Monday, June 28, 2010
Barcelona Graffiti: What's Beautiful is Your Head posted at 3:03 PM
My sister in front of my favorite sandwich shop when it's closed. The neighborhood is Raval:
Dani & I at Pep Ventura for a beach day by ourselves...
Labels: barcelona, photo diaries
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Love is brave. posted at 3:09 PM
My younger sister flies into Spain today. I haven't seen her for ten months. I show up at the airport half an hour early- only to find that her plane is delayed another hour after that, so I order a cup of coffee and open a blank page. If I want to write I can't sit next to English speakers in the cafe or I find it impossible to drown out even the most mundane conversation.
I sit next to a Spanish family and find the white noise comforting. My favorite time to write scattered thoughts is when I am surrounded by people; yet completely alone. Not only can I easily zone them out, I'd have to really focus to understand what they were talking about. I love needing Spanish (when I encounter Spaniards who actually don't speak English) because I'm American and living in a potluck of languages is still a novelty. When everything else about my day sucks at least I probably learned a new fucking word. At least there's that. I also love needing it because, before, I never spent so much time looking at people's lips. I never took the time to appreciate the way their lips press together and then open again while their tongues click. I have to listen carefully to the way syllables drop, rise and form in order for the sounds to transform in my mind into meaningful images.
Whenever a plane lands there are at least three parties ecstatic to be reunited. A man paces the ARRIVALS gate carrying flowers and when the woman he has been waiting for appears they melt in unbridled joy kissing and hugging so close it almost seems like she is continually trying to climb him. They never let go of each other, only shift their form of attachment as they move through the airport and exit into the hot afternoon through the automatic glass doors. It's so touching and I think it wouldn't be so bad to work in the airport. I like how everything is glass in the Barcelona airport. There are hardly any walls, mostly windows. Where windows are impossible there is still a frosted glass sheet of glass-
Another couple is reunited and a young girl rushes into a boy's arms. They hug and kiss; this one is climbing too. I like boys I can climb; that's why I prefer the tall ones. A couple with a baby is reunited, so the baby gets the hug first. The mother pushes a one-and-a-half year old boy towards his father. He slowly topples towards his Dad (the way toddler's do without bending their knees) and the baby almost collides with the young couple who are now gathering their luggage. In an intimate burst of energy strangers are jumbled together while trying to re-connect with the people they are expecting. The father lifts up the baby and smothers him in kisses before putting an arm around his wife. I wish I could feel this passionate and excited about something.
What if I never do anything out of the ordinary? Will I feel I have wasted my life if I am lucky enough to enjoy the simple pleasures of life? Suppose I travel to the capitals of the world and buy the recommended guidebooks. The guidebooks will recommend that I buy the city museum passes, which I will. It is always quite soothing to slowly wander through rooms with high-ceilings in well air-conditioned museums while taking in beautiful paintings- paintings capturing fleeting moments of love, loss, pain and things worth fighting for. While I am visiting the capitals of the world I will go to the monuments and take the same pictures that everybody takes.
Suppose I fall in love with a sweet, kind, handsome man who suits me well and lights me up. He asks me to marry him and I say yes, because I find his mannerisms and character charming enough to change my ways, give up some dreams, and make some sacrifices to build our lives together. I am in love with him and he loves me and we wear each other's rings and spend sunny afternoons laying on the beach and strolling through parks, drinking fresh fruit juice, getting sun tans, enjoying the nature and the people and the moment.
Group of kids jumping for a picture at Park Güell
Shouldn't this be enough? Shouldn't it be enough to enjoy one's small triumphs and losses, the blood and flesh of the day-to-day? I fear that I won't feel completely satisfied. I fear that no one ever does. I fear that my whole life... my commute to work is going to really fucking suck.
Then just at that moment my sister emerges from the frosted glass sliding doors and I forget what I was writing about and I find myself running towards her. The tears I feared were not welling come bursting out un-expectedly and I don't realize until this very moment how much I missed her and how happy I am just to touch her.
Exploring Park Güell with my sister
Thursday, June 17, 2010
See you in the hot room... posted at 12:56 PM
Sooooo I read Bikram's book: Bikram Yoga and of course it helped improved my practice by giving detailed instructions on every posture. However, even more satisfying was the wonderful advice he gives about marriage and spirituality - he is so positive, and his world view radiates with same healthy outlook that should be associated with a serious practice. Plus he's freaking hilarious; he's good at making fun of himself. If it's any indication from how many quotes I typed up - you can tell I loved the book.
"Most Americans seem to view divorce as a fact of life, an inescapable reality of adulthood. Marriages self-destruct or cannot be formed in the first place because, without yoga, neither party knows how to do it. It's like me owning the longest swimming pool in Beverly Hills - which I do- but not being able to go near it because I can't swim." (252)
"Serve your Self; you are born to give, not to get. We believe that giving to others is the best way to serve the Self; that's how I fulfill my Karma Yoga, or sacred duty, by helping you, and by so doing I am realized and fulfilled." (77)
"What's right is what works." (3)
"The ultimate destination of human life is Self-Realization. To define that I need to make a distinction here. When I say "Self" with a capital S, I mean the real you, the perfect you, the ultimate human potential that you carry inside of you, which, I believe, is also the Divine. You have godliness in you, and so do I. That's our birthright. Our mission here on Earth is to fully inhabit or to realize the awesome potential of our true Selves. The "self" we think we are, the one spelled with a lower case s,
is just a creation of our minds, the ego. We have to break down and fight through that ego self to get to the right Self." (5)
"So when you ask me if I believe in God, I will never be able to answer with a simple yes or no. I'm going to say, "Yes I do, because I believe in myself, and I am God. I believe in you, too, because you are my God." The only danger in this belief comes when we refuse to recognize everyone else as an expression of the Divine and see only ourselves that way. If you think you have more of a God within you than anyone else, you're in real trouble, my friend. And so is the world we live in." (43)
"Materialism is the number one problem in the West today, because it is the opposite of Spiritualism." (43)
"If you've read any of the many articles about me.... you already know that yoga and cars are my two biggest passions. Every piece on me mentions that I own a garage full of Bentleys and Rolls-Royces." (1)
"If you have a good spine, you'll have a good life." (6)
[On his arranged marriage] "Yoga taught both of us that rather than demanding perfection from the other person and trying to change them, we needed to perfect ourselves first. That holds true no matter where you live. Only when two people make that kind of commitment can they experience the union of two souls that is marriage at its best." (10)
"I believe that for all the triumphs of both the Eastern and Western worlds, the greatest civilization has yet to be born. This civilization will provide for all human needs: health, happiness, friendship, mental peace and a true satisfaction of living. It will be a global society connecting the genius of the West to the inner peace of the East, one in which all citizens live fully and deeply. By creating a bridge between the East and the West, I can help to bring that about and accomplish my life's goal. I already enjoy the rich material life of America, and I'm deeply grateful for my solid Indian heritage and spiritual beliefs. It's a good life; I'm a very lucky man." (15)
Labels: bikram yoga, quotes