In Plenary, Production on March 16, 2012 at 11:51 am
Across the rippled silver sand and down to the water, the sky vaulting above me and teeming with stars. I can see the band of moist sand before my feet get wet; a strip of shine where the waves wash in.
I’ve been to this spot before but not at this time. It’s a second viewing; the kind of revelatory glimpse of a place you only get once you’ve seen it a thousand times, and then see it anew. Out in front of me a succession of cargo ships navigate the Straits, twinkling like a chain of fairy lights.
Beyond them the fainter flickering of Tangier, its lighthouse and medina. And spanning my field of vision from the Isla de Palomas on my left to the huge dune up at Valdevaqueros on my right, the black Atlantic. Sand, water, lights; the world is made of these long horizontal layers and of the noise the waves make.
And of the vertical sky. Orion stands over me, high in the sky and dead ahead. When I first knew K we would stand out back of the house we shared in Dublin and I would point it out to her; Mintaka, Alnilam and Alnitak, the three stars of his belt; Hatsya, the tip of his sword. She would humor me by listening. It was the only constellation I could see from our yard that I could name. More
In Plenary, Practice on July 6, 2011 at 12:41 pm
We are surrounded – in the darkness – by points of light. K’s eyes are full of them as she looks up; tiny reflected specks. Her skin is tinted silver blue from above.
It’s a quarter to midnight. The clock face on the ayuntamiento building is illuminated; round and white with the skewed grin of the hour. Near it the ex-soldiers’ residence is also lit, and the church, and the port, and the castle. Seen from here the town is ramshackle and rambling; draped over a last minute drop to the coast.
The bell towers, the grand old white-walled houses, the innumerable laundry lines and billowing sheets …if I had been commissioned to paint a southern Spanish fishing town – and if I could paint – I probably would have produced this.
Alleys in shadow, gloomy rooftop terraces and brilliant windows here and there like bright square dots; screens across which are played the lives of others in episodic, fragmentary scenes.
The irreality is added to tonight by the absence of our customary wind and the lounging tones of a rather well played saxophone which rise from a plazuela somewhere nearby and waft over balconies, patios and people. On a silent night like this the instrument can be heard all over town, indoors and out – everyone an audience member. More