this was an unusual christmas for me since i was, to begin with, in the southern hemisphere, wearing shorts and flip flips in sweltering heat. away from home, i could not set up my tree nor decorate nor cook a christmas meal for family and friends. that i shared at a friend's house who welcomed me with the local cola de mono (a coffee, milk and aguardiente brew) and oyters on the half shell. as you all may know i have been here on business which has lingered far beyond my patience at times. bureaucratically speaking, chile remains a third world country although its lifestyle is almost ahead of the US, very much influenced by europe.
i have had the luck to stay in a charming neighborhood called bellavista which translated means good view or beautiful view. i have the san cristobal hill to my left as i lean out of the balcony and the bohemian streets to my right, streets i have wondered through, to and from. my lunches i usually take at patio bellavista where cuisine meets handmade traditional items. for xmas i gave myself the most gorgeous pair of handmade copper and threaded earrings
and ate peruvian skewers for lunch before heading up to spend christmas eve with friends.
altered art on wall of patio bellavista
when i returned on sunday having been invited to spend the night and share the leftovers, i remembered that one of pablo neruda's houses (LA CHASCONA) is situated right around the corner from here. i took the tour with much emotion since i grew up with him. each of his houses is a collector's dream, filled with colored bottles and ships mastheads and glasses from mexico and seashells and books and paintings by diego rivera, nemesio antunez and siqueiros and mario carreno among others.
the man from brazil in his bowler hat seeking culture at the same time as i
words, still very prevalent, for which pablo neruda was reknown
"the ire persists"
so, as you can see, my days have been those of survival, of making the best of it away from my children and home, graspig the moment alone, very much alone yet in tune i hope with what could leave a mark on me