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January 19, 2010

The year following my college graduation, I lived in a small pueblo along the Mediterranean in Spain.  I remember arriving in Madrid before heading south and feeling that I had arrived. I was meant to be there, at that time, in this lifetime, and the hot joy of waking up wise on Spanish mornings left me giddy, sick, elated for months.  Looking back on it now, I can see that I’ve probably never been the same since those first walks through Madrid and first climbs up Mediterranean beaches into Andalucian hills.  Oh, sure, everyone has their time abroad – or in any special place – and it changes them; that’s a tired, cliche thought.  What I’m talking about is the way that good things can ruin you moving forward.  Like Adam & Eve discovering their naked bodies for the first time after eating a piece of fruit, Spain ruined me for life, and will forever cause me to seek out such a feeling of promise in each and every day.

This pattern isn’t limited to arrival in a foreign place.  Love can ruin you, as once you’ve had it, you’ll never feel right again without it.  A good job can ruin all jobs to come, as it becomes difficult to sit through the mundane BS after you’ve spent your days doing things that matter to you.  A good friend can ruin all future friends; a good teacher can ruin all mentors thereafter; a single, explosive night of passion and wonder can dull the brightest nights not yet met.  Perhaps that’s the reason some people fall into routine as they walk through life.

But we aren’t limited to that, are we?  I’ve had good friends in the past, people who cannot be replaced, but I plan on meeting others with such an impact.  I’ve had mentors and teachers help guide me through confusing times, but I can’t imagine that I’ll never need such services again.  I’ve known love, great love, and still believe in it with as much intensity as before.  And though I’ll never wake up in Madrid with my eyes on Europe for the first time again, I am still overcome with inspiration every time I travel somewhere new.

No, you cannot go home again, cannot come back all the way, cannot recreate the feelings that exploded inside the first time you did anything meaningful, but you can build upon those crucial moments.  Spain or love or a great acquaintance may ruin you, but they also allow you to see things you never would have seen, had they never come along in the first place.

No. 349: 1/19/2010


I don’t want to repeat my innocence.  I want the pleasure of losing it again.

– F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise

No. 350: 1/18/2010

She felt that she was too special to be happy.

– Penelope Cruz, in an interview on 60 Minutes,
speaking of her character Maria Elena
from the film Vicky, Christina, Barcelona

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 19, 2010 11:18 pm

    thanks for the link to daily routines on the side bar, i just copied a bunch of things from it.
    i love that kind of stuff

    – – nathan

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