I was inside behind my computer when I heard fast footsteps, many of them. It sounded like people on the run. No other sounds, just running. When it didn’t stop I went out on my balcony. A stream of people, most of them in bright yellow shirts were running through the streets. Not on the run. On a run. I watched them for a bit and suddenly a man in an old fire fighter costume ran by, a shiny helmet on his head and an oxygen tank tied on his back. I thought he had dressed himself up, just like the Elvis whom I saw running a marathon a few weeks ago. But then there was another man dressed up like a fire fighter. And two more. And another eight.
They weren’t dressed up. They were actual fire
fighters. When I got back to my computer I read this 10 km run is called
La Cursa de Bombers de Barcelona. Today was the 20th edition. According
to tradition, four firemen form a relay team and each member of the
team runs 2.5 km in full fire fighting gear which weighs almost 20 kg.
They compete against other firemen teams to win the coveted Fireman’s
team prize called 'Premio Especial al Bombero Equipado.'
interesting how you see what you think you see. And hear what you think
you hear. You perceive what you know already. I thought I saw a man
dressed funnily until I spend some more time watching. Like yesterday,
when at the beach I saw hundreds of similarly shaped transparant plastic
objects, some of them bright blue, until I looked better and realised
they were sea creatures. And when the beach cleaners were whispering the
word “Medusa” I thought they were talking about a huge jellyfish
species with long tentacles, resembling the head of Medusa, the
mythological creature because that is the only medusa I know. But medusa
is the word for any jellyfish in Spanish and Catalan.
perceive things with our senses but then we interpret them with what we
know, which is often limited. Or we just don’t take enough time sensing,
hearing, watching, before we come to a conclusion. It can go both ways
though. It can lead to wrong conclusions that don’t do justice to what
was actually happening or they can lead to confusion and broadening our
knowledge of things. Only when we take the time to wonder if our first
conclusion was right though. Taking time and the willingness to question
your thoughts are essential.
When most of the runners were gone
and a thin stream of people having more difficulties to keep up to speed
was still occupying the steet, a group of serious looking men appeared
on the steet corner. They weren’t there to cheer up the crowd. They
talked on their phones and seemed to be waiting for something. They
didn’t seem to be business men or regular tourists. Most of them were
dressed in black. The odd thing was that one of them had a balloon tied
to his arm. Over his head a shiny horse with wings was floating in the
air. “Pegasus” I thought. The winged horse that was the love child of
Poseidon and Medusa. He sprang from Medusa’s blood when Perseus
decapitated her. He rode into heaven and subjected himself to Zeus, who
instructed him to bring lightning and thunder from Olympos.
men left, the horse flew off. The last runners passed. The road is open
to the usual traffic again. People walk their dogs. All is back to
normal, so to say. But the magic is still out there. If you know it, you
will see it.