Recollections of silhouettes
And my experience is the memory of when I left this land and lost that sense of freedom…
El Campo de Montiel is a wonderful reality which I once knew well, and to where I can always draw near again through my memories. It is the result of the interweaving of sensations both personal and non-personal from which it is difficult to escape. Its literature has the tinge of nostalgia: Azorín, Jorge Manrique, García Lorca, Jimenez Patón… Its history holds the memory of glorious deeds and outstanding individuals: the battle of Montiel, Santo Tomás de Villanueva, Cervantes, Quevedo… Famous times can be traced thought its art: San Andrés, Yáñez de Almedina, Francisco Cano… And my experience is the memory of the time when I left this land and lost that sense of freedom I felt when from San Miguel I would draw the silhouette of the landscape, outlined in the dusky light of the setting sun. From those sharp rocks that bordered the highest point of Infantes and, almost without standing on tiptoe, I could make out the outlines of Campo de Montiel: Cabeza de Buey, the Alcubillas hills, the Cristo and Alhambra mountain ranges, and behind my vantage point, las Cabezas de Fuenllana. In the interior, large yellow harvested areas, ochre fields, green vineyards, and mauve pastures. Could this be the land my grandfather tilled? At my feet, and I could outline its silhouette with my finger, Infantes: the vaults of Santo Domingo, the dome of La Encarnación, the chimney of the flour factory, the San Andrés tower, the belfry of la Trinidad and the dome of las Monjas. Little landmarks, jutting up, which in my thoughts wanted in vain to stand out against that countryside of colours and hills to touch the skies. In a jumble of fantasy, Santo Domingo merged with la Fuente Vieja, la Trinidad with el Paseo. The Alcubillas hills with the Cabezas of Fuenllana, Alhambra and the castle of Montiel. And there, again, as part of my fantasy, were zigzagging, abandoned streets, swarming with coats of arms, streets which, similar to the countryside that surrounded and dominated them, ancient and well known even in the olden times, seemed to succumb to the sunset. Recollections of the whimsical silhouettes of a landscape imagined in my dreams, but fully present in my reality.
Carlos Chaparro Contreras