Cutting the cord

denia

denia

This is graffiti spray painted onto an electrical panel on the side of a wall.  My wife and I were taking the long way back to the hotel, fantasizing about what it would be like to have an apartment here, gazing out at the Mediterranean every morning and walking down to the market for food.  I saw the picture of the rat out of the corner of my eye, struck by the contrast between the grit of the graffiti and the idyllic patina of our dreamy wonderings.  The shot itself was taken wide open and sitting.  I took several moments to calm myself in an effort to minimize blur and then saturated the colors in post processing.

It’s the end of the second summer that I didn’t go off traveling.  That has pushed this blog into a weird place, although it was certainly fun right up until Spring.  I figure this will be the last post of this sort and then reinvent the location as something else in a few weeks.  Or just leave it sit until inspiration strikes!  Hope all is well out in the world; best to all.

 

 

Move on.

This is my ‘moving on post.’  It’s mid-July and I’m in a little hotel room on the beach in Denia, Spain.  This is quite the surprise, because I thought I was going to spend my summer in lovely Hastings on Hudson, doing chores, cleaning house for my two daughters and otherwise slowly going crazy.  I even took a job at the local bike shop Saturdays, chatting up customers and doing scut work and basic tune-ups and repair.

I should show up for work again in a few days, but instead I’ll be heading to Madrid with my sweetie for a little museum tour before my triumphant return to the quotidian life of the middle class in Hastings.  No bike shop photos, but I did take this one of a shelf full of bicycles meticulously handcrafted out of wire and plastic cable housing.

bicicletas in Denia

Bicicletas de cable en denia

Myriam and I have spent two days now sunning on the beach, snorkeling, and strolling through Denia and its lively street markets (as in this photo from a stall selling jewelry by the beach).  All the cares of the world are dissolving in the salt and sun.

Even more exciting, we’ve been wandering around wondering what it would be like to buy an apartment here.  We’ve spent the last twenty years going to Picasent and Valencia, but the families have changed now — the kids are growing up and moving on and the adults don’t all come back to live in Picasent anymore.  We’re an hour away from Valencia by car, two hours by bus.  Wouldn’t we rather spend the summer alternating between city and beach?  It’s a pipe dream right now, but it’s fun to think about the different people who might come visit us for a week or two if we had a wee little apartment in the sun.

Best wishes to all.  Hugs and kisses.

sitting on the back porch

sitting on the back porch

It doesn’t look it, but I had fun riding my mountain bike on the trail system nearby.  I had to keep reminding myself to let go of my frustration with people who steal bikes; to let go of stuff and simply enjoy where and who I was.  Here were some things that helped:

1.  I’m wearing armor underneath my shirt.  It’s a cool mesh shirt with high-tech gel padding on the shoulders and sides that stiffens on impact but stays light and rubbery until needed.  Skid plates in back shelter the spine.  It was a gift from my uncle charlie who figures we’re going to keep riding (and falling) for at least another thirty years.  I’m with him!

2.  On top of my shirt is the best cycling backpack and knapsack ever — raptor 14 from osprey — and a gift from my lovely wife.  I packed in a repair stuff, water, pump, first aid kit, food, wallet, etc, because the problem with not riding for a while is that nothing works quite right when you start again!

In the end, I didn’t crash, nothing broke, and I got back home more at peace than when I left.  Wearing my two gifts subtly re-establishes the equilibrium I need in my world and reminds me that stuff is less important than the messages they carry.  Very deep.  Now clearly time for a shower!