Tuesday, May 31, 2011

15 Minutes to Live - Post One

Good god, but I whine a lot and never give enough thanks for what I have.
It's the 'core story' of my life. You are just not good enough, and it's on a friggin' repeat button. Awareness and the laser light of  'truth' are the only tools to bring to this, and with 15 minutes to live, I see I don't have time to keep putting off my ultimate union with what is.
(I sit and breathe and honestly, if I had 14 minutes to live, I wouldn't write anything, I would only sit in conscious meditation.)
But I guess, if I had to write, and I am, then I just want to say 'wake the fuck up'. You are all so drowned out by your internal noise you can't see the reality sitting right there with you and holy crapola, you are your own suffering.  Jumping jumping from one form of entertainment to another without a pause in any of it to appreciate what you've got in this very moment.
here, now, is all there is.. and with a very soft breathe, and soft awareness, you can flower, in this instant into Life.

I have ten minutes to live.

I don't have final words to say to anyone. I've already said what I had to say in the moment. I don't wish anything different than it was.

It's raining. I'd like to go down stairs and feel the rain on my skin and drench through my clothes and laugh in these last minutes. I would not write.

But... again, since I am writing, and committed,  and pledged... the story that must come out is:

such a deep sadness creeping over my skin and penetrating into my flesh. Again, it is your blindness that suffocates me. I know it can not be another way. I know that what is, is, and if it could be different, it would, and there is nothing 'wrong' apart from my understanding, and yet, I feel such sadness when I see the hunched  shoulders of people walking with heavy thoughts, as if their thoughts were all that they were.
I feel crushed when I see the lines of worry on people's faces, the fear they carry in their bodies.. and I if I had more time, perhaps I'd work harder at bridging that distance between you're fear and the reality of your inner self that is pure radiant life in all its glory.

Prisoners, walking in the cages of our minds. Nothing more, nothing less.

I have two minutes to live.

There is white light, a pillar of grace within each of us that connects us to every thing in the known and unknown universe. Your body knows it. The only one who doesn't, is your mind.  If you pause, for just a moment, and just breathe, and feel, and be very soft and innocently curious, you'll feel it. Life, in you - and once you know that, you know everything.

I'm dead. The fifteen minutes are up.

(If you liked this post, you might prefer my other blog 'Being Human'. I try to keep this Catalan blog rather light, but the next thirty days could bring out some deep forms of expression, so if you didn't like it, come back in July!)

Photo: Tiffany Jones (Detail from Jett's drawing of me falling into a deep pit some years ago)

30 Days of Blogging Challenge

Today I pledged to write for 30 days with the #trust30 for the Domino Project. Join me!

Photo: Tiffany Jones (detail from Farmor's house)

Monday, May 30, 2011

FC Barcelona win its 4th Champions League

FC Barcelona win its 4th Champions League

Last Year's Saint Jordi Rose Tree Finally Blooms!

We were a victim of a fungus growth at the beginning of the spring and I had to cut back the branches. This is the first rose of the season.

My Last Coffee on a Monday?

It's time. The body is calling for change. No coffee or pastries from Monday through to Thursday. Until after the Festa Major! (September) Emergency situations discarded. Obviously. The coffee above is my summer favourite. Coffee with milk, with ice. Welcome summer!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The First Swim of the Season

We're at the swimming pool house belonging to Albert's parents. I picked up shiny red cherries and Jett and Joan are swimming. Montse has prepared a lovely lunch. Lovely days and even a cool breeze.

Can You Pay Now Please?

Every now and then I go to a cafe and before I've even taken a sip of my coffee the waitress is asking for me to pay. I must admit I'm quite used to it now, but when I first arrived here I found it rather pushy. It made me feel as though I had to leave as soon as possible. It's true that eating out is relatively cheap in Spain. One of the reasons is that they don't usually hire many serving staff. There is not a big tipping culture here, especially in Catalonia.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Jett Wins a Writing Competition!

Today we're in Barcelona with some of Jett's classmates and his teacher to receive a prize for Jett's composition in a literary contest. It's XII Certamen Literari Escolar En Llengües D'Origin. He wrote about his trip around the world, in Catalan.  Three prizes were given for his age group in Catalonia. 

The Clearing of the Square

I don't know the details yet. But today Albert called me from Barcelona and told me that police had surrounded the Catalunya Square and had forbidden more people to enter. They were also, at that time, quietly taking a few people at a time out. They say they are cleaning the square. The last I heard police had begun to hit people who refused to leave, and to shoot rubber bullets. More I don't know.

