On the train on the way to Alicante. Beautiful, cool Monday morning.
Yesterday was a bit of a mixed day. On the plus side, we had a chance to take a walk in El Retiro Park. This park is Madrid’s version of Central Park. Beautiful green fields, statues and sculpted trees, lakes with people rowing boats, lots of people walking with friends and families or out for a run. And amazing views of the city.
We also were able to go to the Crystal Palace – part of what used to be the Royal Palace. Although I enjoyed the walk, it tired me very quickly.
The Crystal Palace (Palacio de Cristal) is exhibiting the works of the Vietnamese artist DanhVō who has created an installation specifically for this venue called ‘Banish the Faceless/Reward your Grace‘, with Mammoth bones hung from the ceiling, “the artist establishes connections between objects and ideas that open up new possibilities of seeing, collecting, presenting and implying new meanings that upset the predominant historical discourse. Language and sexuality operate as elements of transition between desire, aesthetic emotion, and critical interpretation, while Eros, religion, history and politics reciprocally confront and subvert each other in his pieces.
For lunch we had amazing mushrooms (boletus) at El Cisne Azul. And then it was time to go home for a siesta.
The afternoon was spent relaxing at home. I had a mini-crisis thinking about Antonio and all my friends helping me now. On the one hand, I love and need help. On the other hand it makes this independent – too independent – man feel guilty that I need so much help! I know that I need to give in and just accept it all and intellectually I do, but emotionally it’s not so easy.
By early evening Montse was back home and we went out for a Japanese dinner.
Got Miguel’s and Susan’s latest updates of messages filled with love and good advice, including permission to feel like crap if I feel like crap.
Just a few words to respond to a few questions. On flowers please hold off until I am back in New York. There, the beauty and perfume will be helpful as I recuperate.
On visits, Chantal’s idea to try to coordinate that will be taken up. This will be very helpful both to me as well as Antonio as he returns to work. Volunteer?
I also spoke with my Dad’s amazing neighbor, Shanae, who promised to keep a watch over him from time to time. That is so comforting to me and I know will be for Chester, too. Was talking with Antonio about how ironic it is that those who sometimes want people to be there for them without condition, don’t do much to cultivate the kinds of relationships that would result in that supportive, loving network, whereas people who do cultivate those conditions resist the love and support when offered unconditionally.
My Spanish still has a long way to go, but has improved a lot this week, speaking with the hospital staff and Antonio’s friends. This was an unexpected positive outcome of this crazy event!
Earlier on our train ride, Antonio helped me to write an email to the hospital to thank the amazing staff, naming names! So well deserved!