January 28, 2012

Majestic battered walls form the ramparts of the Palais des Rois de Majorque.  Beautifully crafted brickwork with cut stone corbels. The kings built their palace on the hill of Puig del Rey and made Perpignan the capital of their kingdom in mid 1200’s.

Doors, corridors, stairs, armatures and the main towers in Gothic style are all made of cut stone – ochre stone is from Les Fonts, the Baixas Blue and Sandstone and  Red Marble from Villefranche-de- Conflent. The marbles are from Céret. The palace is organised around three courtyards 60 metres square – other courts lead off to the gardens that spread within the firm shape of  the top of the ramparts. The palace is closing early on New Years Eve, so empty and, not at all as it would have been centuries ago – full of bustle, movement and noise – but I can appreciate the spaces – quite sublime.

And in retrospect now a month on, still hungry and excited about the year to come.

The future is space,
earth-colored space,
color of water, air,
black space with room for many dreams,
white space with room for all snow,
for all music.

Behind lies despairing love
with no room for a kiss.
There’s a place for everyone in forests,
in streets, in houses;
there’s an underground space, a submarine space,
but what joy is to find in the end,

an empty planet
great stars clear as vodka,
so uninhabited and so transparent,
and arrive there with the first telephone
so that so many men can later discuss
all their infirmities.

The important thing is to be scarcely aware of oneself,
to scream from a rough mountain range
and see on another peak
the feet of a woman newly arrived.

Come on, let’s leave
this suffocating river
in which we swim with other fish
from dawn to shifting night
and now in this discovered space
let’s fly to a pure solitude.  Pablo Neruda  The Future is Space

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