October 15, 2011
What business do I have thinking about the Duchess of Alba’s recent marriage, at a time when I am preparing for my next exhibition; at a time when my father is experiencing serious health problems, and when I myself have to go through regular sessions of acupuncture, massage, and physiotherapy due to overworking my shoulders, and finally, at a time when I still have to expand my energy on finding a new place to live? Not to mention, there are the everyday chores. What exactly concerns me about her diamonds and pearls while I’m cooking my carrot soup?
My friends are to blame for this, one of whom is only a few years younger than the Duchess herself. These friends allowed themselves to call her...well, let’s draw the veil of modesty over what they actually said. Where is female solidarity and other necessary attributes of feminism? How come Georgia O’Keefe and her young potter were adorable, and the Duchess and her civil servant are embarrassing?
Yes, perhaps the Duchess isn’t exactly young, but she didn’t rob the cradle. And, prior to her marriage, she made her will public, so that the relatives wouldn’t get up in arms about the billion dollar fortune ending up in the hands of Alfonso.
Six children, and only a third marriage. If I were in her place, I really would have picked someone younger.
I suspect that our wishes diminish as they come true, like in Balzac’s novel, The Magic Skin. There might be less of them, or perhaps they just not as significant. If the Duchess - even despite the pressure from Spain’s monarch, King Juan Carlon, not to remarry – still decided to take this young man’s hand in marriage, then I will cast some rose petals into the air in her honour.
And then, we must not forget how important it is to have a companion in life, regardless of one’s age. To have a shoulder to cry on; to have someone who won’t mind the false teeth on the bedside table. Not a friend, not a relative, not a grandchild, but a soul mate, as it were, with whom to dance to the slow songs, or just relax in silence.
Having seen the Duchess go for it at her wedding, I wonder – what excuse could you have to idly sit around?
Here are a few photos that capture my week. I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.