It is a perfect morning and my little suitcase seemed to pack itself. It has been two amazing days in Valdivia, arriving on Valentine's Day, going straight to the press conference in the Dreams Hotel, then soundcheck and concert in the Teatro Municipal Lord Cochran, to begin La Semana Valdivia in this high summer holiday destination spot, as charming as any river town in Maine or Cape Cod.
Subhira invited me to play here. I met him almost twenty years ago when he came to California and we have talked about doing a concert here since then. This South American trip has been long overdue!
The piano was a Yamaha, like an old friend, and I played with all the enjoyment and savoring of a final concert. Afterwards, standing in the lobby and greeting the audience, i noticed a big poster of Roberto Bravo, a celebrated Chilean pianist and personality whose manager, Yolanda Andrade, I had met in Frutillar at my first Chilean concert, and so I decided to stay one more night here ......and I'm so glad I did!
Roberto is a Chilean treasure and I especially loved the music he played after reciting poems by Pablo Neruda. Even though Spanish is still not fluent for me, one just cannot miss the directness and passion of Neruda's love poems. He claims one's soul the way explorers claimed a new land.
So today I will join Subhira and the other musicians from his group in Pucon, a place I've wanted to see ever since I saw a photo of it on Subhira's poster so many years ago. A few days of vacation and then back to San Francisco, back to where the moon grows from right to left and not left to right, back to the sister America that is just a bit older than this one but sharing all the same European DNA and legacy of fights for independence and dubious conquerings of indigenous peoples. It is a mirror image and carries with it the shimmering light of a spiritual reflection.