Here is a close up of the three marble women in the Becquer monument I discussed last week. Another possibility for the loves the three represent is that the first is the hope of finding and sharing love, the second is the joyful reality of a true shared love, and the third is the pessimism and dissatisfaction of a lost love.
I am an aficionado of Spanish refranes or sayings, and shared several of my favorites at the dinner I mentioned several weeks ago. One is “agua pasada no mueve molino,” which is literally “water once passed, does not move the mill.” But the English equivalent would be closer to “there’s no use crying over spilt milk,” or “its all water under the bridge.” These carry a meaning that what’s in the past is past, and you can’t do anything about it now, there is no solution.
But the Spanish refran about the mill can also carry a meaning of a lost opportunity. The example I shared was an opportunity in 1985, when the dollar was the strongest ever, Spain had not joined the European Community, and the Spanish boom had not begun, to buy a beautiful house in our neighborhood on two plots, for about $150,000. Some six years later, a single plot with no house in the same neighborhood was going for over $500,000.
You could even say that the water that has passed the mill, goes through regeneration by eventually evaporating from the sea and returning to other rivers and other mills in rain. Again, they are new mills, new hopes. So you have to notice and take action on the new opportunities.
Another favorite refran is “que me quiten lo bailado,” which is more accurately said without the “d” in bailado because it originates from Andalucia, the Southern region of Spain where Sevilla is located. Literally it would be “let them try to take away the dance I have danced.” But the meaning is that “no one can take from me what I have lived.” There is the sense that there have been some negative consequences, but there are no regrets.
Back to tears; we have tears not only of sorrow, but of joy, gratitude, and even the deep laughter we sometimes experience. They say that a happy cry lasts an average of two minutes, while a sad cry lasts an average of seven minutes. When the Bible talks of tears, it is usually something to do with the soul and emotions, not physical pain. Psalm 56:8 indicates that God will take note of David’s tears: You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Some suggest that this is a reference to the lachrymatory bottles, tall thin bottles found in ancient burials that are said to have been used to collect tears of the mourners and then later buried with the deceased. Others state that the bottles are actually perfume bottles, and that there is no evidence on the collection of tears in these bottles.
Then there is the reference of tears with food and drink, such as in weeping even while eating: You have fed them with the bread of tears; you have made them drink tears by the bowlful. (Psl 80:5) and My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” (Psl 42:3). The last one seems to be a common reaction when someone who says they are a believer, a follower of Christ, has troubles and suffers. “Where is your God?” they ask. Why does your God let you suffer? Well, God never promised His believers would be free from suffering, and without some suffering, how can we appreciate the good times?