Duckums! So way back a week or so ago came one Katy Jane Tull, lately of Bard College. It was lovely to have her here: she is a thoughtful house guest and a total blast. She's been abroad for months, and'd just been in Israel, and made me authentique hummus to prove it, and one day before I went to teach we lunched thus in the Retiro:
Then went to rainy green beachside San Sebastian/Donostia!
It's way up in the Basque Country, edging into France. My Basque housemate tells me Donostia (the B. name) is also known as Ñoñostia, or Prissville, perhaps cuz it's spense and well-dressed and considered the Cuisine Capital of Spain. We ate only pintxos (tasty tapas pegged onto bread) and wine from Navarra. Pastries also figured heavily. No regrets.
Everything's different from Madrid. (Dusty Hot! Landlocked Castilla/Green, Cold, Seaside Euskera). We went to a church to listen to service in Euskara (Batua, Gipuzkoan, Bizkaian, Upper Navarrese, we couldn't tell which). We blew about the rocks by Chillida's Wind Comb. I love the Wind Comb. It leaked rust over the stone it juts from. (We had already gone to the Chillida museum, landscape of grassy swells and mysterious rusted angles. We had a picnic and drank wine and rolled down one of said swells, all of which made the surrounding statues even heiroglyphicker) But here is Katy's red hair rusting the sea warpéd rock:
Oho! In the foreground: who knows.
In the background: a statue of Christ, on mount, reaching toward the city.
We climbed up to see: his hands and head are enormous, his spine is laddered, someone planted an antenna twixt his shoulder blades. While admiring the antenna we made friends who shared füet sausages with us. They told us there was another Chillida statue down the hill, so we wound down the leafy fascinating path, ignoring The Clouds Overhead. The statue was ugly. A storm broke out! We sheltered on a museum patio facing the sea, with some in-love teenagers and a sort of sprite in tiny guise of a 60-something Basque woman. We could see the lighthouses whitening the fog. Our friends gave us oranges. Hail just hurrrrrled at us, and we all retreated to the wall. What is that poem about hail popping on the lawn? Juicy hail balls bursting on the lawn? Actually it was bouncing off the patio and hitting our faces.
We took a nightbus there, and I took another back, arriving at work rumpled and salty.
Katy Jane took a train to Paris, making way for my friend Sergio from the old days, who, once having floated to Brazil, left space for Mary Kate, who is here now. On that, more later.