And Jovellanos! And finishing things! Look how many themes I´m shoe-horning in! I spent this morning putting together this little homage to Jovellanos, Age of Enlightenment native son of Gijón, whose two portraits by Goya you can see here. I´ve had all the elements for years, I kid you not, but had to take a break from writing my book “1001 habits of unsuccessful people” this morning to actually put it together. To the left is a contemporary (with him) picture of where I´ve just been to bathe this morning – and behind is a small seascape of this very beach which I finished in my painting class last week.
I love sitting and cutting up paper and glueing things together, tongue sticking out of the corner of my mouth. It helped ground me, in these emotional times of two horrendous election results (for a Brit in Spain) within 3 days of each other. I´ll let Jovellanos have the last word: (instant translation – mine, not google)
“The light of the Enlightenment doesn´t move as rapidly as that of the sun; but once its rays have touched some hemisphere, it spreads, although slowly, until it fills the most distant horizons; and, either I don´t know my nation well, or this phenomenon is appearing in it.”
I´m writing this so that Charlie Bradshaw stumbles across it – if he ever looks at anything on the internet, which I doubt – because I´m crazy about him, and I want to explain to him what it´s like to be me. I want to emulate his painful honesty in describing internal processes, his detachment, his capacity to note what´s going on without being judgemental or taking precipitate action, but above all, the inarticulate kindness that is the basis of his being. I want to thank him for teaching me a bit more about how a man can be, and think; and reciprocate – because he finds women he likes mysterious, although he can describe brilliantly what it is to be inarticulate in front of her.
I don´t know what he´s going to make of me, I´ve lost count of how many irons I´ve got in the fire, but they include this blog, getting out my audiobook for adult learners for the piano, “Play it by Ear” which I am writing, reading and recording myself, working up a set list with a brilliant piper (the traditional instrument in Asturias), walking by the sea, daily, and most of all, enjoying being with friends and family, whether here or virtually. And that´s just today! You can see the difficulty I face in trying to define myself by who I am, rather than what I do!
What doesn’t Asturias have to offer? Am writing this on the beach after swimming nearly out to the buoys (my breast stroke takes me in a circle) and later i’m going to Aviles to hear David Simon talk (wrote the Wire and