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To Antoni Miró

Maria Carvajal

Ever since I have been part of the group I have been hearing the Gaucho talk about his pen-pal Miró. When his letters arrived we delighted even in the envelopes full of stamps, full of beautiful things like postcards and leaflets, news of his exhibitions.

It reminded me of when I was little and uncle Molina’s packages arrived. Even before opening one of them, we knew that the contents were magical, that we would be delighted, that they would more than I’ve up to our expectations, and then these would grow.

And this is where time stops for a moment a kind of space without time, where everything happens softly, with its own incense-like, very soft smell, and everything, each piece of paper, each new thing is experienced with distorted sound, where smiles settle on the face and stay there for a loooooong time! The eyes light up; it feels like a collective hug with a slap on the back.

I hope Antoni is able to recoup, receive or get feedback from our happiness at meeting him each time he sends us his things, his letters, his news. It is always like a birthday present that arrives the next day and makes the celebration last longer.

The fact that they are real, specific letters and not emails increases the feeling of recovering part of my childhood. Because with the arrival of adulthood technology also arrived, and even though I greatly enjoy writing on my computer, because it is faster, neater, it lets me go back and forth, change the spacing, make corrections and all the paraphernalia, nothing compares to a hand-written letter.

When a letter from Antoni arrives we all bunch together, the atmosphere is like at midnight mass (for the generation of the fifties that was the biggest expression of sacred happiness) and the Gaucho acts like the officiating priest.

Increasing the affection one feels is always enriching, a soft blanket for the soul, because when someone recognizes you in the crowd the recognition gives you your place in the world. It is funny because sometimes Antoni uses expressions in his language (that I’m not sure is Catalan or something like it) without realizing it because he’s from Alcoi, a Spanish region that I think is similar to La Santa, our little city, where practically everybody knows everybody else even though not everyone recognizes us the way Antoni does.

Butterflies, my companions in life, have this in common with his letters. It is like in a crazy dream, where the most unexpected things happen with total coherence.

Because, when I see butterflies, I know that something good is going to happen. They are always a sign of something special, because they are always there for me to see them, to feel them, to take them into account. They bring me messages full of mystery, of magic. Maybe I’m the only one who knows this language?

But no! In Antoni I recognize someone else who is “mad about tulles” as they said about me when I was little, because I played at wrapping myself up in the tulles of my younger brother’s cradle, and it used to transport me to a different dimension, where I was difficult to del reach and, as my grandmother used to say, my eyes would glaze over and an expression of paradise lost would cover my face, even though my grandfather insisted it must be worms!


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