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  • [* title borrowed from the homonymous U2 song - thanks, Bono]

    Barcelona, September 2011.

    It was 08.30 am in Passeig de Sant Joan. Two elderly women were following in full harmony the Tai-chi movements of their tutor. It was a grey, sultry morning, the final gasp of an agonizing summer. All around that realm of slowness, there was an ocean of accelerated action: the ties-on-cycle (young execs on bikes, kind of "green" yuppies - o Reagan, where art thou to behold thy disciples?); the Ride of the Valkyries of stressed-out parents taking their children to school on manic prams; the mutual exchange of 4-letter compliments (actually, 4-letter words are longer in Spain...) between taxi-drivers and scooter-kamikazes…However, the women were not altered; their movements were becoming slower and slower, until they reached a seeming stillness.

    They say that Tai-Chi is “an internal martial art”. I gaze fixedly this photograph and soon I start to discern that, in an almost imperceptible way to our accelerated pupils, the women move. I cease to ponder and I merge with them in this internal struggle of circular movements against the coat of time, the ghosts that emerge from our memory’s cavern, nostalgia: all of autumn’s entourage that creeps in every agonizing end of summer.

    Yi Man Sheng Kuai.
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