Coordinates

The postcard project continues – with a new series that begins with the idea of coordinates. Coordinates are bits of information that individually and collectively help to ‘locate’ us in suspended moments of time. I am in La Alpujarra, Spain, in a tiny village called Ferreirola, 1.5 hours driving from Granada, directly facing Mount Corona of the Sierra Nevada, 1000 m. elevation more or less, a “10 minute walk” on the road to a neighbouring village called Mecina, in my very own writing room, across the hall from my bedroom and bathroom, at Casa Ana, a bed and breakfast-type writing retreat, past the church square and mountain spring taps, down the lane from the casa with the green awning. I don’t speak any Spanish, only French and English, so that will have to suffice. I acquired a Spanish-English phrase book from Chapters in the height of trip planning, but it now seems silly and irrelevant – reflecting the gaps between a virtual world learning strategy, and the physically present learning strategy. There will be much more on all of this. But here I am, on my own version of a writing and research retreat. There will be no hyperlinks, only words with the occasional photo; this is a writer’s exercise, afterall. I am the subject of this series – in professional categories, I remain a writer/ researcher/ teacher/ librarian/ information follower. I am also still a woman of a certain middle age, a mother, a quester, first schooled in feminism and British romantic poetry. These identities will surface at unpredictable moments.  Insofar as it’s possible, the red thread of information will organize these narratives. Before I left my home in my old Ottawa suburb, I had only Google’s and Wikipedia’s versions of ‘truth’ for this place plus my host’s promotional site (never quite the truth either) – Ferreirola, ES. I did not (and arguably could not) understand where I would land. I had no way of anticipating the feeling of this elevation with this so-called ‘winter’ climate – yes officially it’s winter here.  Today it was at least 14C, sunny and windy, and yet the signs of winter are plentiful – homes shuttered, signs of commerce faded, without awnings or humanity; even the churches are closed up despite an eerily punctual bell ringing. I arrived Wednesday evening; having just *spent* (time is my currency) my first 24 hours, this is how and where you can ‘find’ me. Buenos noces, friends!

La Alpujarra room w/ a view

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