Wednesday, March 7, 2012

As Promised...

Pablo Neruda--never one to follow trends!

I was so interested to check out Neruda's home during my time in Santiago. Winding my way through streets filled with youth and energy and locals, restaurants and bars and dance clubs, and at the foot of the mountain upon which the Virgin Mary statue presides, is a quiet little road tucked away. Tourists have probably passed this road without notice on their way to the mountaintop. But down this street is where Neruda lived. It's covered in windows and full of natural light. It's embedded into the land (You have to take stairs to get inside) much ilke the buildings of quaint beach town Vina del Mar.

And so, I suppose, it seems fitting that Neruda's house would look like nothing else I've ever seen. That he wold have separate buildings all together for the separate lives he lived: a personal living quarter, a professional area to write, and that he would have this mix of nature and oneness with the land but just a corner's turn from the electricity that ripples through Santiago and, most especially, these neighboring streets at night.

I've tried my best to represent the "compound" and its three buildings which, in full, represent Neruda's home. It's said that he built this home at least, in part, for his lover. I'm not sure what it says about their love broken into three buildings but considered under one address--or what it says of Neruda's life. The public one, the personal one, the hidden romance as well. But that's Neruda. A compilation of so many things that somehow, together, seem whole.

This is Neruda's house in Santiago.

This is a mural that was developed across the way from his home some time after he died. The likeness of his profile in his later years is incredibly uncanny.

On the whole, Santiago was cosmopolitan and energizing, rich and poor, colorful with Latin flares and flavors, and more empanadas than you could eat in a lifetime. It was wonderful!

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