So very sad...
along with the crosses that shadow them.
What I was even less prepared for, was the despair I experienced when I saw what the most recent “Temporal” (Cyclone Petra) had done to what was left of Manfred Gnädinger’s “museum” near The Little Fox House, my pilgrim retreat: his garden in stone is all but destroyed. His iconic round tower is a heap of perfect stones, reducing in circumference. His testimony to the broadcasting age: gone. The tarpaulin was already in shreds, torn in the storms of New Year. I have here in my house a jar for donations to replace it: photos, pleas…* But what is there left to reconstruct now?
"Man" died in 2002. They said he was the only human victim of an environmental crisis caused by 70,000 metric tons of highly toxic oil. The fate of the Prestige is not so much about money but honesty, even – given the conundrum of Margoules the captain – loyalty, and fear: fear of growing old and useless.
Manfred didn´t have that chance. But in his will (which I have seen) he makes it clear that his Museo – built with literal sweat and tears – should be left entrusted to the Estado de España. Oh, along with what is said to be 120,000 euros too, which no one, subsequently, wants to explain the disappearance (of).
Man, I cried for you today. I stood on that unsafe wharf you protested so vehemently and wept. Your work may be lost forever. I am an optimist by nature, but even I would not know where to start. Perhaps (and I hope so) you legacy rests on the natural force which eventually destroyed the loving art that the oil from the Prestige could only tarnish. Maybe you knew all along that the unleashed power of the sea was greater than the exploits of man, and even you, “Man”.
Will those two little black redstarts be there the next time I visit? I have noticed then often and haven´t seen them anywhere else. Will your spirit inhabit this place, not in what was there, but in what lies on harmony with nature. Until she closes the book.
Your body was exhumed; you were cremated, supposedly according to your wishes. Ask most people now: where is Manfred and they will look confused, or somehow have to leave. Wherever you are – and I have a feeling I have glimpsed you once or twice - RIP: Manfred.
You will always be in my heart.
(*SeeThe Story of Man: blog post 08/01/2012 for background on Man's story)
Extraordinary photo by Marcos Rodríguez