June 10, 2009

Catch Up

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So sorry for the incommunicado. It's time to play catch-up.

As some might have surmised, I'm in Tossa. It's going to be a fantastic summer. Stephanie will be with me in a little more than a week. Henry Taylor will be staying with me for the entire month of August, we're going to tear up the studio. Other surprise visitors will drop in now and again, it's best to keep the information close to the vest until the events pop. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind, and blogging more than the rate that you have thus far seen has been impossible. Or seemingly so. This is a brief account of what has happened so far.

Starting with a cell phone lost at the East gate of Terminal 3 at Heathrow: I was extra-especially, carefully patted down at the security checkpoint... a sad yet ultimately mundane tale which I will spare you with the details. Kiko was kind to pick me up at the airport sans one key piece of luggage. Missing articles of baggage is starting to be a probable event when traveling via British Airways.

Every night since then has ended around 4am. Cava, cava, brindis, whisky, whisky, cava cava, whiskey, whisky, packs of Camels, an occasional shimmy-shimmy-coco puff on the dance floor. Gerry (Gerard Smulevich) rolled into town Friday night. A kayak maniac, his lusty desire to row the coves and caves along the coast is insatiable.

Last Saturday after a kayak trip, Kiko made a paella and just as he and Lourdes brought out the wonderful dish, Alberto's beaming bearded bedraggled face was at the gate. His Columbian/German friend Nicolas from Berlin was with him, they had just bicycled a wide arc through Northern Europe through the Netherlands, France. They finally booted for a train that would buy Nicolas a week in Tossa before he takes off for Pamplona to run with the bulls. They told tales of the road warrior: of making meals from discarded groceries; of sleeping at a drop in any improvised hidden spots on the road along the way; of meeting many kind people and some hard ones; of pretty girls who, like sirens invited them off the road for a respite. Gnarled, tangled hair, heavily stubbled faces, t-shirts stained with sweat and road dirt, they tore into the rabbit and sausage buried in paella rice, cava toasts all around several times. Praises were sung all round for the dish. Afterwards, a huge bowl of candied strawberries and cortados as they reported on their year in Berlin. To my relief, it was a great experience. Stories of people were shared, so many from so many parts of the world there, Berlin is a perfect place for the young artist to survive and prosper in grand style.

After siestas, a rendezvous at a tiny bar that to my eye looks handmade. It was an early night, we said, but conversations nudged the edge of daybreak.

Sunday, more kayak. Then cava at Kiko's patio with neighbors as everyone traded challenges of feats of mental agility: matchsticks on the table shoveling trash, connecting the nine square x's with four straight lines in sequence, the strange wood sphere puzzle made of seven interlocking parts. Laughter and teasing and exasperation in turns.

Handshakes at the bus station, I saw Gerry off as he returned to Barcelona (he heads the study abroad program for the school of architecture at Woodbury University, we taught together for 8 years long ago). I turned to the work waiting for me at the house. Six crates had to be stowed properly. They are like acorns stashed into the corners for some future occasion, better to make new work than adorn the house with older stuff. The dining room had to be cleared out and prepared as a improvised studio, I have plans for a large diptych at the get-go.

The doorbell rings and it's Alberto and Nicholas. Soft drinks and cigarettes into the night, we talked about Berlin, about how to survive with great style, of religion and life and the girls they met there. They took off after 2am, I managed to get to sleep two hours later.

I had to wake up at 8am to catch a bus for Barcelona for a lunch with Miguel Marcos, a five hour marathon of foreign language comprehension. Delightful as always, important business issues were salted with wry and ribald humor, with deep philosophical commentary... my brain, struggling to form new dendrites all along the way.

I made my way to the airport to rescue my baggage from customs, bouncing from official to official like a pin ball and finally I wrested my property and made my way back home.

There's much more work to do...


Posted by Dennis at June 10, 2009 3:57 AM

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