The Dentist!

I walked happily along to what I thought was my final dentist appointment this morning. It was a cool, cloudy morning and nothing suggested that my expectations would be dashed.

My dentist drilled, polished and filled with efficiency and little drama. "But hey, what's that? Ahhh. Hmm."

These are ominous sounds to someone in the dentist chair.

 'Looks like there's another hole down here.' My dentist called her assistant and they peered at my cavity with interest while scraping bit of white gunk out of it. Oh.

I've got two more appointments! Serves me right for not coming to the dentist for over 10 years.

Thanks to my excellent and good humoured dentist and her lovely assistant for the great photo!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Favourite Salad

It's typical here, but I love it. Goat's cheese salad! Green leaves, sweet cherry tomatoes, pear, walnuts, raspberry jam and goat's cheese!

Monday, May 23, 2011

2 Hours to See the Doctor

So, we get to our appointment and waited 2 hours. After 3 minutes our doctor says there's nothing to worry about and Jett's just sensitive. Ah. Ok then. We're both feeling a tad frustrated right now.

My Pastry Compromise

Hello Kate! Well, this is the chat we didn't have this week since you were away.
You can see where I am, and I've decided to allow myself a SMALL pastry. Not the normal one.
I went for a 90 minute walk this morning and then 40 mins of asana practice. Now my coffee. It's ok. My body is still recovering from the Montserrat walk. Especially in the supportive tendons in the lower legs. Albert was brave and carried the bag with our things. He's now 32. Suffered no birthday blues. :)
It's seriously hot here. 30 already.
Today I'm taking Jett to the doctors. He's had some troube with his ears for a while and it's time to do something about it.
How's things there? What have you been eating? I've sent a few students your e mail. I've cut back my English classes so I can spend more time with energy healing/qigong/yoga. It means an immediate drop in income, but for me there isn't a choice. It's time. We can talk about it when you get back.
When we were walking to Montserrat I was thinking about the movement into darkness, the womb, the mountain, and the connection between human 'spiritual drive' and the black Madonna and the virgin birth. The new being that arises from the void.
And I was watching The Matrix last night and had the whole latex fantasy as a fashion option for a moment. Luckily it's summer or I might even buy something stupid in a fit of movie madness. :)
I like these slow hot afternoons. I have three classes this afternoon. All lovely people.
Ok then. Got to meet Jett. Let me know all your news! Hug and smile

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Protests in Humble Granollers!

How cute! Slogans like 'this is not crisis this is capitalism', 'we are not anti-system, the system is anti-us'and a display of a manifesto for real democracy now.

Canovelles Fruit and Veg Market

It's a beautiful day. It's crazy in the market. The fruit smells delicious. I even bought custard apples. Yum. And without thinking about it, I'm matching my trolley! In black and white.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Finally! We arrive at Montserrat

We arrived in time to take the last bus home. It was a bit cold and we were happy to sit in the bus. Albert even fell asleep on the way home and was in bed, on his birthday on a Saturday night, by 12!!!  (What kind of  party animal has he become?!)

2 hours to go!

We're suffering a bit now, it's true. But onward and upwards! Yay us!

Lunch and 21 k's to Go.

We ate cheese rolls, drank wine and now some tea. The first group left at 1.30. We'll wait another 10. So far so good, but it's no fun stroll. There were some stairs that nearly broke our spirit. :)


That's her in the distance!

The Queue for the Trek to Montserrat

Here we are, on Albert's birthday, getting our name ticked off the list. Lovely weather is predicted. Good luck to us!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Oh My Fickle Heart!

But when I walked in and you stared at me in that way a only a muffin can stare (innocent and alluring at once), I toppled into your delicious depths of tasty custard. Oh, apple pie, what do you think of me now? My desires betray me. This muffin was soft, tasted like a proper muffin and was filled to the brim with custard. Sant Jordi, the old Xamfra.

The Saving Grace of Granollers

Although there is a lot of grey and not so much of green here in Granollers, if you look to the end of many of the streets you'll see green hills. They are not more than 10 or 15 minutes walk from any point in this town.

The Best Thing About the Dentist

Today I'm getting some more work done. Next week I'm finished. The best thing was paying, in cash, on the first day. We received a 10% discount and I only have to experience someone drilling my tooth and paying for it once. Today I just breezed out of the dentist without opening my purse at all. Not that I'd find much in there.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Happy Birthday to Albert!

