“The superior man understands what is right;
the inferior man understands what will sell.”
Confucius so got it. It’s amazing to me how we have all learned so much yet nothing seems to change. Or, Bill Watterson says something like this – Day to day it seems nothing changes, but suddenly one day everything is different. I’m unhappy about today’s politics and am ready for that “suddenly one day everything is different” thing.
YES, I will be voting. I vote every year, every election…even the midterms. But there’s something fundamentally wrong with Washington DC. I believe it’s when Citizen’s United was passed by the Supreme Court. And the gerrymandering. Now, we are an Oligarchy. Clearly we are no longer a Democracy. I love my country but barely recognize it these days. What do you think?
Pause to reflect on the goodness of Life.
If anyone happens to stumble by my blog, sees this image and knows what it is… please tell me in a comment.
We were sauntering around Santa Pau, Spain, a medieval village in Catalonia about 1 1/2 hours north of Barcelona. I peeked around a corner and noticed this, stopped and looked for a bit but couldn’t figure it out so snapped a quick photo and continued my meander.
Your guess is as good as mine.
Old Door in Santa Pau – 2018
“Travel early and travel often. Live abroad, if you can. Understand cultures other than your own. As your understanding of other cultures increases, your understanding of yourself and your own culture will increase exponentially.” (Tom Freston)
I am finding this to be true, this quote from Tom Freston. The more I travel the more educated I am about the world. The more educated I am about the world the more open I am to new experiences, new ideas. The more open I am to new experiences, new ideas the more curious I become. The more curious I become the more I wish to discover. The more I wish to discover the more open I am of other people and their ideas. The more open I am of other people and their ideas the more I love LIFE.
Happiness = Travel + Curiosity + Adventure. IMHO.
“My message, especially to young people is to have courage to think differently, courage to invent, to travel the unexplored path, courage to discover the impossible and to conquer the problems and succeed. These are great qualities that they must work towards. This is my message to the young people.” (A. P. J. Abdul Kalam)
The above is one of my favorite photographs from Besalu, Spain. It encapsulates the colors, the mood, the laid-back vibe of the medieval village. When I took the image I didn’t even see the woman sitting so serenely. She was a bonus when I arrived stateside and began processing my images.
Spiritual Beech Trees of Catalonia, 2018
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” (Martin Buber)
Such it was for me. After the tram rid though long-dead, eroded volcanoes we had lunch then showed up again at Lava Parc for our next adventure – a carriage ride to see the beech forest. I kept asking Xavi “are we there yet?” “are we there yet?” and he patiently said “…..you’ll know when we’re there.”
And I did. The carriage lunged up a hill and slowed down in a sea of green – the beech forest. We all grew silent and the guide told us this grove of trees is due to a particular soil mixture that occurred due to the volcanoes. And, these trees only grow here, in the heart of Catalonia, and in Iceland.
We slowly clambered out of the carriage, which left us to hide behind a curve in the road. Our chance to experience this place without intrusion. As we fanned out I left the group and went into the forest. Touching a larger beech tree I began suddenly to weep. Tears flowed from emotions deep, deep within me, and would not stop. I wanted nothing more than to lay here in this forest and sob. Most of my photos are blurred from emotion. My reaction was not unnoticed by Xavi who, when it was time, came to help me out of the forest. Tears blurred my vision. My family, who know me well, gave me lots of hugs and we left the forest behind. I am weeping while telling the tale. This was an unexpected experience, a surprise reaction, a truly rare moment that I’ll never forget.
Extinct volcano, Lava Parc, Spain
“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” (Rosalia de Castro)
Before traveling to Olot, Spain, I didn’t have much time to research for travel. Therefore, we just took things as they came and delighted in each discovery. We were wide open and accepting…and the surprises were many. Olot is called the “City of Volcanoes” because it is ringed by 42 inactive volcanoes, four being in the city center. One day we went into the countryside just northwest of Santa Pau to Lava Parc. There, we took a slow, rambling tram ride through a lush Catalonian countryside to experience them.
During the tram ride we passed a horse farm – oh, but I could live right here!!! With these horses!!!
Seen from the tram as we travel up the side of the extinct volcano – the soil, which is already being reclaimed by nature.
Before protections were put in place, villagers began mining the volcanoes for resources. You can see that now that they are protected nature is reclaiming the cut portion.
Shrimp Boat 2017
I went to the beach not knowing what to expect. My purpose was simple – take photos. I’ve been in a creative slump for quite some time now. Over a year. So I MADE myself go out and MADE myself take the camera, The good one – not my phone.
The light was so odd, which for me is a blessing as I love odd light anywhere. Especially at the beach because a sunny beach is frankly pretty boring. I’m not a sunny beach girl. I’m a moody beach girl. So the beach was moody.
And sort of calm. Waves were symmetrical and long, rolling in in regular fashion like a string of pearls. I notice flocks of gulls to the north, which usually means a boat. A shrimp boat comes into view. It’s closer than they normally are and the light threw it into silhouette. That odd steel blue sky, the silhouetted shrimp boat and gulls and that oddly yellow green sea was very calming.
“The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.”
(Gilbert K. Chesterton)
On our way to Besalu we passed through a scenic little village that was as beautiful as any other scenic little village you’ve ever seen. Charming. Delightful. Filled with small curvy roads, narrow alleys created by towering stone medieval walls. Back onto the roadway to Besalu my son-in-low slowed and pointed to the right. “That’s Castellfollit de la Roca,” he said. (I had to look it up on the map.) My jaw dropped because the village we’d just driven through could be seen perching upon a cliffside. “We’ll stop on the way back for photos,” he said. So we did, and in doing so we noticed the massive Catalonian flag draping down the cliffside.
Beneath the cliff lies a beautiful valley where an old mill site sits, along with a new bridge. We found our way down to the bridge through a lush area filled with community gardens. Many men were busy hoeing and picking vegetables – a photographic gem of a place but I left them alone and walked to the bridge with my family.
From our perch below on the bridge we could better see the giant Catalonian flag cascading down the cliffside, right below the medieval watchtower. Such pride, these Catalonians.
One final look and photo of Castellfollit de la Roca with running stream and the beautiful flag. I had a new appreciation for this village on our way back to the hotel after seeing it from below.