`IT’S a Spanish secret. Even to them. It concerns every single Spaniard ever born. For they are like onions formed of different layers that sit upon each other yet remain a singularity of a complex format of layers; some inconsequential and others of great importance and relativity.
Generally you have to know that person well before some inkling of their uniqueness surfaces.
A case in point: Across the valley lives the subject of last week’s ‘cuento.’ I don’t visit him often as he being a farmer I presume will have little in common other than our greetings and salutations to each other in coffee shops over the last 25 years. He greets me loudly and I respond to him as my favourite neighbour who I tried once to kill, which allows me to again tell the tale about Julia his once favourite javelin.
Two weeks ago my friend Dominique suggested we get a group together and go to the Flamenco. Juan Grima, one of Turre’s sabios has kept the Club together and reintroduced ‘Cante Hondo’ back into the vernacular. The shows are spectacular by artists from all around Andalucía. The authentic kind, that I first heard when we arrived in 1969, before that music snuck off to worship Mammon, the Gypsy Kings type of pop Flamenco.
You should truly be fined if you don’t go there at least four to fives times a year. Now our plan was to get there and not wanting to break that ancient Spanish protocol to arrive and figure out how to get home – later. Whoops, right there was my mate Señor Zamora laughing with his friends from Turre, all of which I knew as they had worked for me back in another life.
The guitar beat out a healthy tune, the short frenzied heel tapping brought the tiempo, fervour and passion up 33 more degrees blessed with flashes of vivid colours that mingled directly with the audience. The dance, guitar and singing as ever were sensational. I slowly packed my cameras and Juan Zamora strolled over and asked if he could give me a ride home. It was just after midnight and Juan asked how my brother Paul was doing. I replied he was writing poetry and trying to help the gypsies of Kosovo. “I write poetry too,” he exclaimed and needed no further excuse not to sing. He therein begun.
It all shocked me. First of all his lyrics were good, rhymed well and he could sing perfectly on pitch. Do I dare say “well?” You could have knocked me down with a feather! Such a surprise can only fall from the muses of song. And I considered myself blessed by a simple magical night all the way home.