Ouka Leele

ouka leele

Ouka Leele was pure sensitivity. The affirmation of this sentence fills my eyes with tears, because I realise that I have used the verb in the past tense. She has gone. The strength that she had in her youth to throw off the death that insisted on hovering around her, has not been enough this time. It wasn't her turn to die, we didn't want it to be her turn. As if it were that easy... Even the words announcing her departure stick in me like the thorns on a rose. And it's hard to believe. 

Her beautiful clear eyes and her shy smile appear and disappear like a game of magic. Sweetness and insecurity; imagination and extravagance; joy and melancholy. Everything was mixed in this artist, photographer, poet, in this mother who did not hesitate for a second to say that Maria, her daughter, was the best thing that ever happened to her. An intense and interesting life, full of curious anecdotes that shrouded her in mystery and magic.  Like her own name, taken in the years of the famous Movida Madrileña from a constellation invented by El Hortelano: Ouka Lele, to which she would later add another e. Perhaps now, together, they smile, evoking those days when she unknowingly began to be a star, which has not stopped shining. "We are left with her LIGHT", the editor Charo Fierro wrote to me, from her infinite sadness.

I remember an interview that took place at his house in Madrid. I don't remember how long it's been, maybe fourteen, fifteen, sixteen years... When she opened the door to me, she told me that she loved my shoes. I didn't know what to answer. She was observant, direct, simple. Then we talked about everything. About that yesterday of hers, her family, poetry, her need to draw since she was a child, how she liked "roosters and volcanoes", or how she thought during that childhood that happiness was to be found in the forest near the summer house, in the province of Segovia. It was probably from those marvellous moments that she had such a special relationship with nature, its colours and smells. A nature that she turned into her muse, as she was for so many. May my lungs fill up with air,/ May the light get into my eyes/ May the smell of flowers/ get into my veins...

Ouka Leele transmitted calm to me, although I think there was a certain restlessness in her soul, those fears that appear and are not always controlled. She loved life; she hated lies. I was lucky enough to have her accompany me, together with the actor Pepe Martín, at the presentation of my poetry book 'En un instante' (Huerga y Fierro), when she said that it was thanks to that moment that "we learn all at once to recognise the truth. The truth that every instant is pure gold". 

I have walked my sadness through the Retiro. Ouka Leele said that, when she remembered her mother, curiously, a white butterfly appeared. I have seen it too... Fly, fly free.