The most severe weather system of the season is drawing in from the Balkans (it snowed last night in Athens). My football training is cancelled. There's little to do but to stay home and get warm.
There are many good ways to get warm and all of them somehow involve brandy. Another good winter spice is Nueva Cancion. Here's the obvious classic: Mercedes Sosa doing Gracias a la Vida. Notice that this video got nearly half a million views. Each one of these people has some kind of a relationship with this woman and with this song, and I realize many of you, my dear readers, do too. my own story involves a ring in which the title of this song was engraved, a failed date in Paris with an Argentnian beauty who finally realized she's in love with her Tango instructor (I don't remember whether her tears litarally mixed with the sauce of the Moules Marnieres, but they might as well have), and a moment in which I held the Sosa's own hand while she was singing.
Violleta parra, who wrote this song, was a unique poet, political activist, artist and quilt maker on the Chilean side of the Andes. She committed suicide at age 50 over a heartbreak. here's some pure Parra for you all. It's a very short documentary in French that begins with lovely lament. Ay yay yay!
True, it seem unthinkable that someone responsible for the most passionate love song ever addressed to life itself would take her own life, but no great art is possible without some darkness and Gracias a la Vida has a strong dark undercurrent of longing and potential loss. It wouldn't have worked as heating otherwise.