So Far Away

Carol King 1971. Her soulful hit from Tapestry, followed me around Gran Via, along the back lanes, stayed the song in my head in Museo del Prado.


Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore?

It would be so fine to see your face at my door

And it doesn’t help to know that you’re just time away


A lovely day – clear blue skies, jackets off, shades on, people basking in the sun on lawn. Don Quixote on this horse with his farmer squire on donkey, a fiction celebrated in bronze.



Long ago, I reached for you and there you stood

Holding you again could only do me good

Oh, how I wish I could

But you’re so far away,


Streets full of people, shops full of stuff. Restaurants with set lunches – starter, main, wine and desert ten euros up. The homeless reaching out, a Spanish guitarist with CDs to sell, youth on skateboards, old couples, young lovers, tourists facebooking their holidays.


One more song about movin’ along the highway

I can’t say much of anything that’s new

But if I could only work this life out my way

I’d rather spend it bein’ close to you


Facing Las Meninas in the hall of Spanish Golden Age, the great Velázquez staring straight at his audience staring at his painting as if he wanted to see our expressions when we look at his masterpiece hundreds of years later.


And Goya, the romantic artist who was more tormented if his paintings are anything to go by. Another one of the 1001 paintings to see before you die, Goya’s depiction of Third of May 1808 and other gory works of his Black Paintings reflected the darkest days of his life.


Bell ringing. Museum closing soon. Got to find my way back through the maze of this city. Thinking of people I love and knew, all so far away.


Travelin’ around sure gets me down and lonely

Nothin’ else to do but close my mind

And I sure hope the road don’t come to own me

There’s so many dreams that I’ve yet to find


Joan Yap





5 thoughts on “So Far Away

  1. Joan:   I’ve read everyone of your blogs and I must say you are truly gifted when it comes to words. Thank you for including me in your correspondence. When will you be back home?   I’m reading The Riddle of the Sands, by Erskine Childers. Very British and reading your blogs has helped me to understand what he is trying to say. So far a good read. Hope to hear from you soon,,,   Lonnie 

    1. Hi Lonnie, It’s a pleasure hearing from you and glad I’m able to reach out through my writing.
      I’m back in Singapore end of May. Will get hold of Childers’ Riddle. It’s always nice to know of a good book.
      Take care. Stay in touch.

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