I first came to hear the amazing sounds that poured from the heart and guitar of Paco de Lucia a few years ago while sitting in a modest house on a hilltop in the foothills of the Sierras in the ever moody and majestic Alpujarra of Andalucia.
I was house sitting, it was winter, it was my first time in Spain, and I was alone – alone with an exuberant mountain wind flicking through olive branches, the sound of distant tinkling bells as goats were herded through the fields below, and the whispering whispers of the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca mingling with the air (this was the region where many felt he had been murdered long ago).
It was a place ripe for the music of Paco de Lucia. And so was I.
One day as I sat sipping red wine, eating Spanish cheese, and pondering the mysteries of my life, I came across two DVDs sitting on the shelf; one of Paco’s life and music, another of the music and dance of Blood Wedding, a play written by Lorca. I became entranced by the power and passion, the sense of perfection and haunting beauty of both. From that moment on I was fascinated – with the music of Paco de Lucia, and the poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca.
I speak no Spanish, yes sadly still, so everything I know of it is from translation, and perhaps most important, from the heart –of the poet, of the artist/musician, of the music of flamenco and of an incredible Spanish classical guitar – to my heart. For me it is a music whose touchstone is pure heart. What an amazing place to emit from. What an amazing place to be brought to.
It is of course possible that in order to travel to such a place, it will demand from us an inner quest for nothing less than excellence. Such a journey can be arduous. It certainly asks the best of us. From everything I have read, that is what it did for Paco de Lucia.
When I listen to his music I know that we, you and I. are blessed because of it.
Paco de Lucia left us today. He slipped away from our arms somewhere on a beach in Mexico.
He leaves behind a wealth of music. Like Andalucia, it is a musical landscape rich and vibrant, one that can colour the very fabric of our lives, if we open to it.
So gracias Paco, thank you. May your music kiss the angels as you grace their skies with your heart.
It occurs to me that lately I am writing about profound talents who are leaving our world, some far too early. Talents, and yes, souls who will be truly missed, both for their journey into excellence, for the jewels they have bequeathed us, and for the beauty of their spirits and hearts.
I cannot help but wonder – what does that ask of us who are still here?