26 January 2009

the return journey

and finally, leaving.

not to mention finally sober, after one too many pisco sours with dinner, roadside strawberries and rasp-, and hundreds of congratulatory emails.

visiting Cristian's family farm in Rapel, southwest of santiago, first in a whirlpool of urban madness at the airport, not yet ready, then let down gently in a brilliant landscape of galaxy-stars and dusty eucalyptus along the drive. Patricia and I marvel at the air and I am so relaxed-- steakwinecountryside and most of all success-- that I can barely keep myself vertical. strawhorse-hair pillow perhaps the best I've ever had. zamindars, landed gentry, Patricia and I awake and jokingly embrace, giggling, until Cristian brings the coffee.

a snowy dog, unusually vocal and loveable, keeps us company through morning hotdrinks, pan amasado and copious doses of honey. Cristian's tiny, spry father takes us on a tour of his property by boat. I look out nervously for tarantulas, despite knowing that they are relatively harmless.

it seems like aeons since we parted ways with the Lautmans. I miss Scott's dark-tinged good humour.

empanadas, a detour for handicrafts, argentine dinner and extra-strength pisco sours, and we're off again to santiago, changing into winter clothes and finally accessing the internet in the lounge.

suddenly headachingly sober, I find myself right back where I started, breathing invocations on an escalating aeroplane, mercifully seat-mate-less in a spacious exit row-- i'll swim for help! -- and back to the marvelous feeling of a new bookmark in life, a fresh launching-point.

photo: Leopoldo Espinoza Vera

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