Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Aug 11

Cultural appropriation I know.  But what if God commanded you in earnest to excavate the experience of an old woman of Andalusia, on a Sunday afternoon, in the spring of 1960?

She will walk slowly down the stone steps.   Her neighbor's donkey will be tethered at the gate.  She will smell the bull ring before she turns the corner and sees it.

But first the black mantilla.  The comfort of the familiar.    It is light enough to lift in the breeze, but its cultural weight is immense.  She was displaced during the war, but she carried it with her on a handcart.

The mantilla and indeed all of her trappings create an air around her of claustrophobia, but it is misleading in the extreme.   In her mind she roams free; she surveys the entire scene, from as far away as the seacoast, with the eye of an osprey.  Her voice is known to be gravelly.  When it is heard, the people fear that something prophetic and dire may be said.

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