Finally, I am in Granada. Words can't really explain the feeling. Except it is a place that cripples me, fills me with sentimentality, makes me groan for earthly things and want to retrace Lorca's steps all day. Like Gulangyu island, it is made of all the things that feed me -- the sun of the south, narrow winding streets (of the Albayzin), verdant green, a patchwork of cultures, a sublime past that seem to glower over the present and modernity.
I can be nothing more here than a stereotype of myself, a half-hearted artist in perpetual contemplation for three days, sitting in my Airbnb renting a moment. Being thirty and spoiled no longer doesn't help my case, as we dine daily and vacation in the earnest (do I sound guilty for traveling? Is it the American in me?). I try to navigate the constant family conversations that has quelled loneliness (what is loneliness?). But loneliness comes in other forms as the world moves on without me.
Yet there's nothing more I can do than staying in this bright moment -- of bright skies and hardier earth. My mind is caught in a web of new words and ideas: Moorish Spain, Azulejos, Islamic tiles, Byron in Seville and Cadiz, Lorca and Washington Irving in Granada, countless writers with their ruminations on this peculiar amalgamation of people, culture, and history.
My cousin doesn't seem to take any of this in, and of the old style Albayzin house we are staying in, the slow wifi makes her cringe, the shower water is not hot enough, and she is glued to a tv drama on her phone in the den, where the wifi punches in a little faster. On the other side of the den is me, wearing a coat so I can keep the window open for a view of the Alhambra, moaning the passing of time, the loudness of modern living.
Who is the fool? It's really rather hard to say.