My arrival in Santiago meant that the pilgrimage of leaving my paintings with nature was done. But in some way i was not completely satisfied, and I knew that the process wasn’t really finished yet.
Recalling my 1990’s pilgrimage, and also the other many times I went to the Camino de Santiago together with my husband, i remembered that I had missed a location.
Villafranca del Bierzo, the emblematic location of the Church of Santiago, a romantic building from 1186. Its northern gate has four arches with a sculptural decoration called “the Gate of Forgiveness”. Pilgrims that were unable to accomplish the path received the same forgiveness here, as if they had gone through the Glory Portal in Santiago.
I also recalled the first time I went there. There was a shelter made out of plastic. I came back there a couple of times and each time I was there I met Jato and his wife Maricarmen. Jato, besides being a character, has powers in his hands. I have seen with my own eyes that he healed people, of of the healed being my mother.
I decided that I couldn’t leave without burying one of my paintings there. Since I was going to the Ponferrada exposition, I could take the “heart” that I had left in Villoria de Rioja with my hosts and friends Acácio and Orietta.
I put on the kimonos that I would bury in Santiago in honor of the sacred Kumano Path.
And so we leave, me, Acacio, Galia, a new friend that I had met the year before in Biarritz, and Juliana, my personal assistant.
On 3 October, we were in Puente la Reina to unearth the three pictures that had been in Eunate since May.
Then we dug up the copper plate that I had left there also in May, just behind the Hotel El Peregrino at the entrance of Puente la Reina. The passing pilgrims were clearly wondering about what was going on.
One more stage accomplished!
Then we went to the Ponferrada exposition.
We arrived in Villafranca del Bierzo in the late afternoon. Jato started to look for the best place to bury the “Heart”. He took his magic wand and started to walk slowly. Whenever his wand moved above it would indicate the best place for the burial. He did that in several directions.
Jato dug through the stone layer to the finer soil. There, on the water’s veil that came from the altar in the Church of Santiago, I placed my painting with gold pigment. And the grains of soil were put in many layers, from the finer grains to the rocks.
The “Heart” was left there.
Just before, Marcelo arrived from Santiago and Jato prepared a delicious dinner. A bottle of champagne was opened and we toasted to St. James.