Walking. Old Town Barcelona.

August, 2006.

Barcelona.

Family vacation, using accumulated points for airfare and hotel.

Complimentary breakfasts included chocolate croissants. Buttery flakes melting on tongue, chased by the Sweet, ever-so-smooth, French chocolate.

Our late morning destination was Old Town Barcelona, the Gothic Quarter.

Large blocks of cobblestone line the narrow passages, buildings overhead offering shade, a cool respite from the summer heat bearing down at mid-day.

Cobblers. Cheese shops. A bookstore with Bibles in the window. Small cafes. Shops selling beads, necklaces and over-priced souvenirs, Tourists lingering.

Our pace, My pace, was quick. Rush, to see, to get to, to do. Next. Next. Next.

19 years later, I’m flipping through images on the internet, trying to retrace those steps and replay that one hour of Life in Old Town. I’m frustrated, not finding the right images. Memories fray on the edges and now at the center, old photographs left out in the mid-day sun.

And regrets, always hauling the weight of Regrets, why I had not savored those steps (and let my Family do so), rather than greedily gulping them to get to the Next.

It was yet another Meg Rosoff awakening: “I can tell you that you will awake someday to find that your life has rushed by at a speed at once impossible and cruel. The most intense moments will seem to have occurred only yesterday and nothing will have erased the pain and pleasure, the impossible intensity of love and its dog-leaping happiness…”

I often awaken to this same moment in Barcelona, on quiet Sunday mornings like this one.  I’m walking Old Town. Slowly. I can hear my footsteps. Hear my breath.  Feel the slight autumn breeze on my forearms.  And I’m swamped with a yearning to replay the moment, and regain that intensity of that feeling.

I need to go back.

And do it right this time.


Photo: epepa.eu

The wind lifted me…like wings.


Notes:

  • Photo: A woman’s red tress blow in the air on a windy day in San Sebastian, in the Basque Country of northern Spain.  (wsj.com: Juan Herrero/EPA-EFE, Feb 1, 2019)
  • Post inspired by Ray Bradbury from “The Lake” in Dark Carnival: “I ran. Sand spun under me and the wind lifted me. You know how it is, running, arms out so you feel veils from your fingers, caused by wind. Like wings.” (via Beth @ Alive on All Channels)

 

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

bird


Summer 2016. Last call?

victoria-beach-california-pool

madrid,spain

Oh, to be here or there…Now.


Notes:

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

dunlin-bird-breakfast-light-beach


A dunlin searches for food as it’s golden brown reflection is portrayed in the golden light. Photograph by Mario Suarez Porras from Oviedo, Asturias, Spain. This was a NatGeo Top Shot in the Daily Dozen, Nov 10, 2015.  Source: Nationalgeographic.com (Thank you Carol)

 

A good trade.

lotto-ticket-spain

In mid-November I flew to Madrid. […] In Cartagena we made a pit stop at a restaurant called Juanita. […] I was sitting at the bar, having lukewarm coffee and a bowl of marinated beans warmed in possibly the first microwave ever made, when I realized some guy had sidled up to me.

He opened a well-worn oxblood wallet to reveal a solitary lottery ticket with the number 46172. I didn’t get the feeling it was a winning number, but in the end I paid six euros for it, which was a lot for a lottery ticket. Then he sat down next to me, ordered a beer and a plate of cold meatballs, and paid for them with my euros. We ate together in silence. Then he got up, looked me straight in the face, and grinned, saying buena suerte. I smiled back and wished him luck as well.

It occurred to me that my ticket may be worthless, but I didn’t care. I was willingly drawn into the whole scene, like a random character in a B. Traven novel. Lucky or not, I went along with the part I was targeted to play: the pigeon who gets off a bus at a pit stop on the road to Cartagena, hit on to invest in a suspiciously limp lottery ticket. The way I look at it is that fate touches me and some rumpled straggler has a repast of meatballs and warm beer. He is happy, I feel at one with the world— a good trade.

~ Patti Smith, ‘Her Name was Sandy’ from the M Train

Notes:

Sunday Morning: You Have to Maintain What You Love


“The Horsemen: The traditional ‘Rounding of the Mares’ has been with the Almonte horsemen for generations. Over a thousand horses are driven across the plains and through the towns of rural Spain.  Being a horseman in Almonte is to live the tradition of our ancestors that has existed for over 500 years, to maintain the balance between nature and man.  It is something so rooted inside of us, in our blood, that we are born horsemen and our children are born horsemen.  The first thing they want to do is go to the marshlands with their fathers and grandfathers.  For us the marshlands, the field, the nature, is a religion, a way of life, an identity.  It’s a proud responsibility to because you have to maintain what you love.  We are horsemen, living in unity with nature and our values.  It is a community and a union, between animal and man.  I think for a man, where he has lived, what his elders have passed onto him, if he doesn’t preserve this then life has little meaning.”

Sunday Morning in Sabadell

We’re sticking with the flash mob theme, riding the community spirit, the family, and the wholesomeness train – – until we drive the darkness completely out.  This clip, now seen by over 8 million on Youtube, is performed by 100 musicians and choir members from the Vallès Symphony Orchestra, the Lieder, Amics de l’Òpera and Coral Belles Arts choirs.  They play the final movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in the town square of Sabadell, Spain.  Just check out the faces and the joy this event brings to the performers and the audience.  Good Sunday morning to you.


Thank you Michael for sharing this wonderful piece.  Happy Holiday to you and your family.

I was also reminded that today is Beethoven’s birthday (1770).

So Sweet

Maria Mena is a Norwegian Pop singer and songwriter.  Here’s Maria (with Thomas Dybdahl) singing “So Sweet.

↓ click for audio (So Sweet – Maria Mena)

“…cool and soothing…the wind is in your hair…not a single care…the speed of moving…feels like you can fly… feeling kinda high…beneath the big blue sky…you let go and landed on your feet…and it felt so sweet…there’s nothing more that can hold you back now…Amelia, you always had what you finally found…you’re on your way…your fears are behind you…morning glory…shines upon your face…not a single trace…of years all gone to waste…oh now here’s a story…full of hope and light…you didn’t win without a fight…now here’s to your delight…you let go and landed on your feet …and it felt so sweet…there’s nothing more that can hold you back now…”

 

Blue and White

Here’s Beth Waters singing “Blue and White.

…it’s okay I’m going home now
I’ll be okay tonight
I just wanna be alone now
with the dark and the light
that’s my favorite color blue there
as the sun sets in the sky
there’s just something in the hue there
in the corner of my eye

in the dark and the light
in the blue and the white
something’s pure that I am missing
something’s sure that I am not
holding back and never letting you see…


Image Source: Thank you Anake Goodall – Manolo Valdes, Double Negative, 1942

Related Posts:

%d bloggers like this: