Observing Without Haste

La Voz de Galicia – September 1, 2023 →

Cristina PatoMy sister Yoly had been talking to me for some time about a book she had read in her book club and mentioned that some of the other members of the club had gone to Madrid to follow the path of the novel’s protagonists. So, once I read it, we talked about taking the AVE and going to Madrid on a literary excursion. And so we spent the day, strolling through the city’s Literary Quarter, or Barrio de las Letras, stopping by places the novel mentioned and enjoying our time together and unaccompanied.

The truth is that it is always special to see the world with her eyes. Yoly sees things that I don’t see, makes observations that I would never think of, and stops at each thing that calls her attention a bit, as if time were hers. After the literary route, I took her to an almost empty Prado Museum that allowed us to stroll calmly through my favorite galleries, and in that visit with her I saw another Bosco, another Velasquez, another Fortuny, another Goya…It was her first time there, and she stopped, fascinated by miniscule paintings, in the little animals that appeared in them, in the textures…she saw what I did not see, so while I tried to observe at her own pace, I learned a little more about what it means to stretch one’s perception of time, about what it means to observe without haste.

Upon our return from the museum, our sister Teté–a Madrid adoptee–picked us up to take us on a walk. And then, looking for Kilometer Zero, Antonio López suddenly appeared, installed in the middle of the Puerta del Sol, cultivating his own particular world on his canvas, absorbed by his mission to capture the light from that place through time. And I, looking at him, amazed by his capacity to absorb, anew learned what it means to stop time in order to try to see what others are not capable of seeing…

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