He climbed back up and up and up the higher trail, along the olive terraces—the olive trees they graft onto wild olives, for strength; the silvered trees hoary, druidic, wise; the twisted trees like arthritic old men on their many-layered terraces of drystone.
He liked to think of Gabriel Garcia Márquez visiting Robert Graves (not just all of the movie stars) in the house Gertrude Stein suggested Graves buy on the outskirts of the village of Deià.
And then he visited the grave. He paid his respects at least twice a year. Robert Graves, poeta. He’d seek out the simple gravestone just as the light was going and the names could scarcely be made out. Marti, Colom, Maroiag, the local families. He’d be alone in the small walled graveyard behind the church on the hill (d’es Puig), the highest point of the village, trying to identify the source of the goat bells that carried so clearly from across the valley, somewhere among the steep stone terraces, the olive trees. No goats that he could see; only the dead poet, his stone surrounded by white lilies. He was always moved by the simplicity of it. E.P.D., En Paz Descanse.
(On Memorial Day, remembering a visit to the grave of the collector of the myths who’s been important to me in my novel that talks so much about them. This passage from the long short-story I have still not finished about the detective in Mallorca, The Mirror.)