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Sunday, May 26, 2013

A few words about flamenco



5/25

Back from breakfast with Hugo and Arcadia. Stephen is working on editing the recording of Cara’s music. Martin and I step out for conversation. Numbers, numbers, working on numbers. I talk about yesterday afternoon’s epiphany moment.

Yeah, I know, he says. Antonio came up for dinner. He was still crying.
Beauty, I say, exquisite beauty
You have to tell him, says Martin, he’s actually pretty shy.

As if on cue, Antonio walks by. He’s teaching his Saturday morning class. Ayer, I say, que belleza. Un momento de belleza. Un momento...
and we say together, magico puro....and he smiles in a gentle, semi-embarrassed way. 

I say to Martin, it’s not just numbers, it’s this...these stories...you understand...

He looks at me like, of course I understand...

Somehow this must be  part of the equation...

We talk. I say that yesterday, Stephen said, everyone has their price. And I responded, but apparently not me...

And I tell Martin, but on reflection, maybe I do....the right flamenco dancer, the right gitana,  and I’d follow that caravan anywhere...

                  * * * * 

This flamenco thing. Not new. Back in 1977, I went to my first artists’ workshop at Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, New Mexico. Where Georgia O’ Keefe lived and painted. It’s rocks and mesas her subjects. There were poets, painters, sculptors...and Eva Encinias teaching dance. At the end of the week, she brought her  troupe up from Albuquerque for a performance. Including her mother, still a powerful singer.  I was blown away. Even wrote a poem about watching Eva dance flamenco. 

I learned that its roots went from beyond Andalusia to the Indian subcontinent. That it could be loosely translated peasants in flight. And in the flashing feet and facial expressions of the  women I could see a narrative of flight, of determination  of passion. Dances, songs around camp fires. Feet almost bursting into flame. As if they could chase away the devil or drive all the way through  to the center of the earth. 

Every summer I would wait for Eva’s performance. As a whitebread boy from Pittsburgh it was a world that was vibrant and alive with pure passion. A world I wanted. 

Needless to say, I love flamenco in my house....

                                       * * * * 

Excitement: the New Yorker magazine has a feature in the Pantha du Prince concert...that's a first...(http://www.newyorker.com/arts/events/nightlife/pantha-du-prince-west-park-presbyterian-church )

Another day of sweeping. And its a rubber gloves day. Lots of wet newspaper, cardboard. I get to where the army guy with  the sign was sleeping. Pick up his cardboard. Out falls 2-3 dozen condoms. What? Seriously?

I go down to visit with RL, Katie and Poet Tim at the Gate. On the way back, I see the Sergeant. Tell him what a mess it was this morning. Unacceptable. And then I tell him about the condoms. He is sad and angry. All right, pastor, I got it.

And we talk about housing. How I learned from Reachout he still has a place. Not the way he understands it. Could be a bureaucratic foul up where his case got closed and housing no longer in place. I tell him we’ll check it out next week. Stephen is adding him to our crew for the concert. 

This day is done. 

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