writing about madrid


the following is an experiment in writing … remember i said i wanted to do more creative writing?

madrid …

when i think of madrid, a place i have never been, i think of – seriousness. the seriousness of beautiful women hidden behind black lace hidden behind fans in soft hands that have never worked a plough or stoked a fire, hidden behind windows hidden behind intricately woven grates hidden behind gardens tucked away discreetly in a side-street, away from the noise and sun of the plaza where the men gather and smoke cigars.

madrid? i think of spain. every city in spain is madrid to me. the barcelona in colm toibin’s the south, i thought it was madrid. where katherine proctor hides her melancholy away in one of those cheap madrid hotels (or was it a pension?) until she joins her life to an anarchist painter, to keep her in the south for many years, where she finds pain and more pain. and also finds herself as an artist.

when i hear “madrid” i think of federico garcia lorca, poet, dramatist, painter, pianist, and composer who, like katherine’s anarchist, fought injustice and fascists and who also did not survive the fight. and yet, lorca was not from madrid, he was from granada in the province (or as they call it, the “autonomous community”) of andalusia.

the word “madrid” makes me think of picasso working away feverishly, mistreating all the women who adore him (for some reason i always put the two together). i remember once seeing a picture of him, bald and old, and i drew in my breath, he just looked so damn sexy. madrid, as far as i know, was not picasso’s place either. malaga, barcelona, paris, and other places – yes; but madrid, other than going to school there, was not a significant place for him.

i know i knew of madrid when i was a little girl, at least by the time i was five. perhaps to me back then “madrid” meant “a place, any place, in spain’ it’s where serious people live” – and i was never really able to move beyond that image.

so what’s this experiment? well, this is another paid review post (for hotels in madrid, in this case). while i was looking through my folder at reviewme.com, it occurred to me that i can use the topics as writing prompts; i can turn these reviews into creative writing assigments! (maybe a bit like improgging, what do you think, hayley?) so whether i write about hotels, frogs or pea soup – i can always come up with something!

(image by trebol azul)

(this post was included in the just write blog carnival)

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