The travels of río Wang traditionally begin with everyone telling about what he or she is the most curious about on this journey, and in the end to what extent their curiosity was satisfied. In the beginning of our Mallorcan journey last January, the greatest experience was that most people were incredulous that this island, known as a beachfront resort, really has all those things described in our invitation: prehistoric and Roman ruins, Arabic gardens and palaces, a medieval Jewish quarter, Renaissance courtyards, mountain towns and hermitages, archaic villages, millennial celebrations, and more. And that in the end they recognized in awe that it really has all that, and much more. As someone wrote in a letter: “Never in my life have I had this many – and this many kinds of – impressions in one week. And never in my life have I laughed so much!”
To the following joint post embracing all these impressions I only want to add one more, from the images by us all. The small basement shop where we found a piece of Budapest in Palma, and which, while walking about the town, became our second home, a meeting and a resting place. Music and films of the fifties, sixties and seventies, wine sold by the liter, soda water, good company, and a ruin pub feeling in the heart of Palma, in the Jewish quarter: The Sifonería.
More photo albums:|
• Mallorca 2014 – I.
• Mallorca 2014 – II.
To such experience Bach is suitable, hilariously, as is fitting to the occasion:
Bach: Peasants’ Cantata, Dein Wachstum sei feste und lache vor Lust! – Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
A propos of being shaken, here is a picture from the church of Deià, without any commentary, just with the perfect music:
Bach, Mass h minor, Agnus Dei – Andreas Scholl
Wind in the sailboat masts, Palma, port
The sea is an inverted sky, a troubled mirror reflecting the serene blue dome that separates it from the void. A firmament framed in storm-colored stone, a snake cordillera, walls of blank obstinance. The swift blasts of the eight winds pass, their poetry in names like gregal, llevant, xaloc, migjorn, llebeig, ponent, mestral, and tramuntana; the voices of massive displacements of cold air their song.
The western wind, Tramuntana takes its name from these mountains which gape apart near the sea, at the bed of a nearly dry river, a pebbly terrain of reflecting pools and windtorn greenery. It is nature’s proscenium, and in evoking a sense of drama, suggests to us, perhaps, that our senses of awe and reverence come from some ab-eternal connection with the sea, especially where it meets mountains and sky.
How these abstractions, formed in cold stone, lashing waves, and teeming creatures, provoke wonder and mortal tension is embodied, I suppose, in our particular human perspective. We are small and vulnerable, but curious. I am reminded of Lem’s Solaris; its ocean fascinates the earthling visitors with its creative and subtle forms that they can only feebly describe. Endless volumes are written in futility, but understanding never comes. I can only guess that the wise man Llull, native to this isle of Calm, must have had this feeling, too. We see these lively but lifeless things as timeless, but we also know that seabeds can, in a long stretch of time, become mountaintops. The eternal, too, is passing.
Among these rocks and trees is the scent of rosemary and laurel. Other trees sag with the weight of bitter oranges. A church rises from the stones, crowned with a naked bell, a rusting gear and a chain to work it. From the hilltop, I hear the distant clankling of an invisible herd of sheep lost somewhere far away among the oaks and fountainous shocks of mountain grass.
At dawn, the clouds flash an angry pink, eosine, until their inflamed passions are shamed by a hot rising sun, withering away to the frailest wisps of rose and mauve, in turn finally sapped to depletion by the sea’s breath.
On another day, angry but playful demons cavort with fire, the most brutal and voracious of the elements, and fill the air with their chthonic drumming. Rockets shreik and deafen, as the shock troops in the ancient battle of good and evil advance. The parade, a vibrant dirge, a pagan celebration with Catholic trimmings, a river of bodies fills a street that was once a river, pressing on at the pace of flowing lava, and perfumed with the reek of sulphur and gunpowder. Evil is ritually defeated by good in the end, and we carry on, as we always have.
Tunnel at the seaside, Sa Calobra
Since time immemorial, the trees grow happily in Mallorca.
