Hello my dears!

Looking forward to seeing you tonight!

I’ve been thinking about “thinks to yell” during a bullfight.  My friends from Spain, like me, are not familiar with the topic and can’t think of anything beyond “olé” and “torero”.  I guess we’re too young and postmodern.

I tried to ask my spiritual grandmother from Spain who I’m sure knows everything about it, but she is convalescing with cancer and in too much pain to speak today.  I hope I can speak to her soon, she is so full of stories about her youth in Spain… She migrated to Uruguay during the Spanish Civil war, shipped herself across the ocean when she was 18 years old.  She'd beat both the bull and the bull fighter any day of the week... though maybe not today. 

However, I researched online and found some interesting concepts:

Trapío: Elegance and demeanor of a bull, also physical traits, that make it suitable for a bull fight.

Matador de toros:  Maximum rank in the “bullfight” arena. Not all bullfighters are “Matadores” (killers) and this is only achieved after a sophisticated rite of passage.

Styles and origin: Bullfighting has its roots in one of humanities’ most ancient rites: battles with animals. Romans spread the use of these… celebrations? and used the animals typical to the conquered territories in question: Bulls in Spain, France etc., but also tigers and bears in other places.

The “Basque” style has more flags and more jumps. The “Andaluz” style introduced figures and sophistication with the cape (link with flamenco & bellydance?)  This style prevailed.

During the XVII Century the “Rondeño” style centered the spectacle in the bull’s death, killing the bull while he’s feisty and still has plenty of energy.  The “Seville” style focused on dexterity with the cape, and the death of the bull was a means to the bullfighter’s display of skill. Longer fights, exhausted bulls.  The XXth Century combines these styles.

“Suerte de recibir”:  Killing the bull as he runs towards you.

“Volapie”: Running towards the bull to kill it with a sword.  Used on tired bulls.  Famous bull fighters died attempting it.

Hope to have some tauromaquia fun stuff to yell with you soon,


Some excerpts from Rumi,  13th century, trans, Coleman Barks

The Pickaxe
Some commentary on  "I was a hidden treasure,
and I desired to be known:" tear down

this house. A hundred thousand new houses
can be built from the transparent yellow carnelian

buried beneath it, and the only way to get to that
is to do the work of demolishing and then

digging under the foundations. With that value
in hand all the new construction will be done

without effort. And anyway sooner or later this house
will fall on its own. The jewel treasure will be

uncovered, but won't be yours then. The buried
wealth is your pay for doing the demolition,

the pick and shovel work. If you wait and just
let it happen, you'd bite your hand and say,

"I didn't do as I knew I should have." This
is a rented house. You don't own the deed.

You have a lease, and you've set up a little shop,
where you barely make a living sewing patches

on torn clothing. Yet only a few feet underneath
are two veins, pure red and bright gold carnelian.

Quick! Take the pickaxe and pry the foundation.
You've got to quit this seamstress work.

What does the patch-sewing MEAN, you ask. Eating
and drinking. The heavy cloak of the body

is always getting torn. You patch it with food,
and other restless ego satisfactions. Rip up

one board from the shop floor and look into
the basement. You'll see two glints in the dirt.

Second Nature

In honor of the dumb the blind the deaf
Shouldering the great black stone
The things of time passing simply away

But then for the others knowing things by their names
The sear of every metamorphosis
The unbroken chain of dawns in the brain
The implacable cries shattering words

Furrowing the mouth furrowing the eyes
Where furious colors dispel the mists of vigil
Set up love against life that the dead dream of
The low-living share the others are slaves
Of love as some are slaves of freedom.

Samuel Beckett           Love, Poetry, 1929
From Maria Estefania --- 

I wanted to share with you my favorite lamentation concept, and a word that literally haunts me, as part of my Portuguese heritage.  This word was one of my great grandfather’s favorites as well, and he wrote about it briefly as an example of “untranslatable” words, words so unique to a culture that can only be translated as a paraphrase, only as an approximation.

In any case, the definition/translation/approximation is very rich and haunting, and fits along the line of our work, so I wanted to share it with you.  

"Saudade (European Portuguese: [sɐwˈðaðɨ], Brazilian Portuguese: [sawˈdadi] or [sawˈdadʒi], Galician: [sawˈðaðe]; plural saudades)[1] is a Portuguese word that has no direct translation in English. It describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing will never return.[2] A stronger form of saudade may be felt towards people and things whose whereabouts are unknown, such as a lost lover, or a family member who has gone missing.

