Today we meet for breakfast at Jardins Alberto — the “j” is pronounced as an “h.” We are beginning to use Spanish, like “Medas un caffe con leche.” which means “A coffee with milk, please.”
After a leisurely breakfast, we met for Norma’s class on voice. Everyone read a section of writing and recorded their voice readings. I read from Clarice Lispector’s novel A Breath of Life and other people read from their own writing. Norma went over the different elements of voice and layed out a series of questions we could use to engage in self reflection about the underlying question of the class: “What gives shape to your voice?”
Our assignment was to incorporate any of the elements of voice into our reading, like cadence, tone, or volume. For inspiration, we listened to Tennyson, Yeats, Allen Ginsberg, Gertrude Stein, Elizabeth Bishop, Langston Hughes, Saul Williams, Jade Sylvan, Saeed Jones and some of Norma’s own work, like a collaborative poem and video entitled “Moth Light.” The unique voices of poets and writers seemed to make their words come alive.
Close to our hotel there is a relatively unknown spot that a local, Javier, told me about. There, a structure with columns and covered with weaved grapevines peers out to the hills in the distance. I taught yoga there at 6 p.m. It felt cool and breezy underneath, although any earlier would have been too hot. Our first class was based on the first chakra, which represents grounding and security. It is the place I usually start with new students. I focus on working the legs and feet, in addition to physically building a foundation from the ground up. After a warming physical practice, I gave the option to meditate or write or any combination of the two to help “hit the reset button” and clear the mind for writing.
It was an engaging yet leisurely day. Victor taught us the phrase “En Grana’ no pasa na’,” which means something like “Everything’s good in Granada.” That seems to be the case.