Friday, 6 March 2009
It turns out that the "Other Side" the mysterious email came from was only the Pyrenees and the Alps. Soon after I wrote the previous blog entry a note came from the same mystical address, titled: "To Clarify Your Doubts:"
"Yo soy Julian no soy el que ha muerto, el qu ha muerto ha sido nuestro hermano Chemari hermano de Esteban, Paula, Tomas, y Julian .Yo sigo residiendo en Alemania. Muchos recuerdos a todos de MORATINOS.
Espero conocerles y saludarles pronto, Julian"
Which is to say: "I am Julian, and I am not dead! The one who died was our brother Chemari, brother to Esteban, Paula, Tomas, and Julian. I continue to live in Germany. Give my regards to everyone in Moratinos, and I look forward to seeing and getting go know you soon, Julian."
How embarrassed am I?
I need to get out more, get a hobby. I hope I didn´t make the Velasco family´s mourning hurt any more than it must. I hope sometime soon they can remember the silly foreigner´s blog and smile at my presumption!
Anyway, even though I feel like a dumb-ass, I feeling a bit more like myself. March came in here "like a lion," with squalls and snow, but with sun peeking through between storm fronts. It makes for beautiful morning walks. Snow lies in the plowed furrows, which dresses the prairie in a pinstripe suit...or maybe a corduroy jacket. The air is startlingly clear. When we top the hill by Segundino´s vineyard we can see all the way to Pozos del Rey, a good 12 kilometers south of here. Terradillos, 4 km to the east, looks near enough to almost touch. It´s surreal. Over and over, Spain shows me why Surrealist artists like Joan Miró and Salvador Dalí came from here.
Speaking of Surreal, some of my friends in the United States are beside themselves these days. They fear the financial system is teetering on the edge of collapse, that the government will fail, that all will be lost very soon. Unthinkable things. I worry about how my mother and my children will get along if the Prophets of Doom are right, but I don´t worry too long. I realize how lucky me and Paddy were, to sell out on most of our long-term investments back in 2006 and 2007, when they still were worth something. We took a beating, buying Euros with those dollars. But still... If we´d waited a couple more years, none of this could have happened.
Paddy credits my investment acumen. I hate to crush such a pleasant delusion, but I gotta admit it was all pure luck. We cash out. We find the right place within four months, at a knockdown price. And a week later our little house in America is sold... Three months later the US housing bubble goes bust, the dollar crashes, and Spanish housing prices jump a good 20%. It´s amazing timing. It´s scary. It´s... Divine Providence? It´s surreal.
It´s worked for me before. I can only hope the people I love are under the same kind of protective providence. (If they´re not, I can try to get them holed-up here, if airlines are still flying and money is still spend-able.)
Closer to earth now. Today I pottered for a good three hours out in the patio, planting rows of peas and broad beans, potting tomato and calla seedlings, and starting trays of marigolds and coriander. I am running out of windowsills to put them all on, and I am having a quiet and contemplative blast. I am plotting places to put all these nice things so the summer garden will be as aesthetically pleasing as it is productive.
Now I need a garden designer to re-imagine our patio and our orchard out back. I need someone traveling from North America to deliver my new guitar this spring. I need more Kraft macaroni and cheese.
But I want for nothing, really. Surreally.