This medicine won't make you feel better
In the shadow of the fig tree …

In the shadow of the fig tree …

“When someone said to me, "How do you feel?" or "What do you think?" or asked another direct question, I would recite a poem, and somewhere in that poem would be the feeling, somewhere in it would be the piece of information. It might be a line. It might be an image. The poem was my response.”

– Audre Lorde, from an interview dated April 1981 (via violentwavesofemotion)

(via greenturtleisland)

“There’s the story, then there’s the real story, then there’s the story of how the story came to be told. Then there’s what you leave out of the story. Which is part of the story too.”

Maddaddam, Margaret Atwood (via novelwisdom)

(via teachingliteracy)

My very dear greenturtleisland nominated me to answer the next questions. I hope my broken english will be able to “accompany” the original sense of my thoughts. Sorry in advance for all possible inconveniences and contradictions! Here I go … 

1. Wanderlust? Where would you go?

Even if I already lived in different places, I can’t stop thinking about the immense amount of landscapes I still would like to discover, explore or put down roots (who knows?): Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam or Laos are the countries that I feel more attracted in Asia. Ive been always intrigued about Easter Island (Isla de Pascua), Sri Lanka, Alaska or Canada (specially Quebec). I would love to visit Patagonia or Iceland, but also Tibet, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Vermont, Prague, Budapest, Palermo, Amalfi Coast, Formentera, Namibia, Botswana, Madagascar, Greenland, Cuenca, Cáceres or Bora Bora. At some point, I would also love to live for some months or a year in New Zealand, Chile, Perú or Brazil. 

2. What are you currently reading, watching, listening to, etc?

I’m reading some bad cookbooks, shitty & scary right-wing spanish articles (yes, I admit that sometimes I can be a bit masochistic ;)

I’m also reading other more interesting stuff: “Leer Imágenes” (“Reading Pictures”) de Alberto Manguel, a kind of “subjective” or private history of art. And some days ago I started to read again the diaries of “Filosofía en los días críticos” from Chantal Maillard.

Currently listening a quite eclectic playlist made of songs from The Shivers, Little Wings, Nina Simone, Serge Gainsbourg, Dustin O’Halloran, Sufjan Stevens, Jacques Brel, Phosphorescent, Yo La Tengo, Eels, J.S. Bach, Andrés Segovia or Depedro. Watching “Orange is the new black” and “Masters of Sex”. Trying to find the best moment to watch “Boyhood” from Richard Linklater (one of my favourite directors).

3. Why do you create what you create?

I honestly don’t know and I think I will never find the clues about it, but … I can tell that almost every creative “attempt” I developed in my life was an unknown opportunity to save me from my own and diverse weaknesses or “strengths”. I basically like to think that while I’m creating I’m also inviting myself to undermine or question my own limitations or some moral frontiers.  But you asked “why” and … at the end, I guess I couldn’t give you a certain answer, right? I failed again. Here I go with a “cliché” then: pure/genuine NEED to find a way to beat pain and ignorance (or both, or probably beat much more than that) … maybe. 

4. Do your creations come willingly, or do they have to be sought through blood, sweat, tears?

In my case, I think blood/sweat/tears and will are always connected, but I would add some certain doses of intense/shameless enjoyment to complete the “banquet”. In my opinion, every process requires passion and enough crazyness to reach some doses of “glory” (even if that “glory” will always be ephemeral). On the other hand, the same process will demand from us a huge commitment with discipline/routine. Without that discipline, without that daily “stubbornness” … the results are often conflicting, at least in my case. But Truman Capote described this condition much better than all of us: “One day,” he once wrote, “I started writing, not knowing that I had chained myself for life to a noble but merciless master. When God hands you a gift, he also hands you a whip; and the whip is intended solely for self-flagellation…”

5. Who/what inspires you?

The nature of all the conflicting creatures, the pain and all its cracks, the happiness and all its cracks, my friends, my family, unknown people I cross in the street, lots of good music, too many good films, too many good paintings, the powerful nuances of all the things we will never know or we will never be brave enough to tell … for example.

6. Do you believe that society will ever realise Dr Martin Luther King’s dream?

I certainly think that Luther King’s dream is still a very necessary dream nowdays, a dream that we must fight to realise, although … I also believe that human beings are an overvalued specie. Unfortunately, our abilities to dream are almost equal than our obstinacy to destroy.

7. Can you cook a one-armed stir-fry?

I think so!

8. Do you know the history of your mia famiglia? If yes, what corners of the earth does your blood hail from?

I know some good information about it yes, but I would like to discover more and more details! As far as I know …  it seems that my blood is a mix of spanish, italian, basque, arabic, jew and american.

9. Did you dream last night?

Yes, I actually dream a lot … but also have too many nightmares.

10. Do you tend to think in colours or words or musical notes or something else?

I think in different languages …

11. When you’re feeling anxious, what do you do to calm down? (Re-asking this question because it’s a good one).

That’s a very good question. It depends about the level of anxiety but … I use to make meditation to control breathing. I usually tend to run away to the mountains or the sea for some days/weeks (to be in contact with nature is one of the best formulas to me). I could also try to talk to a good friend and be brutally honest with him/her. I also like to ride my bike or go for a run to concentrate energy and discharge the tension. I can write something (detailed projections of how I would like to feel or visualize my own inner peace). I try not to write important or too trascendental stuff when I’m too anxious. Easy films or classical music (Bach, Satie or Chopin) can be great allies too. But for me the most efficient balm against anxiety is painting. When i’m painting I forget about almost “everything” and … the canvas usually absorbs the most conflicting energies & colours … 


Claude Monet | Path in the Wheat at Pourville, 1882.


Claude Monet | Path in the Wheat at Pourville, 1882.

(Source: fineartamerica.com)

“Do you know how it is when one wakes
at night suddenly and asks,
listening to the pounding heart: what more do you want,

– Czeslaw Milosz, from Farewell (via hirundinem)

(Source: violentwavesofemotion, via hirundinem)


Arthur Cohen, Elizabeth, 2001


Arthur Cohen, Elizabeth, 2001


Julio Cortázar


Julio Cortázar

Tom Raworth / Inner Space / Poesía Inglesa Contemporánea, Antología Bilingüe.

Tom Raworth / Inner Space / Poesía Inglesa Contemporánea, Antología Bilingüe.

“One can know worlds one has not experienced, choose a response to life that has never been offered, create an inwardness utterly strong and fruitful.”

– Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963 (via greenturtleisland)

“Full stories are as rare as honesty.”

– Zadie Smith, White Teeth (via greenturtleisland)

“I just wanted to tell you that with all your faults I love you. I love or revere very few people. As for the rest, I’m ashamed of my indifference to them. But for those I love, nothing and no one, neither I nor certainly they themselves, can ever make me stop loving them. It took me a long time to learn that; now I know it.”

– Albert Camus, The First Man (via acknowledgetheabsurd)

(via greenturtleisland)