One of the great pleasures of a day spent drifting through Deià is the way each fascinating conversation segues into the next like a surrealist game.
I had arranged to meet Monika Evans in Sa Font Fresca. Monika, who interprets dreams and reads the tarot among other things, had been looking after a huge Brazilian rose quartz crystal for me at her house in Llucalcari. It had been bathed in sun and moonlight for the past two or three years and, I hoped, been charged with healing energies I could pass on to someone who needs them.
Erika and I sat on the terrace and looked down the valley that leads to the Cala. Towering grey rain-filled clouds swirled above the mountains and out at sea. It looked as if someone had spilled ink on the sky.
As happens often, I’d got the time of our meeting wrong but that didn’t matter. Tourists came and went but Deià people lingered over the coffee, living to their own rhythm.
While waiting for Monika to arrive I caught up with my old friend C who was sitting chatting to an artist I believe was born in Llucalcari. His name escapes me but I remember his paintings. He’s one of the very few people who, to me, really captures the landscape in which the village sits.
C was one of the first people I ever met in Deià. Lali and I stayed in a house C was looking after down at the Cala. We arrived late and I went to bed without meeting her. The next morning, I went for my first ever swim at the Cala. It was late April and the sea was cold but so clear I could see every detail of the seascape above which I floated. After my swim I was sitting wrapped in a faded towel on a boulder and taking the sun when C came down the beach, hopping from rock to rock. She was collecting driftwood, pebbles and shells for the mobiles she made.
Later, over breakfast coffee, C talked about what she was doing. ‘I never repeat myself, darling,’ she said. And she probably never has.
Monika arrived and, after we’d caught up on the past few months of each other’s lives, the conversation turned to the relationship between dreams and writing. At first I struggled to make the connection but then I remembered dreaming the entire plot of the first novel I ever wrote, which started in a bar in Magaluf and ended up in the part of Brazil where the rose quartz came from. Monika is steeped in the study of dreams and we made plans to do something on how to use these to tell stories when we both could find the time.
Erika and I walked Monika back to her car and she handed over the crystal, wrapped in a brightly coloured scrap of fabric. She was sad to see it go but glad it was going to help someone heal.
After saying our goodbyes, Erika and I strolled up to David Templeton’s house to see if he was home. Erika had seen David’s work but never met him.
I’ve spent many hours listening to David’s stories, which are often about Deià characters. The story of what happened to him when he first came to the village is a beauty but I wouldn’t dream of attempting to tell it here. You’ll have to ask him yourself. Like all great storytellers, David usually makes himself the comic antihero of his stories, which are told in a variety of accents. They always leave me convulsed with laughter, watched over by a gleeful David.
He’d either forgotten about it or was too modest to tell me but David recently made his first podcast. In between reminiscences he plays the music he loves. This is, apparently, the first in an occasional series. Follow the link below to listen.
David swore that the summer just gone was the best he’d ever had in the village, and he’s lived here for well over thirty years. I love the idea that David’s joy in meeting new people, singing, showing his work and diving into life remains undiminished.
When you’re in Deià it really is as if you’re in another world. The psychic distance from Palma, only thirty minutes or so away, feels enormous. Even the weather is often completely different. Back in Palma, it was warmer, calmer. The clouds were white and fluffy.
Strolling through Santa Catalina, I bumped into Robin Johnson. I’d been off the island for a while and one thing that astonished me was the number of tourists still around in mid-October. Robin mentioned that she’d recently been at a conference on the island called, I believe, ‘Dreaming Mallorca’ at which the Indian philosopher and activist Satish Kumar suggested that the island consider the notion of ‘pilgrimage tourism’.
There are, apparently, seven ancient pilgrimage routes to the monastery of Lluc in the middle of the island, including one from Deià. The idea would be that tourists walk to the monastery and develop a real reverence for the island.
I thought of how each of my visits to Deià is a kind of pilgrimage and agreed with Robin. Every time I come to this remarkable village I’m reminded of how much it, and the people in it, have changed my life.
And I give thanks.