Albert's birthday is actually on the 21st,but we celebrated with his parents this evening. We went to a lovely little restaurant just behind the Casino called Cuynes. Good price, good quality and lovely decor.  We had a very nice supper, thank you. 

My New Favourite

This is an apple cake from Ferrer Cafe in the Church Square in Granollers. Today it's a little thick with the jelly on top, but the rest is up to standard. Layers of sliced apple, a surprise of tasty custard and a thin but solid crust. Very good.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Kate!

Love from our lunch table to yours.

Today, the Cavalry.

Today is the last day of the Roman festival here in Tarragona. We're still in the old football field and we're watching the Roman Cavalry spear cabbage heads. It's rather exciting. It's very hot here and plenty of people everywhere.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Zen Ritual As Western Art

The whole Buddha trend has filled a huge need in the Western psyche. Once God was dead and Christians found their images repellent and reminiscent of embarrassing innocence they quickly sought out something else to fill its place.

What better than a smiling peaceful 'other', some shiny stones and empty bowls? Superficial symbols of peace as house fashion. I went to someone's house last year and it was full of Thai buddhas. I asked if they were Buddhist? No. I asked the owners if they were studying Buddhism? No. I asked if they were interested in Buddhism. By this stage they were looking at me with am apologetic look and helpless shoulders.

I didn't mean any disrespect, but I just didn't understand why they had religious artifacts from another culture in their house. I really didn't understand. But then I saw Buddhas in IKEA, and realised it was fashion. Slow me. And here we are, sitting in a hotel with Zen images above our beds and bamboo in the foyer. Om then.

Jett's Heaven- Battle/War Board Games

We're at the games of strategy and there are lots of groups of men playing at war. Throwing dice, moving little men, picking up cards and suddenly shaking hands because someone won. There's a smell of sweat and stale air. Onwards and upwards.

Raining on my Parade

We rested in the hotel after lunch and came out to dark clouds, thunder and sudden heavy rain. What else to do but grab a coffee and try Tarragona's pastries? (Well, Jett's eating a muffin, but my tooth is still sore from the treatment on Friday, so I'm content with a coffee.) Tonight, off to discover games of strategy and pop into a museum.

Who Cooks What?

We just went into a pizza place and walked straight out again. There was a half eaten pizza left on a table as we walked in. It looked overdosed on cheese. Then the waiter and all of the cooks were Chinese. Then I decided to leave. Of course I apologised on the way out. Now we're eating pizza made by Chinese but served by South Americans. At least it's not so cheesy.

Offerings to Jupiter

Next on the list is the offerings to Jupiter here at the locat football field. After this we watch the Roman Legions and then head to the hotel to rest in the middle of the day. It's fantastic weather!

Let The Games Begin!

The gladiators are parading to loud applause! We have a running commentary of what's going on. We've learnt about Apollo and prostitutes and all sorts of Roman things. Jett is very happy translating for me.

On the Train to Tarragona

Tarragona has a Roman Festival every year at this time. Jett and I are on our way. The train is full of people on their way to Port Aventura. One group of people have their mobile phone up loud playing music. It's one of these new phenomenons I'm not quite used to. Spainish people also talk really loudly. I was a bit hug over so I noticed.

Wanting What We Don't Have

I'm at the hair dressess. There are figures of Buddha's all over the place. Some kind of South American dance with lots of horns and shaking things is playing. The girls with thick bouncy hair are getting it straightened. The women with dark hair are getting it lighter. And the girls with thin straight hair are getting it full and bouncy.

The Dentist! Day of Reckoning

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Big Clean Up After Market Day

By 2.30 the stalls are packed away and the weekly job of picking up the left over rubbish begins. They also clean the streets with one of those car street cleaners that has water and brushes. By the time lunch is over Granollers is spick and span.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

FCB Wins the Spanish League 2011

People are screaming, horns are blaring, flags are waving. Time to party.

Off To Barcelona!

I stole Kate's idea, but I'm using a real notebook called 'fat little notebook'. Jett's off on his end of year excursion and after a morning of cleaning and meditation i'm setting off to meet my Catalan Boyfriend for lunch. Sounds cool, huh? Then I'm going to slosh around sightseeing. Something new today. Just not sure what. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Curiosity for Who is Next!?

Guess what?! Someone wanted to follow the queue! And they started asking everyone who was before and after them! Lots of shaking heads, expressive grimaces, and pointing. Very funny!!