Blogging on a Sunday afternoon again. I worked at the Exhibition Hall this weekend and now I'm free again to roam the cyberstreets. 'Free' is not a word I used by chance and it has a lot to do with the title of my latest gelli print, that I just decided to name 'desire'. I could have also named it 'hope'.
double gelli print and graphite on 250 gsm Stonehenge paper
Blogger still shows the backgrounds grayish, grrr...
Edit: I couldn't resist embedding this same image from my Flickr photostream, where the background is brighter and the colours more clear. Sorry for insisting. Does anyone know why Blogger alters the hues?
It's almost nine years to the day since I left Barcelona and moved to Beceite, the village or very small town where I've lived ever since. Moving away from the big city was a relief in many ways. Barcelona has become a huge 'shop window' of sorts, a display of design and grandeur, a product to be consumed by tourists. I think that was what drove me away the most, it stopped being a civic space where people lived and worked and enjoyed themselves to become a brand, a well-marketed product. It's a known fact that dozens of thousands of citizens feel uncomfortable in that environment. I was one of those who managed to get away.
Getting away though had its downsides too and maybe the most important of them is that I gradually lost contact with many people I knew, even with some dear friends. It happened slowly, over the course of nine years, and it became part of normal life. A fact that sometimes crossed my mind but was soon brushed away by things present.
A couple of months ago I found in the bottom of a drawer a short story I wrote years ago, when I was part of a Creative Writing Group in Barcelona. The memories that rushed through me were way longer than that text. What a flood of recollections! People, words, jokes, excursions, conversations... A world half forgotten and yet so meaningful, so full of life and potential. Oh, my god! Was it really gone?
I decided to Google the name of a friend and when the hundreds of results came up I felt a surge of happy excitement. And an instant inhibition. Should I really call her? We had lost touch even before I left Barcelona, should I risk disturbing her? Should I dare?
I didn't. Something held me back and, not without sorrow, I decided to heed it. And that moment was forgotten too, swept away by things present.
Then on Friday 2 May she emailed me!!! To say that I was astounded would be an understatement. Some kind of telepathy seems to have worked between us. I was delighted to read her message, I called her immediately and in these two short days we have spent over 3 hours talking on the telephone. I am still astounded. She answered the call I never made!
And this is where hope and desire come into the picture. The desire to do meaningful things, work that is relevant in many more ways than just earning a living, the hope of a happier creative future. Remember: this is Spain, still in deep economic crisis.
Alejandra (that's my friend's name) and I are already contemplating common projects, workshops and activities to offer to children and adults alike in the area where I live. Budding projects that I cannot yet describe in detail but that I can readily name after this gelli print: 'hope and desire'.