I guess you could say I was kind of consumed with fear during my time in Jerez. I did things anyway, but I also didn't do things. Below is an excerpt (with some side notes) written during my first week alone there. For those who are new to this blog, I had been in Jerez a couple of weeks before for the Festival. After a brief trip to Portugal, I headed back. I arrived on Friday the 25th and began my search for classes.
Prior to leaving for Spain I knew who I wanted to take from and had names of studios and phone numbers; I even had an idea of when some of the classes were offered. Sí! I had done my research, I promise, as best as I could from Portland, Oregon...I had to for the RACC grant. And during the festival I got an idea of where the studios were located. But I had yet to figure out the class times. Could I have done more to determine this earlier in the month? Perhaps. But figuring out where and when things happen in that town is not as easy as one might think…
"I want to be in class with Mercedes ALL of the time." That is what I wrote in my journal on April 13. But let's go back in time.
I came back to Jerez on Friday, March 25 and began investigating classes to take.
But I secretly didn't want to go to any.
A week in Jerez by myself. Poor planning by Laura. When will I learn that it simply is not fun for me to do these things alone? A week spent looking for studios, making calls, trying to understand when and where the different classes took place, feeling relief as I kept arriving at the wrong times and missing them. There is a semi-funny reason for this, but you'll have to wait to hear about it in a future post...I would like to say that this was on account of Spanish unpredictability, but it wasn't.
I may be one of the few people here in Portland happy to see the rain..It is just so green and beautiful and even more so after having been gone for three months! It truly is wonderful to be home, not that I don't miss Jerez. I miss many things of course: Like getting to speak Spanish all of the time,
And hearing flamenco in so many places,
And drinking fresh squeezed zumo de naranja,
Ooooooooh, and taking advantage of the long siesta each day. - During which time it can be quite difficult to get much done by the way, and I don't just mean because almost all stores are closed. There is this energy that seems to overtake the city. It is odd, like it suddenly becomes Sunday for three to four hours. Often I would come home intending to be "productive," but it was as if the collective rest of the city would allow me to do nothing more than relax...
I am feeling quite behind in blog publication. Every day I feel pressed to get something up but don't end up doing so. Rather than wait any longer and add still more to my collection of daily notes and beginnings of entries, please allow me to express to you briefly some of what has been going through my mind here in Jerez lately.
There are many things I wish to write about how flamenco permeates this city.
Like how just this afternoon on my way home from bata class with Mercedes I heard an old guajiras recording playing as I walked by a house on La Calle Duende. Or how yesterday during siesta on our way to meet a friend for afternoon café the two little boys walking in front of Diana and me were discussing fútbol when suddenly and seemingly without any awareness of it one started doing palmas and singing never losing sight of the conversation he was having with his amigo. Junquerita, who often comes to sing for our bulerías class told me that here in Jerez the scent of flamenco is everywhere; there is no need to go looking for it.
That may be an understatement.