Friday, December 14, 2012

Happy Birthday and The Party is Over

Happy Birthday, dear Sloane! I found a funny page all about Sloane. All Sloane's, all the time, though I think they are guy Sloanes. Male or female, none could possibly make me as happy as my granddaughter. Growing into a young woman I'm so proud to know, and grateful that my blood runs through her (which could be a dicey thing). Smart, funny (really funny), beautiful inside and out. Sloanie girl, happy birthday, with love from Grandma MJ.

Most of my yesterday was spent at Arte Fango, where the marshalls were supposed to show up to remove anything that was left around that shouldn't be. Some wonderful young people from the college over on the big island had come over the day before and spent the night there, making music while making signs identifying the various habitats within the property. This is clearly a maritime sanctuary, legally unusable for building anything, let alone a three story hotel with  underground parking.

This guy out in the middle there was totally channeling Juanito, singing and dancing. It was beautiful!

The spirit of these kids was high, despite the serious work they were doing. There was laughing and singing with the energy of youth on a righteous mission. The morning went quickly, no marshalls arrived. Then it was time for the ferry and time for them to get back home. Thanks for all the work you did! Thanks for giving your hearts and hands and being a breath of fresh air in an old struggle.

Right before they left, some of the school kids came by and then stayed awhile, anxious to play some music one more time before the opportunity was gone. They trooped in, laughing and ready to jump on the instruments. I took a video but it seems to have disappeared, unfortunately. You'll just have to supply the music in your heads.

At first, there were two. Then, there were more.

Jorge taking video
In the meantime, others came by. Tourists, asking questions, locals, giving thumbs up and good energy. And of course, Chiquitine, with the breakfast of champions.

Yes, the shot glass does hold lighter fluid something potent. No, that is not Ensure. Yes, I sampled it. No, it wasn't bad. I've had much worse 'shine. Thanks, Chiquitine!
 I wandered around taking photos, Every once in awhile, Jorge would get behind the congas and play. Another video lost, The Rain music.

We talked about, even if the studio must go, how wonderful it would be if the space could be used as a living museum to this urban maritime sanctuary. How it could be open like this (everyone liked the openness, with the windows (those wonderful windows) gone and after awhile, it did feel good. We imagined the walls covered with photos of the plants and creatures that inhabit this urban area, could see a board at the back, giving information of what exactly was being looked at, much like the observation area on the way to Zoni. Except this is, for Culebra, urban. This is right in the middle of town! An ecologically alive area, once the home of the first native-born mayor of Culebra (did you know that? I didn't).

Historically, emotionally, ecologically, this is a spot that should never be built upon, and if the laws already in place are followed, it never will be. The fight continues, the spirit lives on. We'll miss the wonderful vibe of this funky little place, the music and art that came from it. But that can be done another place. It might not be as special or it might be more special. Ultimately, the passion is for the land and if the fight to save it is successful, that will never go anyplace, for anyone's personal gain.

What would be the better legacy, Mr. Landowner? A fragile, unique place dedicated to Culebra and her visitors, that will live forever, or a drawn out battle for a unsuitable lodging space that will eventually crumble in time. You could name it after yourself and long after you are gone from the earth, it will be there, a reminder of what is truly valuable. Well, that's a thought, anyway.

We don't know why the marshalls didn't show up. The last time they came, to give Jorge the formal eviction notice, there were those among them that admitted being ashamed to be doing this job, at this place. The children came that day as well. They played their music, free from any expectations except the joy of being. It was something not just heard, but felt, the feeling of this place, one of those spots on the earth that just seems right.

Yes, they have a job to do, these men and women, but they aren't without sensitivities and for that, we're thankful. They'll come. They'll do their job. But that doesn't mean they'll like it. The powers behind them stay away, as powers tend to do. Things can't be much more clear, so let's direct our energy to the land. The party for Arte Fango is over, the celebration of the land is in full swing.

Have a flyaway Friday. Do something further.

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