Saudade was once described as "the love that remains" after someone is gone. Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again. It can be described as an emptiness, like someone (e.g., one's children, parents, sibling, grandparents, friends, pets) or something (e.g., places, things one used to do in childhood, or other activities performed in the past) that should be there in a particular moment is missing, and the individual feels this absence. It brings sad and happy feelings all together, sadness for missing and happiness for having experienced the feeling.

In Portuguese, 'tenho saudades tuas', translates as 'I have saudade of you' meaning 'I miss you', but carries a much stronger tone. In fact, one can have 'saudade' of someone whom one is with, but have some feeling of loss towards the past or the future."

More in:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saudade

Bossa Nova as you may know is widely accepted to be the musical representation of Saudade.   I personally think that tango is a “darker” representation of this emotional state also.

nature spirits: sylph (air), salamander (fire), undine (water), gnome (earth)
"Regardless of how technically proficient you become, you'll never touch us with something you don't genuinely feel in the first place.  There's no point pretending.  We'll see right through you; there's no question about that.

The instant you step out in front of an audience it immediately grasps the state of your inner life; it's impossible to conceal it.  As performers, we're faced with several crucial problems:  What is the soul?  What does it long for?  What are these spirits who inhabit our bodies trying to tell us?"

"Inevitably, what these spirits desperately need to tell us reveals itself both in our day-to-day lives and in our performances.  Because those spirits are so desperate to convey their feelings, they do so without the slightest restraint.  At times, it's almost as though they're begging us, 'Please, please, look.  Keep in mind though, that unless you visibly tear yourself apart, we won't understand what those spirits in you are trying to say."
-Kazuo Ohno  1907-2010     

From 'Kazuo Ohno's World -from without and within'


Excerpt from The Prophet by Khalil Gibran

On Houses
Then a mason came forth and said, "Speak to us of Houses." 
And he answered and said: 
Build of your imaginings a bower in the wilderness ere you build a house within the city walls. 
For even as you have home-comings in your twilight, so has the wanderer in you, the ever distant and alone.
Your house is your larger body. 
It grows in the sun and sleeps in the stillness of the night; and it is not dreamless. Does not your house dream? And dreaming, leave the city for grove or hilltop? 
Would that I could gather your houses into my hand, and like a sower scatter them in forest and meadow. 
Would the valleys were your streets, and the green paths your alleys, that you might seek one another through vineyards, and come with the fragrance of the earth in your garments. 
But these things are not yet to be. 
In their fear your forefathers gathered you too near together. And that fear shall endure a little longer. A little longer shall your city walls separate your hearths from your fields. 
And tell me, people of Orphalese, what have you in these houses? And what is it you guard with fastened doors? 
Have you peace, the quiet urge that reveals your power? 
Have you remembrances, the glimmering arches that span the summits of the mind? 
Have you beauty, that leads the heart from things fashioned of wood and stone to the holy mountain? 
Tell me, have you these in your houses? 
Or have you only comfort, and the lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house a guest, and becomes a host, and then a master? 
Ay, and it becomes a tamer, and with hook and scourge makes puppets of your larger desires. 
Though its hands are silken, its heart is of iron. 
It lulls you to sleep only to stand by your bed and jeer at the dignity of the flesh. It makes mock of your sound senses, and lays them in thistledown like fragile vessels. 
Verily the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul, and then walks grinning in the funeral. 
But you, children of space, you restless in rest, you shall not be trapped nor tamed. 
Your house shall be not an anchor but a mast. 
It shall not be a glistening film that covers a wound, but an eyelid that guards the eye. 
You shall not fold your wings that you may pass through doors, nor bend your heads that they strike not against a ceiling, nor fear to breathe lest walls should crack and fall down. 
You shall not dwell in tombs made by the dead for the living. 
And though of magnificence and splendour, your house shall not hold your secret nor shelter your longing. 
For that which is boundless in you abides in the mansion of the sky, whose door is the morning mist, and whose windows are the songs and the silences of night. 
Hi all, 

This story was the first thing that came to my mind when we spoke of the theme of a house/home. It is written from one of the most famous (and my favorite) Latin American writer, Julio Cortazar. 

Feel free to take a peak and maybe discover, as I did, its echoes and undertones. 
Here are some of the ones I found: 

- Characters are prisoners in their own home
- Characters find solace in a repetitive, purposeless task, and their dreams
- They occupy and preserve the ancestors' house, but do not own the space.    
- Many rooms are empty and accumulate filth that inevitably comes from the outside 
- Strangers/ a strange force starts to "possess" the house little by little, leaving them with "nothing"

Hope you enjoy it.  Spanish speaking ladies sho