Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Daily Dust

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. - Pablo Picasso

Monday, July 29, 2013

Mercado Astur-Romano

First stop at the Astur-Roman Market.
Beautiful handcrafted garlands of flowers and ribbons, mostly for the Roman ladies of the Astur-Roman festival.
La primera parada en el Mercado Astur-Romano.
Guirnaldas de flores y cintas de colores todas hechas a mano, la mayoría para las romanas finas del festival Astur-Romano.

Ana y María Jesus de Imagem, las genios detrás de miles de trajes festivos, incluyendo estos de las recreaciones históricas.
Ana María Jesus of Imagem, the genius behind thousands of party costumes, including these living history costumes.
The City Band- with Pablo in the far front row who was my former student and , Pedro "the Marvelous", my nickname because he is so personable, the one middle in green
La Banda Municipal, Pablo, el primero por la izquierda y antiguo alumno, y el de verde en la segunda línea, Pedro el "Maravilloso," un apodo mío porque es tan agradable con todos.
Inauguración y apertura del Mercado Astur-Romano a cargo del Caudillo Astur y
de Lucio Pompeyo Fabentino (astur que alcanzó el orden ecuestre).

Astur-Roman Market Inauguration and market opening led by the Astur Chieftain and Lucio Pompeyo Fabentino (an Astur who reached the level of Equestrian Orden.)

Advance to 2:20 to see an overview of the Astur-Roman Market and peruse the fine wares, some that come our way just once a year.
Avanza hasta el minuto 2:20 para ver una vista general del Mercado Astur-Romano y podrás examinar detenidamente las excelentes y variadas mercancías, de las que algunas llegan solamente una vez al año.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Not Everyone Can Carry Caesar

Among ancient Roman occupations were the litter bearers who transported Caesar wherever he wanted to go, whether a destination near home or in the far reaches of his empire.
Entre los antiguos oficios romanos estaba el de porteador de la litera que transportaba a Caesar donde quisiera ir, ya sea un destino cerca de su casa o en los confines del imperio.

This occupation, of course, required a huge amount of strength and muscles to walk the distant carrying the weight of another man and all of belongings he chose to carry with him.
Esta ocupación, por supuesto, requiere una gran cantidad de fuerza y ​​músculos para caminar  llevando el peso de otro hombre y de todas las pertenencias que decidió llevar consigo.

These are those men in the legendary land of Northern Spain, where Asturica/Astorga is at the very center of its 2000 year old living history of the Astures and Romans this week.
Estos son aquellos hombres en el legendario norte de España, donde Asturica/Astorga se recrea esta semana como el verdadero centro que es de la historia de hace 2000 años.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Just Dance

From Limitations and Time.
De Limitaciones y Tiempos.
Just Dance.
Simplemente Baila.

Dancer Dergin Tokmak (“Stix”), in the middle frame, had polio as a kid and suffered partial paralysis in his legs. That hasn’t stopped him from being inspired and courageous on dance floors around the world. He's someone we all want to be like when we grow up.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Rivaling Giants

Bearing down the narrow city cobblestone and towering above the average person are Astorga's Giants. The four Giants, two Astures (our heroes, the Celtic peoples of Northern Spain) and two Romans (the invaders and conquerers) are part of a one-hundred year old Leonés tradition continued by the Association of Giants and Bigheads, kid you not! They usher in a week of living history, commemorating the rivalry between the two camps some two thousand years ago. Now that's real history!

Pujados por la estrecha y adoquinada ciudad se elevan por encima de la persona promedio, son los Gigantes de Astorga. Los cuatro gigantes, dos Astures (nuestros héroes, los pueblos celtas del norte de España) y dos romanos (los invasores y conquistadores) forman parte de una tradición leonesa de cien años, seguida por la Asociación de Gigantes y Cabezudos de Astorga, ¡no es broma! Ellos marcan el comienzo de una semana de la historia viva, que conmemora la rivalidad entre los dos campos hace unos dos mil años. ¡Eso sí que es historia de verdad!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Golden Lines

As we snuggle on the blue couch, feet propped on the divan and compulsively eat pistachios, we are wrapped in total absorption before the final drama as the last Harry Potter tale unfolds before us. And there, at the climax, we hear powerful words in juxtaposition with biblical philosophy that echo in my ears; timeless old truths, but always new to the soul. Enjoyed, golden lines with our golden boy:

Así, acurrucados en el sofá azul, con los pies apoyados en el diván y comiendo pistachos compulsivamente, estamos en total absorción ante el drama final de la saga de Harry Potter que se despliega ante nosotros. Las palabras intemporales en yuxtaposición con la filosofía bíblica resuenan en mis oídos, viejas verdades eternas, pero siempre nuevas en el alma. Un momento que disfrutamos,líneas de oro con un chico de oro:

I've always prized myself on my ability to turn a phrase. Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it.
Siempre me he jactado de mi habilidad para jugar con las frases. Las palabras son, en mi no tan humilde opinión, nuestra más inagotable fuente de magia, capaces de infringir daño y de remediarlo.
Dumbledore, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows
Harry Potter y Las Reliquias de la Muerte
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. 
Y la lengua es un fuego, un mundo de maldad. La lengua está puesta entre nuestros miembros, y contamina todo el cuerpo, e inflama la rueda de la creación, y ella misma es inflamada por el infierno.
James/Santiago 3:6
There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: 
but the tongue of the wise is health. 
Hay hombres cuyas palabras son como golpes de espada;
Mas la lengua de los sabios es medicina.
Proverbs/Proverbios 12:18
Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living. And above all, all those who live without love.
No sientas pena de los muertos, sino de los vivos, y sobre todo de aquellos que viven sin amor. Dumbledore, Harry Potter and 
The Deathly Hollows
Harry Potter y Las Reliquias de la Muerte
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.
Entonces Jesus le dijo, "Yo soy la resurrección y la vida. Él que cree en mí vivirá, aunque muera; y todo el que vive y cree en mí no morirá jamás.
John/Juan 11:25
It's all about Love. And the Love of God conquers all.
Todo tiene que ver con el Amor. Y el Amor de Dios lo puede todo.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Heaven is Tomorrow, Madrid Time

You will be most remembered by what you worry about, but more importantly, by what brings you most joy.
A young man's alarm is about to wake him up, 4:30am California time. His suitcase may or may not be packed and shut. After all three hours of sleep; a Saturday night birthday party with limousine ride, romping Sacramento's mid-town's Second Saturday Art Walk and saying his good-byes could mean that something doesn't arrive to Spain after all. But, who cares, as long as he does?


A mother in a lime green kitchen has listened to the parish bells call for mass twice. All the balcony doors are opened as if smiling and look past geraniums of every color to see that yesterday's clouds have raced to the mountains and the sun is shining. Colorful tissue paper flowers sway in the gentle morning breeze. They match the same colorful streamer she sent to the young man for his 16th birthday two months ago and she noticed that his is hanging across his window in the same way.
It's 11am Spanish time and 2am California time and she sends him this private message:

Morning Mark!!!
The morning air is fresh and clear with the street-sweeper and early risers passing by below your window. The birds are chirping and bells tolling your arrival! Are you READY!!!!????

She packs an overnight case, snacks for the road, and a picnic dinner to eat once she and Spanish dad arrive. It's a three and a half hour drive to Madrid. But, still, it's impossible to tell if she will eat. Excitement has gotten the best of her. Breakfast was some cut up melon. She bought three remembering her boy's favorite fruit. 
She glances at the clock for the hundredth time, always mentally calculating west coast time and sees it's almost time. 

DALLAS FORT WOR  14JUL  1745    

Skype. Morning mom, a drowsy voice answers:
Mom, I'm getting in the shower. Let's talk again in fifteen.

Fifteen, twenty minutes pass and skype rings. Skype - mom's best friend, hands down. Sweet, save-the-day daughter and her boyfriend are there to take her son to the airport. We all go over the suitcase wish-list and the flight again. He's rolling his eyes, especially as she says all those things a mom says. Sweet daughter rolls her eyes, too, but lovingly and good-humouredly at mom's insistence on details. So mom relaxes. She thinks how independent and well-seasoned a traveler her daughter is, not only having maneuvered all manner of US and European roads, buses, and flights, but walking the Camino to Santiago last March.  She's knows she's sure to give the best advice to her younger brother on his fist solo flight.
Boy, oh my boy, it's a good thing they also have some traveling to do and business to take care of over the next twenty-four plus hours, because otherwise the waiting would be interminable.
Getting ready, two different sides of the world.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


La poesía slam es poesía oral interpretada. Esta poesía libre o hablada surge de textos originales, propios. Está recitada y escenificada por el autor sin música, accesorios ni disfraces.  Normalmente está centrado en temáticas "de la calle".
Slam poetry is poetry in an oral interpretation form. It's free verse or talk that emerges from the poets' original work. It's recited and brought to the stage by the author without music, accessories or costumes. Normally the subjects or topics are "from the street."