Once again Palma de Mallorca, and once again traveling on the banks of the río Wang. All the way there I was thinking what to photograph instead of the usual tourist photos. I knew that the situation would also give ideas. And so it happened. I was touched first by the trees, and I recalled the love of Farkas Bolyai to THE TREES. He said that “the tree is a sociable being, it does not grow happily alone.”
I was curious about this, I wanted to know which tree in Mallorca is associated against loneliness. Here is my small photo documentation.
In Mallorca the trees “grow happily”, because they are not lonely.
Dance in Sa Pobla, on the night of the temptation of St. Anthony
For further recordings, click here.
We took a thousand and one photos. On rocking masts in the sunny harbor, and clouds of fog tumbling over mountain ranges. On churches, hermitages, and houses with crumbling plaster and beautiful inner courtyards. We have verdant groves and blue lagoons, winding streets, alleys with drying cloth and with almond groves in the distance. Orange trees. Fish markets – skinned devil fish and eel as well as other monsters, and mountains of shellfish. And clouds: fluttering and billowing. And those cliffs, precipices and peaks! And the photos taken on the feasts of St. Anthony and St. Sebastian. And the land of the Talaiots! Nevertheless, my choice was not from these. All my pictures are street art. Works of contemporary artists, smaller or larger placards, plaster paintings, mono prints and sprayed images. All of them from the walls of Palma de Mallorca.
More photo albums:|
• Necropolis of the Talaiots
• Palma de Mallorca
• Devil, angel, Christ with a skirt
• Granja, San Marro, Valldemossa
• Graffiti, placard, label
• Fellow travelers
To see a newborn lamb standing on its feet, and its first steps. And to get to know the world of Ramón Llull (Raimundus Lullus).
The monastery, where Raimundus lived as a hermit, is situated on a hilltop, with the “usual” fantastic sea view.
I was attracted by the garden, the sea, the rhythmic leaning of the grey olive trees; such a reassuring sight in my eyes.
I set off, and I immediately stopped, dumbfounded.
Sheep were grazing next to me, but they noticed me, so the flock slowly moved away. But one ewe did not move. Next to her, on the grass a small white ball was lying. A new-born lamb, apparently already licked clean. The mother did not leave with the other sheep, she stayed with the little one.
The mother was quiet, she was not afraid of me. Nevertheless, I did not dare to go too near, lest she leave the kid because of me.
I was able to spend about half an hour nearby. During this time the little lamb stood on its legs, and staggering and swaying it went to its mother. The mother moved away, forcing the kid to follow her. And the lamb was getting smarter.
Soon it began to suckle. It was apparently only some sips, because the mother was continuously moving on, and the kid was following her, always safer.
Finally, it was running!
Why was I fascinated by this sight? I have been thinking a lot since then. Perhaps because of the painful and beautiful memory of the mother-child relationship, or was it the coincidence of the place, the colors, the wind, the smells, the lights, which affected me so? Surely all together, and surely also the nostalgia which I always feel whenever I’m in any country in the Mediterranean.
This half an hour was very good. For years I have not been so much with myself, alone.
And the other great experience: the great Raimundus. In the monastery building there was a small exhibition about his works and life. Besides being a philosopher, poet and inventor, he must have been a unique chap! (His wife, when she was already bored, not so much of his dissolute life, but rather of the passion that drove her husband to science, worried for their children’s livelihood, so she filed a lawsuit against him, and put their remaining family property under guardianship…)
The great idea of Raimundus was a logical “machine”, the Ars Magna, a combinatorial wheel. By turning it, from the combinations of the elements of thought (words, letters, symbols) all truth could be proved and learned.
The funniest thing to me is what he wrote about the quick learnability of jurisprudence, practised also by me: “Since human life is short, and the law is bulky, thus this profession (the ars magna) helps you all to learn jurisprudence from a short booklet.” He claimed that with the help of the ars magna, a mediocre student could be a jurist in three months, one with better capacity in two months, and an excellent mind in four weeks… Oh, why did I learn so much, and why am I still continuously sitting in front of the books and (thanks to Raimundus!) the computer! In the thinking of Raimundus, I must be a very, very weak student…