat and listened to the music back-dropped by the screeching of the ever-present doves, swifts and swallows soaring and swirling overhead in the silhouette of the ancient Spanish buildings, I really felt being in Spain, and was moved to tears. Good ones. It didn’t hurt that he was playing my favorite piece by Joaquin Rodrigo, Concierto de Aranjuez. I bought two of his CDs that night. Being Friday, there are throngs of people out, socializing, strolling, drinking, singing, clapping. Must I go home? Must I sleep??
“You Can Sleep When You’re Dead”
I proudly boast to my Spanish “madre” whenever I forgo siesta that I can sleep when I return to the states…she trumps me with her declaration “You can sleep when you’re dead!” This, for me, sums up their priorities. If life, or liveliness, is going on with a zest, they postpone rest. Sounds like a nice credo. I’m embracing it! After I get some shut-eye.
All photos by G. Stark