C’mon, We Gotta Go

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We were circling around the cathedral on our search for a bar with a free Flamenco (Spanish dance) show. I was walking slow and falling behind, trying to decide if I wanted to leave them and head back to watch the street magicians we had stopped for only a minute to see.

This cathedral was a giant, the biggest in Spain. It stood wide and sort of haphazard, full of steeples that looked bumpy until close inspection revealed them to be laced with intricate sculpture. All stone churches look old, but this one looked older. The stones that made it appeared as if they were cut crudely and stacked quickly, like a medieval castle. The sun was hidden from me, but still lit the tall cathedral.


We passed by a painter at an easel. He stood over his tray of thick deep colored paints, holding his brush and watching the sky move the steeples. I knew what he watched, for it was a painting itself. There were clumps of white clouds whose edges tinted sharply into yellows and reds and they stood out strong against a still and deep blue. The church was warm and everything matched as if he’d made it with his brush.

Suddenly a feminine choir began with a boom. Looking up I saw the song was coming from a row of three second level windows, where thick orange light burned bright behind bars. The nuns were powerful and it surprised me enough to hault my already slow strides. I watched the windows glow and let the warm harmonies hypnotize me.

It was perfect already when an explosion, probably from some nearby construction site, sounded in the distance scaring hundreds, maybe thousands of pigeons into flight form the cathedrals rooftop, The sound of them was like a steady wind through a field of flags. The birds mixed and stirred over the church and the cobblestone square, between me and the painted sky, giving a feeling that everything was moving. The choir boomed on, stronger, louder, more serious. Earth shaking explosions came three or four more times. They were deafening and took a moment of the choir’s voice from me, but keeping the birds stirring, chirping and clapping their wings. A throaty, but constant and medium tone passed through the square, sounding more like a plane over head than a motorcycle.

A horse and carriage approached as well. The cluck of the hoofs became deeper and deeper and as the horse neared closer, it sounded as if the ground beneath it were becoming hollow. I felt the hard cobblestones, rocking my foot back and forth on the smooth, raised, rounded edge of one and thought of all the horses and people that had lived and walked there before.

Closing my eyes, I saw a mixture of scenes. It was another trip through time, from the church being built, to the crowds of a giant Sunday mass, to priests talking in the square and horse drawn carriages carrying royalty. The explosions and sounds of passing motors brought images of war planes and falling bombs. With my eyes closed there were people everywhere.

It all came and went in just a few minutes, but with the sights and the sounds and a warm breeze that carried chills through my body, it was worth coming to Seville.

“C’mon, we gotta go!” shouted one of them.

I wanted to stay, but like leaving the magicians, I left again. I really would have rather stayed, but I’d already told them I’d go. Not that they’d care, but I’d already told them I would.

One Thought on “C’mon, We Gotta Go”

  1. kevin Says:

    you paint with your words. i looked through the photos of spain again and saw the new ones. the grumpy nun should be a t-shirt.

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