On Tuesday we received very sad news at the Cursos: the death of a beloved colleague. I didn't know Emilio well at all, as he never taught for us, but he was a familiar face from years ago who always had a quick smile and a warm greeting. His death, premature after a brief fight with cancer, is especially difficult, as he leaves behind his family, wife and three young children. As an old friend just reminded me via email: life is too short. It's been a terribly difficult year for everyone at the Cursos, as another young colleague also passed away in October. I don't know if not existing was really ever an option, and as I showered a few minutes ago I concluded that I really can't know the answers to any of the big questions. That's o.k, for now. Regardless, I do have the firm sensation that I do exist in reality and that I really like existing and wish it could go on and on and on. So, I feel grateful. I'm not sure how best to go forward, but try to do so with all the help I can get. Yesterday I glanced at some ballet photos in a big program brochure for the New York City Ballet that came in the mail for Daniela. The photos are spectacular and I thought, now there's a good way to move forward: express these emotions in a beautifully choreographed dance. Dance, and the arts in general, help me. Now, do they help me put it off or is there, through art, some real reconciliation with our fate? I have the feeling it's both. Tragically, yesterday the danse macabre surprised Ignacio Uría on his way into a bar to have a game of cards with friends. ETA. The cowardly, perverse bastards sink ever deeper into the sick criminality of terror by murder. Yesterday it was Uría, a businessman who's company is working on the high speed train into the Basque Country, a project ETA is trying to undermine through terrorist blackmail. He didn't get much of a dance: gunned down with two bullets to the head on a sidewalk in Loyola, just yards from where Asun and I were married. ETA must be defeated definitively, but it won't happen until the Nationalists of PNV and EA recognize the perversity of their calls for negotiation. Can you really negotiate with a gun to your head? Are Basques opposed to the nationalist project in a position to express their ideas freely? Only if they are willing to risk their lives. Literally, that's not a figure of speech. In Loyola and other places around Euskadi we see what the risks entail. In Azpeitia, the municipality which includes Loyola, the town council refused to condemn the assassination. It's barbaric and shameful. And it must change. Above, La danza de la vida y la muerte by "Bigmom".

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