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My Way To capture every aspect of my journeys along the Caminos de Santiago. From planning to walking to home again, I want to record the feelings, insights, experiences and transformation that occur for me every step of The Way.

Barcelona and What It's Taught Me

SPAIN | Sunday, 20 October 2013 | Views [421]

Hola Todos!

Well, here we are and I can hardly believe our time in Barcelona is nearly at an end! It's been an incredible week full of fascinating sights and delicious food! We've visited the beach almost every single day for down time after walking (so much walking!) to sights such as: Museo Picasso; the cathedral (which I wasn't allowed into due to the length of my shorts, only increasing my distaste for the Catholic church); spent plenty of time wandering la Rambla and cruising la Boqueria market; saw a lovely spanish guitar concert at the Basilica Santa Maria del Pi and an authentic flamingo performance at a tiny bar called the Jazz Si, where they packed us in, tourists and locals alike, like sardines, adding to the intensity of an already intensely passionate show! Amazing. I have to say, though, that my favorite outings were to Gaudi's Sagra de Familia and Parc Guell. I've never been much of an art afficiendo and I can't claim to know a lot about art, but there's something about Gaudi that I deeply connect with...I found myself very moved at both places. The colours, the spirals and pillars, his reverance for nature...I felt such peace, so relaxed and at home in these spaces. Not to be rushed, despite the pressing crowds and endless flashing of cameras, I just sat or meandered trying to take in the beauty of it all. Unlike Catholic cathedrals I felt Gaudi welcomed one and all, no blurred lines in acceptance, and showed great brillance in the bringing forth of the feminine. I didn't realize, consciously, how influential space is creating an atmosphere of respect and compassion, though I'm sure I've always known uncondciously...hence the tension and unease I've experienced in many cathedrals along The Way, even at Santiago de Compostela. Mistakenly I'd thought these aspects to be generated solely via human interaction and transference...but now I know differently. In the presence of Gaudi's masterpieces I can honestly say I felt love. I am thankful for this new awareness.

I've learned a lot about myself as a pilgrim and tourist, as well. I appreciate my time in Barcelona, to be sure;  but tomorrow Kathleen and I are headed to mi companero, Juan's, home for a couple of days and I'm really looking forward to being back in the countryside, back in a quiet space surrounded by nature with another who loves me just the way I am. I would often speak to other female pilgrims on the Camino about how awkward it felt to walk through big cities in my plain clothes, running shoes, and pack on my back. All agreed that, in thses bustling city spaces surrounded by women in fashionable clothing and heels or boots, we found ourselves suddenly inadequete, shy. Juan doesn't like the noise and bustle of the cities and I have to admit I always felt a sense of relief that we wouldn't be staying, to press on and wait to settle into an albergue in the next pueblo instead. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy slipping on a beautiful dress and sandals and showing off my legs now and again. But that its the norm in urban centres, and that if I'm not in this garb in these places and feel inadequete because of it...that's problematic to me. Norms =Expectations=Judgment=well, problems...low self esteem, self doubt, feeling small, not good enough. Just an insight from which I've learned that, as a tourist, what I really value about travelling is seeing the land and feeling a part of it. Historic sites and cities are cool and often a huge part of the politics of a place, but they don't speak to me or pull at me like natural spaces do. Take me back to the Camino and I'll show you some of the most beautiful places I've seen in Spain...the Hospitaliarios mountain range, the farmland of Extramandura, the beaches along the rugged northern coastline...I am so, so thankful for the Camino, for the opportunity to be amongst other pilgrims versus other tourists, who understand what it is just be youself in plainclothes and be entirely accepted in ones beingness. 

So, those are my new teachings and thoughts for tbe moment. I love you all very much and thank you for loving me just the way I am...the good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly and the vast grey spaces in between. Be well. Be. And know I carry you in my heart.



Tags: barcelona, gaudi


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