Pink directions

The city I live in is generous with her gifts. The plants I found on the street together with their naked guardian angel (she appears to be half woman, half plant, a soilmaid) a few weeks ago have been producing pink flowers ever since. Yesterday a notebook, pink as well, still in its original wrapping, saying "Do what you love". So I did this morning, I walked to the sea and on my way there I thought about a proposal for a long distance walking project I have to hand in today. On my way back I found a pair of shoes. Pink. Not sure if they would be suitable for a long walk. Or maybe I should read it as a sign and change my proposal accordingly.



“People who deny the existence of dragons are often eaten by dragons. From within.”

― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Wave in the Mind: Talks & Essays on the Writer, the Reader & the Imagination



The hour of the wolf. I sit on my balcony. Silence and birds and the occasional car. I love these quiet nighttime moments. The small supermarket across the road is open all night. The owner sweeps the dust out of his shop like he does every night around this time. Like I do every night around this time.


polaroid days


A mandarin fell in love with a courtesan. "I shall be yours," she told him, "when you have spent a hundred nights waiting for me, sitting on a stool, in my garden, beneath my window." But on the ninety-ninth night, the mandarin stood up, put his stool under his arm, and went away.

- Roland Barthes, A lover's discourse


A world compressed in a walk

At the start of today´s morning walk: a young girl, maybe 4 years old, wearing a knitted white cap with two pointy white rabbit ears on top, dancing through the streets behind her mother, with every step lights flickering in the heels of her shoes. At the beach: a young man coming out of the sea fully dressed and wearing his shoes, completely soaked, noisily joining his three laughing young friends who give him his jacket after which they wander along the boulevard, make fun of one of the sandcastle builders and get into a fight with him. On the market square: the woman I see there almost every morning, her snow white hair perfectly styled, bright red lips, manoeuvring around the tables and chairs with her wheeled walking aid to join her friends. A second version of her appears from around the market building, blond hair, lips in the same shade of red, the same eyes, the same nose, a similar walking aid. They are both in their eighties, if not older. They start shouting at each other from a distance and I am not sure if they are arguing or if this is how they always talk to each other, the result of a lifetime spent together. The one seated gets up and very slowly joins her sister. Fifteen minutes later they appear again, now both carrying a small supermarket bag. They walk across the square silently, the sun lighting up their hair.


"I have never believed that man´s freedom consisted in doing what he wants, but rather in never doing what he does not want to do, and that is the freedom I have always laid claim to, often preserved, and most scandalized by my contemporaries about. Because, as for them - busy, restless, ambitious, detesting freedom in others and not wanting any for themselves, provided that they sometimes do what accords with their will, or rather, that they dominate the will of others - they torment themselves their whole life long by doing what is loathsome to them ..... "

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Reveries of the Solitary Walker, Sixth Walk


Blue Monday

It wasn´t eight yet. Walking through the city I wondered what I liked more, this pale blue light before sunrise making the world look like a dream, or the spectacle of the sky turning from pink to red to yellow and the firy red sun appearing slowly but still faster than you think it could move from behind the blue sea.

I was there just before it happened and enjoyed every second of it as if I hadn´t seen it uncountable times before. But I liked the view better when it turned back to normal - if you can call it that - , clouds veiled the sun, the sea turned from red to blue again and on the right side, where the sun had appeared, the shades of blue were fragile, close to white still and on the left side it was already turning into a blue proper.

A dog tried to take a huge stone in his mouth but it was too big, he was licking it as if to make it smaller and when all attempts failed he dug a big hole and threw it in there. I picked up some stones that caught my eye, one of them was shaped like a small blue arrow.

On my way back I drank coffee in the sun and read a little. Paper words first, Patrick Leigh Fermor´s "A time to keep silence", continuing where I had stopped yesterday, the bookmark I had used was a sugar bag from the place where I had started reading it. Today I was at another café though, closer to home, it was called Azul which means blue in Spanish.

Checking my Facebook newsfeed I saw a post about Blue Monday, claimed to be the most depressing day of the year. The date is generally reported as falling on the third Monday in January, which is today.
One of the formulas being used to calculate it is this one:

(C x R x ZZ)
------------------ + (P x Pr) > 400
((Tt + D) x St)

where Tt = travel time; D = delays; C = time spent on cultural activities; R = time spent relaxing; ZZ = time spent sleeping; St = time spent in a state of stress; P = time spent packing; Pr = time spent in preparation


[W + (D-d)] x T^Q
M x N_a

W = time since Christmas, Q=time since failing our new year’s resolutions, M=low motivational levels, and Na=the feeling of a need to take action.

Needless to say this is all considered pseudoscience and the equasions “fail even to make mathematical sense on their own terms” (Ben Goldacre, Guardian).

But I was having a blue Monday anyway. A delightful one.


Catch of the day

Today a stone with the letter "o". The morning after the winter solstice I found one with a "v". Is the sea trying to tell me something?


A happy new!

The new year has started. It started first at the 22d of December last year. I went to the beach to see the sun rise in the knowledge that from then on every day would be slightly lighter than the former one. I found a stone on the beach with a white shape on it that resembled the letter “V”. V for Victory maybe. The victory of light over darkness. Coïncidentally it was also the morning after the Catalan elections in which the pro-dependence parties got a majority.

It started again on the 1st of January, the second after all the clocks struck twelve and the sky was lighted up by fireworks. We drank cava and smiled and felt light and danced our way into the first day.

It started once more on the 8th of January, the Monday after the celebration of Three Kings and the last Sunday of what had been a long holiday for a lot of people. The end of Christmas and New Year and Three Kings shopping, of ugly decoration and music in (and not limited to) public space, everything and everybody returning to normal.

Today it started because it is the first day of my fourth year in Spain. I haven’t lived here continuously in the last years but I have been calling it home for a long time and wondering if it could be my home since I arrived to work on an art project three years ago in the evening of the 8th of January 2015.
I received a Brother today. It is tempting to write I always wanted a brother but that wouldn’t be true. I am happy with two sisters. And my new Brother is a printer. “Brother at your side” the box says. I need him for a new year that will be devoted to writing. But a Brother isn’t enough. As much as I like modern machines, I still love the old ways. I bought a fountain pens as well. With a reusable ink cartridge. My old ones, always Parker, disappeared one by one in my continous movement from the last years. The new one is blue, like the sea. I write in black though because a word should be able to have any colour you want it to be when you read it.

And last but not least, tomorrow a new year will start. For no other reason than that it will be a new day. So happy new year to you. Today and tomorrow and every day after.


Struck again

"They beheld the sea, a sight until then unseen by them; it struck them as exceedingly spacious and broad."

- Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

Three years ago, 8 January 2015, I landed in Barcelona in search of blue. The beach is a bit further away than it was in Cervantes' days but on my morning walks I pass the location where according to the story Don Quixote awaited the day, seated on his horse, staring at the waves.

I didn't see the red I was hoping for. The miracle of that red disk that isn't a circle really appearing from behind that line that is only a line in my perception. But everything I wanted was in the blue.

And when I walked home the red was there. I took them both home. For the cold days coming.