Friday, April 07, 2006

MEET THE ADMIRAL II



Just to change gears a bit, more of the admiral's doings...

When I first wnet to Santa Eulalia, I hired a house for a friend who was coming and asked Plat‚ if he would make a garden in front of it. He refused, politely but firmly, and later that day Cosmi told me why. The land had formerly been Plat‚'s own. In fact, Plat‚ had been one of the largest landowners in the town, years back. It seemed that he had had a wife of whome he was very fond, and the wife ha developed some ailment that had baffled not only the island doctor's (of whom the least said the better) but doctors on the mainland as well. Plat‚ had worried until he was ill, too, and had spent a fortune trying to cure her. After she died, Plat‚ started drinking and gambling until he had lost everything he had left. He was unhappy and morose to the point of madness until the remains of his property and money were gone. Then suddenly he became aloof and merry. He moved into a little shack not larger than eight feet by four, on the top of the hill beside the church, slept on straww, fished for his meals and worked only when he needed wine, maybe six hours a week. One of the jobs he would consent to do now and then was to fetch bundles of rosemary for kindling fires, and each morning the fragrant smoke of rosemary would pervade the town.

Old friends! Beloved island of Ibiza! My chosen town! How can I believe that you are of the past, cut off from me as irrevocably as the legendary days of the Moors, the camps of the Romans, the settlements of Carthaginians, Phoenicians, Iberians, all lost in the mirrors of history? You are not all dead, my former comrades. There are dawns in unending series to come, and the rising moon will lift the identical shape of Ibiza from the darkened sea. Shall I ever find your equal or your equivalent? Can I survive another transplantation? Shall I be always saying, "Those were the good old days. They have been destroyed." Or can I keep those scenes a while by re-enacting them, with a pin on the discs of my brain, until they are worn and emit false tones and eventually are discarded?

6 Comments:

Anonymous WhattheH said...

I can understand the pain of loss - been there, done that, too many times. I can understand the wish to retreat - ditto. What I cannot understand is how such an obviously talented individual can ignore that talent and waste away. It happens all the time - I watched my mother go from a fey, wondrous, fun loving creature to a lady who was almost a stranger to me - a mere shell of her former self. I only wish I had that talent. Thanks again. I always, always enjoy your posts. You never fail to engage my interest and I always come away feeling uplifted, no matter how horrible the person or situation you are highlighting.

3:26 PM  
Blogger durrati said...

whattheheh,

While Paul never reached his full potential, he did recover somewhat from his depressions.He wrote another fine novel, "The Last Time I Saw Paris" and worked in Hollywood (hey, it's a living) for many years. He even earned money playing piano in L.A. clubs. And while I think he could have earned a legacy as rich as "Papa's" I feel towards him daresay much of what you feel for your Mother - gratitude for what he did give. For Miss Browne I can feel only pride and sadness, two disparate but appropriate emotions. How much talent and grace has been stolen from the world by the arrogance of politics and the vanity of men?

3:48 PM  
Anonymous WhattheH said...

Glad you said it, cause from me it would sound like a misandrist comment. Not to say that all politicians/rulers are men, just most of them.
Ah, long day in the salt mine, but I'm relaxing, listening to Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap on the radio, and reading blogs. Tis a good life.

4:47 PM  
Blogger durrati said...

what,

I firmly believe in humankind's infinite capacity for stupidity, regardless of gender.... no examples of this point needed I'm sure :)

"Share the Land", veritably an Anarchist anthem.....

5:16 PM  
Anonymous WhattheH said...

Bachman's show is always good. Every saturday night from 7 to 9, he spins discs that he listens to, introduces new music and tells stories about his experiences friends. Great upbeat entertainment. If you're ever at a loose end, check it out on the internet. The weekly program is detailed here:
http://www.cbc.ca/programguide/program/index.jsp?program=Randy+Bachman%27s+Vinyl+Tap&network=CBC%20Radio%20One&startDate=2006/04/08&startTime=19:00
And you can listen live here:
http://www.cbc.ca/listen/index.html

5:37 PM  
Blogger durrati said...

Thanks What! I will listen....

6:20 PM  

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