Friday, March 16, 2012

Last night in Linares

Hard to believe it's coming to an end already. A slew of people left today, returning to their various homes or carrying on with further Mexican journeys. Only four festival participants left, myself included. I'm glad I had today for decompression. The schedule's been so full that this has been the first real opportunity to just wander around the streets of Linares a bit. It really is a charming little city, utterly bereft of kitschy tourist trap shops. This is simply a place where people work and live. There are occasional signs of the troubles that plague Mexico-- state troopers armed to the teeth, rumours of vans cruising the streets, driven by men in bulletproof vests--but I've seen no actual violence or crime.

Wednesday finished with an epic evening of literature and music. Maybe a few too many acts on the bill, but still some remarkable performances, especially from Estonian poet Katlin Kaldmaa. I also really enjoyed a couple of older gents playing traditional Mexican tunes. Muy simpatico.

Thursday, I and others were back at the Colegio Linares, where I talked to a grade 7 class and a grade 11 class. The classroom visits have all been terrific, even if the older kids didn't swarm us for autographs...

In the evening, I attended a talk on the place of Mexico in Pablo Neruda's Canto General. The lecture was delivered by Irish poet Kieran Furey in Spanish, so I didn't catch a whole lot of it, but it was very well received by those who understood it better than I did.

It's really been a fantastically stimulating week. I feel privileged to have been invited and humbled to have received so much help getting here. In post-mortem conversation last night, my campaign was cited as a potential model for future fundraising for the Linares festival. I hope that Colin Carberry and the other folks around here who make this event happen are able to keep it going and growing.

I blast off quite early tomorrow, catching a 7 am shuttle to Monterrey. From there, I fly to Atlanta, where I lay over for a few hours before carrying on to Montreal, from whence I'll be training it home, arriving Monday evening. Hasta luego.

1 comment:

Ruca said...

Zach, I'm glad it was such a success. Travel safely home.
xx