Muchos poetas que escriban Slam no publican sus trabajos porque no son completos sin la interpretación como es leer una obra de teatro.
También el slam es un torneo de poetas en los que se enfrentan mediante las notas de un jurado seleccionado del público. No está metida en el formato de las estrofas clásicas. De hecho, nos dijo el anfitrión, "Evalúa con el corazón, y no con la mente".
Many poets who write Slam don't publish their work because they aren't complete without the interpretation which is something like reading a piece of theatrical art without a script.
Also, Slam is a tournament of poets in which they compete against one another in a jury selected by the public. The poems are not measured in the classical sense or by the types of lines but rather, the host told us, "Judge with your heart, not your mind." 
El formato del torneo fue inspirado en el boxeo. Se hace por rondas donde cada poeta tiene tres minutos para declamar su poema. Interpretan su poesía y los que reciben las mejores notas del público, pasan a la segunda ronda.
The tournament format was inspired by boxing. There are rounds in which each poet has three minutes to recite his poem. They all recite their poems and those that receive the highest marks from the audience go on to the next round.

El Slam es un formato de recital que implica al público. El participante como público pisa fuerte con los pies y chasquea los dedos cuando oye algo realmente bueno, algo que yo siempre decía a mis clases de literatura, líneas doradas.  Además de los poemas memorizados y recitados, se celebra a micrófono abierto la poesía hablada espontánea por cualquier persona poeta. El público, entonces, se implica  en tres formas -  forma el jurado, responde al poeta con signos con los dedos y pies, y el micrófono abierto hace que todos tengan la oportunidad de recitar.
A Slam is a forum of performance that involves the public. The participants in the audience stomp the floor and snap their fingers when they hear something really good, something that I called in my literature classes, golden lines. Besides the memorized and recited poems, it's a celebration of spontaneous open mic (microphone) by any poet or poetess. The public then, then, is involved in three ways - it forms the jury, it responds to the poet con signals using fingers and feet, and the open mic allows anyone to have the opportunity to recite.
And I quote from our San Diego Slam, when there with my so beautiful daughter, some of my own "snaps" (finger snapping) for poetesses Celisse, Chyanne, Carla and more:

*He is every tear that is etched in your memory

*Your every imperfection in no mistake

*You struck a flint against my heart like fire.

*Handle with care, my heart is not just for everyone's touch.

*I'm so sick of rolling dice that don't belong to me

*You don't have to be whole to be beautiful

*The taffy stretching of my limbs, ... the molasses walk through the sad

*Even the most delicate of roses need sharp petals to survive.

*I've seen way too many people who know how to overdose on every emotion but happy.

Encuentra el latido cultural del pueblo, de la calle, encuentra Slam.
Find the cultural heartbeat of the people, of the streets, find Slam.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Mami, ¿Por qué los hombres se llaman Men en inglés?
Porque son  Men tirosos,  Men digos,  y  Men cabronan pero  Men cantan!
Escrito a mano en una de las pizarras por Caya, la directora del 
(a Spanish play on words :-)
Handwritten on a chalkboard by Caya, the owner of the 

Este año escolar nosotros profesores cada día nos abrigábamos para salir durante el pequeño descanso de 20 minutos para tapas y un café. En nuestro bar de siempre, el Bar/Restaurante Casa Riesco, le conocí a Ángel. Justamente esta semana él me escribió para saludarme de nuevo ahora que ya no voy a las montañas a trabajar. Ángel es de la última categoría en el chiste de arriba, un encanto. Durante un largo y frío invierno, sin ver a los hijos y que incluía frustraciones y retos, siempre me tenía un saludo y una sonrisa cálida. Hay gente amable y buena en todos los sitios. Y a veces nosotras, las mujeres, nos olvidamos de lo buenos que son muchísimos hombres, como él y como mi Enrique. Son igual que estas trufas arriba de Bormujos de Sevilla, unos bonbones de verdad.

This school year we high school teachers would bundle up to go out daily for coffee and tapas during our 20 minute break. At our customary coffee house, Casa Riesco, I met Ángel. Just this week he wrote me to say hello again, now that I'm not traveling to the mountains to work. Ángel is of the last category in the joke above, a treasure. During the long cold winter, days of not seeing my kids that included frustrations and challenges, he always had a greeting and warm smile. There are lovely and good people everywhere. And sometimes, we women forget that there are so many good men like him and like my Enrique. They are like these Sevillan truffles above of Bormujo, true sweethearts.
Written by Ángel in Café Riesco
Give your smile to the one who deserves it,
your love to the one who values it,
your tears to the one who is there for you
and your life to the one who loves you.