Saturday, 19 July 2014

Breaking the glass

Hola from an incredibly hot Barcelona 4th floor apartment. Really, it is very very hot - not a complaint at all, more an appreciation that the sun can make an unbelievable difference, particularly when combined with kind people who make it seem that it is always a pleasure to wake up in the morning and to live life, rather than one more day to endure on the never-ending treadmill of living and working and breathing just to get by. This is something I notice here; it is not only the pace of living that is significantly different to 'home'/UK. But the pace of living is different because the way of being is a very particular way of being that embraces any time of day. It embraces all people, and it chooses to fully live in whichever activity a person may be doing, be it working or sleeping or spending time with friends or strangers. Life is embraced and so people treat each other with much more kindness and respect than I have ever seen on the tubes in London (granted, Yorkshire is a more grounded place to live...). But nevertheless, the way we as human beings treat other human beings dictates who we are as people, and what I notice is that it makes a difference.

It is my third weekend here already and we have the weekend off to do as we please. We have been joined by three new housemates from Sicily (although one is leaving today).. After deciphering Spanish messages from our landlady we are assuming that one leaves today and the other two will leave over the next week. We have been incredibly fortunate to have our apartment to ourselves for so long, especially considering that most model apartments are anything but comfortable and homely. So it is only right that we share it for a little while. Again, castings have been somewhat slow as most people seem to be slowing down for summer and the agencies close during August anyway... So it has meant that free time, a concept I did not understand before, is now an idea I understand more fully. I am on my fourth book, and I am learning to get my bearings around the city. In fact, I was even stopped and asked for directions by a Mexican yesterday. To my delight (and surprise) I was able to help him out and send him on his way, confident that I had directed him to his destination. Even he was surprised. His response was something like 'you don't speak Spanish - how do you know the way!?'

One of the books I finished this week was a beautiful, if not short piece of work again by Paulo Coelho (By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept). It is so rare for me to make time for reading for pleasure that I am grabbing this opportunity with both hands, and likewise wanting to share each of the words I find.

'Break the glass, please, and free us from all these damned rules, from needing to find an explanation for everything, from doing only what others approve of'  

Of course he writes about much more than breaking glasses. He writes about falling in love... But the metaphorical breaking of the glass might otherwise be known as breaking the rules we so carefully create for ourselves over the years and years we have spent living and adjusting to the expectations of others. He discusses the way a child lives compared to how we live as adults. A child who has no glass to break because he has not yet realised the power of the other. Ironically, it is when we realise the power of the self again that we can live more freely and fully, not afraid to do the things that break the four walls that confine us regardless of the fact that our external surrounds have a part to play in the creation of the four carefully and uniquely formed walls.

Now to drink coffee, gather my thoughts and myself, and head to the beach...

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