Gina Leishman

Composer, Multi-instrumentalist, and Singer

October 1st, menorca

Home again, home again… I got back last night, and this morning took sis to the airport for her UK vacation, allowing me some time alone here – heaven… it is autumn, or rather, second spring – mixed skies, sun and rain, a green blush in all the fields, things starting to bloom again. Today I swept, swam, raked, pruned, potted, did laundry and made quince jam – yes… still haven’t unpacked…

The second half of the Sicilian adventure was as great as the first – more writing, more great dinners and excursions, including Mt. Etna (in the first rain the island has seen since February – suitably spooky) and Siracusa (I could happily live in Ortigia). Two very long weekends to finish with: the first was the festival of Sta Maria Addolorata, involving several processions with the fabulous banda, immense pealing of bells and massive heart-stopping, ear-splitting firework displays including 21-gun salutes & “bombs” to break your eardrums, the streets lit up like there was no tomorrow – plus a very brisk business of raking in the dough (really big bills) on the madonna’s portable platform in return for lifting up naked babies to be blessed in front of the crowd – ah, the roman catholic church… the last weekend was 3 evenings of performances from us artists (including Chef Turi), and also including a memorable P.R. train-ride through town on the saturday morning, drumming up business – shades of our Broadway parade through Times Square back in 1983…

My last afternoon I finally found the site of the temple of Cybele, dating from late 4th/early 3rd century BC – the site was gated & locked but I managed to scale both sets of gates and walls (with the help of an ancient olive tree at the second set, meredith remaining behind to keep a look-out) and found my way down into the hidden valley. The images, carved as they are, out of and into the limestone hillsides, are badly worn away but the seated figures are clearly visible… the “mother goddess” from Anatolia, pre-figuring the greek gods – it’s interesting that her temple is nestled deep in the cleft of a valley, completely hidden, as opposed to the greek choice of sites as high and exposed as possible… such a sense of peace there – I finally reached that point of true stasis that is so necessary before beginning the return, the completion of the journey… now on to the next chapter…