I was probably seven years old and there is only a few things I remember. I remember that i use to dream, and I dreamed a lot, specially about my dad traveling with me on a motorcycle . I am gonna leave the other part of the story behind fo a wile because I want to talk a little bit about Him, my father.
In those early years, Dad was still living in Spain, not sure how many more years he lived there, but finally he decided to come back home, the land that left wounds never forgotten under his skin; the only reason why he came back it was us, I would understood this fact many years later as an adult, and I thank him for this decision, because even though he was an absent parent, he could have been a lot more absent been so far away.
There was however, before his return. A trip back to spain that changed my life, my psychology, my relationship with my father, with my mother and my world for ever. I dont remember much but all I now is that there, during that trip i lost the thing that I would keep trying to find back all my life… my wings.
We undertook the trip to Spain to visit dad in the summer holidays after spending a wonderful holiday at Beteinu summer school where teachers were loving, where I had many friends and every day I played in the pool, water and trees where my true passions.
The contrast was tough … We flew the two of us Mara an myself , and the anguish of my mom saying goodbye at the airport just took my breath apart, I can still feel it, and Mara with only 9 years old, had the courage and did the best she could,to protect and take care of me , but I was losing my wings it was already to late.
On the flight i vomit and vomited and vomited. Two girls traveling alone … I remember the flight attendants, who cared for me too, they were nice but I was trying to reach my mom and my winds in my fever dreams.
And then there was Spain, the bad times tend to fade from memory. My father worked, also did Shona, his future wife. She turned to be the best memory of the trip .Mara and myself spent that summer in spain watching TV alone in my father’s apartment. There I lost my first tooth, which almost fell into the draining of the bath. I do not remember the tooth fairy or the return trip. Only something that was left behind.
Back in Argentina and after my dad’s return, I remember the first visit to the home of Tiger, one of the houses that would mark my story and still do every time i step in. Arches everywhere, the smell of clay, abandoned art, murals, rooms, secret passages, double floor closets to hide treasures, linens, thick mattresses of feather and the smell of wood pine in the fall that left their footprints in the perennial garden of my childhood. The house had its own life, dirt and neglect, suffered from constant tigrenses tides, which left the house exhausted and the long road of cleanliness and order that never ended.
The house had belonged to the family Monsegur for many years, and sometime in between the house got split in two parts of the family and half belonged to us, well, actually my grandmother, the other grandmother, who was still living there when my dad was back from Spain.
Mamama , was how we use to called her, had silver and long hair and, as the story tells, it was silver since she was thirty years old, when one day, all the sudden, it became all white. She always wore it on a bun and she was always accompanied by some decrepit average dog.
My grandmother used to be a beautiful woman from high society whom had married an artist from a different world, they’ve traveled through Europe on their years of glamor, other time they lived on a floating house far away from everything, they where a revolutionary couple for its times.
she loved her husband so much, that would do anything for him, a love full of pasion and secrets, they had three children, two boys and a girl, their favorite, all of them would exile the country many years later leaving her alone with the huge wooden house and the ghost of my grandfather. My grandfather left record of his life in the hundreds of pictures that still remain in the house, some wearing the walls, many stored in an invisible background. He Also left the mural thats forever stays on the front of the house with images of men cutting cane in the islands of the delta of Tigre,
My grandfather died in a canoe expedition somewhere in the south when he was still to young.
And mamama to preserve his love, let all his work, complete and incomplete in the living room of the house, which he had used as a workshop for many years. When I first visited the house all was still there, the workshop, the oils, the brushes, the smell of turpentine and the charcoal .As if like that , she could keep a bit of love and remembrance. With the arrival of my dad everything would change.
This part of the family, extravagant artist, crazy, daring, revolutionary, French , with colonial touches, in contrast to the other half of my family , cold, quiet, serious, neat, distant, strict, submissive, silent, with a touch of German and jew. Marked my ambiguity, my confusion and my quest to know who I am, and for that I thank them.
So when my dad and Shona returned to live in the old house, mamama moved to an annex of the house with her own bathroom and kitchen. Sometimes we saw her spying through the windows, a little afraid I was of her, after so many things that she went trough , she kinda of lost a bit of sanity but she was still an artist and she hand painted vases and cups and the many beautiful pottery pieces that my dad would cook in the giant oven that would transforme the opaque color in a bright and warm color, I used to love just been there and smell and touch the clay with my hands. And because of them i love art and I have the personality i have. She was not my favorite grandmother but she had all the characteristics to be the one, I just didn’t have the chance to spent much time with her and my dad, because Tiger was far away and we spend with him just the weekend every two weeks.
Everyone could have done better but I am who I am because of my history.