Madrid and Toledo

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September 9th 2018
Published: September 9th 2018
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Guernica PicassoGuernica PicassoGuernica Picasso

We are not immortal but this painting will live forever
Guernica came into my life in Toronto, June 1973. It was in a large art book. I cried for the horrors of war, the brutality. Picasso showed me the degradation of the Spanish Civil War. But at the time I marched in the streets protesting the horrors of the Vietnam war. I shouted into a megaphone, "Hey! Hey! LBJ, how many kids have you killed today." Guernica the original is monumental in it size and power. Then came the first September 11th, 1973. Salvador Allende, recently elected president of Chile was assassinated, apparently by the CIA. A small print of Guernica was taped to my wall.

Over the last few days we have spent about 30 hours in gallerias, Prado etc. We have feasted on the great works of art. Images we've seen in book and prints but it does not compare to seeing the luminous genius of the real thing. Below is one of Dali's paintings and a detail. If you look in the ocean you will see these people. The more you look the more you see.

Toledo was wondrous. The history spans Roman, Islamic, Jewish, and Christian conquests. We visited a synagogue. The synagogues in Toledo are the property of the state because in 1492 almost all Jews were either, tortured, killed, deported or converted to Christianity. One synagogue is run by bad-tempered nuns. There are three images from our roof top in Toledo at dawn.

The wine, food and cheese are so delicious. The fish is a bass, soft as butter with crunchy crust and a sauce of Parmesan and truffle.

Our host is a young man who lives with his parents. He is a kindly man and wanted something to take care of so he sowed some marijuana seeds. It is legal to grow and use cannabis for personal consumption. Because he tended them so diligently, he now has a forest of plants. But, he laments he does not smoke and does not know what to do with all the plants.

I made the worst gaffe of the week today. My hosts father has been blind since childhood. He does not speak English and was trying to tell me something but I was having trouble understanding him. I read Spanish better than I can understand conversation so I asked him to write down what he was saying.

Additional photos below
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9th September 2018

Good start
You are off to a great start. Wonderful light in the photos of Toledo. We are always the last to forgive our gaffs, but I’d bet his appreciation of you engaging with him seriously out weighs a moments embarrassment. Look forward to the next post. Glad you are eating well!
15th September 2018

hi Heather and Carl
Great to get a posting from Muckinfuss...what an adventure. Absolutely taken by the photos of Toledo- the light must be something that the artists used to dream of. Couldn't you have helped out the young man with the overproduction of the green stuff. What an opportunity! All is well in the neighbourhood....they are digging deep holes at the back of us but it is according to plan.

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