Thursday, July 13, 2006

ibiza, spain

although ibiza is most renowned for its all-night-dionysian-techno-hump-fests it also affords some amazing meditarranean moments, not to mention, being the supposed home of christopher columbus as well as a muse for many artists including brian eno, jimmy page, albert camus, and bob dylan (who spent a summer in a windmill writing in these islands). of course, as luck would have it...actually, let's call it 'mercy' - a dear friend of mine, elliot moore (the most open dude i know), gave me his aunt's info who happens to live on ibiza (she deserves her own posting, of which i will write later). nonetheless, we got in touch and she told me to come on out. i left my russian friends and headed south determined to find the most epic and cheapest way to get to the islands. upon arriving in the port town of Denia, i made my way to the private docks to ask folks if i could get passage on their boat in exchange for work. this did not work - at least this particular time. so, i decided to spend my last euros on ferry. but i was too late and the faux-hawked british girl in front of me in line at the ticket office got the last available space on the night ferry. "ok, no are living life as an adventure to be lived, not a problem to be figured out" i say to myself as i leave the office and head into the shipping yard. sitting on my flybar, i watched the movements of another docked ferry for about 15 minutes and decided to sneak onto it as a stowaway (long story for the southern sun in boulder). mission accomplished only to find out in the early morning that it wasn't going to ibiza, rather a repair yard (thank God i got caught) - thus, leaving me no other option than to sleep on a park bench and catch the next morning's ferry at 6am. which i did.

other tramps and trampings...

after connecting with the lovely, johnnis lunow (elliot's aunt), i wandered into the metropolitan areas of eivissa town whereupon i met some kindred hearted travelers waiting out the sun's midday heat under some shade in the plaza del parque. we got jugglers, musicians, poi-fire dancers, magicians...basically a bunch of cool looking girls and guys who look like they were all braveheart extras. the dreadlock mullet is humming over here...

anyway, i meet pablo and maru...two kids in their early twenties from the canerie islands on their summer break. they are beautiful together and totally in love. over the course of the next few days everytime i looked at them i would hear the guitar seagulls from don henley's classic song, "boys of summer". turns out, pablo is a rockclimber. we share jubilation for a few seconds and then he drops mad science on me about some great spots to climb here in abiza...

atlantis y es vedra

over the next few days we organize a camping and climbing trip with a few other transients from ibiza's beach squatting summer sub-culture. the excitement brewing during the bus ride away from the noisy city, and the hike into another part of the island quickly turned to gasping amazement as we arrived at the zenith of our trail to see these epic land masses rising out of the ocean.
this is es vedra and people talk about the "energy being really good here" - nostradomas purportedly talked about it, too...something about this being the place to be when the end of world comes. no shit, sherlock. who wouldn't want to be?

anyway, we find an amazing place to call home for next several days underneath a giant boulder on the edge of the land and is here where we sleep in til 10, prepare humble potpurri meals of rice and anything else we can find to mix in, scratch ourselves like cavemen, and of course, conduct spanish/english lessons like a pack of oxford dons. this is all interrupted by occasional exploratory excursions, swims, siestas, scratching faces and figures into sand cliffs, and fantastic ocean bouldering - of which the pictures speak for themselves.

ah yeah...

alex finds his way while tio pibo coaches from the drink

pablo is very laid back...except when he's climbing. then he's more like a pissed off lion.


pay it forward
a few days into our trip, we ran out of water and tio pibo and i volunteered to hitch hike back to the nearest town to obtain el jugo de vida. liquid gold, man. enter, david and laura from valencia, spain...another couple sojourning and laughing their way through life.david just returned from 6 months in india where he was studying reiki, yoga, and thai massage.

he has an old converted van/home. it was very comfortable to go to the store in. i am putting a picture of them here b/c they are real live examples of people who are kind, happy, and loving life without having much money at all. also, because they embody a musing of one of their fellow spainards -pablo picasso, when he said, "i am constantly doing that which i cannot do, in order that i may learn to do it." amen. not only did david and laura give pibo and i a ride to the store, they turned around and gave us a lift back to trail into atlantis...which was totally out of their way and totally a blessing to us as the sun was in a bad mood that day. keep learning, guys...keep loving.

a few more pics...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

headbutts, port-o-potties, and a good book

well i guess if you're going to get thrown out of the world cup final, it might as well be for head-butting someone in the sternum b/c they called your sister a 'prostitute'...zidane, i still got mad love for you, man - deserved winner of the "golden boot" award and still a gentleman in my mind.

as i watched the final at this bar on the beach, my mind raced through all the mileage, the laughs, the lonliness, the heat, the mercy from strangers, and the absolute stupidity i voluteered for. to see what i am talking about go to this site where a photographer took a series of pics during a moment when i was dared to jump over a shopping cart and then a couple of azzurri fans. the pile up in the end was celebratory, not retaliatory.

italy v. usa post game party in the streets of kaiserslaughtern...

and yet another reason i will probably not go to japan, yet continue to love their sense of humor. this is easily the best practical joke i have ever seen:

the fall of bagdhad

also, if you are interested in the iraqi situation before, during, and after the invasion, you may want to pick this book up by jon lee anderson ( new yorker writer, who wrote the conclusive biography on che guevara) - it is a fact-packed memoir of a journalist's ongoing experience in iraq before the invasion, during the war, and a bit into the occupation. most interesting is not only anderson's sensitive and mostly unbiased account of both sides, but the personalities that emerge from his relationships with ordinary iraqis trying to navigate life in a tyrannical dictatorship, invasion, and shaky future.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

travel tips and wisdom quips

quick, someone buy this man a beer
definitely the oldest person thus far to rack themselves on the flybar. big cheers for this 60 something retired school master from northern england for playing like a kid again in the plaza catalun, barcelona. he had me laughing so stinkin' hard. in a higher pitched william wallace (i know, he's scottish, but so is northern england) voice he was muttering, "oh, i say...look at this here. i say, i must have a go, now...hmmm?"

water has feelings?
have you ever heard of dr. masuru emoto´s research concerning thoughts/words and their affect on water? if not, you betta aks sum'n. seriously, educate thyself for a minute and come back.

anyway, i was thinking about this work and how sometimes i can actually feel peoples' thoughts towards me...whether they are sizing me up and condemning me or whether they are sizing me up and intrigued or accepting. and then i realized how i judge people based on their appearances without really even knowing i offer a glimpse into a journal entry:

"emoto...negative thought vibration...jesus' words about not condemning anyone in your heart/head...stop the thought at the threshhold of my mind's door. do not invite it in for tea. if you want to bring hell to earth and thereby set your direction for it (suffering), then cultivate judgement, ego, fear, envy, bitterness. if you want to bring heaven to earth (the 'kingdom') and have an eternal quality of life now, then seek first to understand others, not necessarily to be understood. everyday i take a plank out of my eye. don't condemn yourself, are made of 70% water."

so i have developed an exercise. we'll call it a spiritual discipline - that, if applied to my lifestyle every few days or weeks, will strengthen my 'higher self' or 'new man' or 'bad ass' or whatever it is that cooperates with the Spirit of God (i.e. unrelenting generousity & compassion). it's called "people watching". i know we all do it. some of us even watch people watching other people. but this is maybe a bit different b/c of the intention - in the same way one could eat a big mac for nourishment or only for entertainment. so the intention to cultivate is this: no partiality. meaning, that as i am watching big/small, dirty/clean, sober/stoned, rich/poor, pretty/ugly people i am doing so with the intention of seeing value in each one that i focus on. breaking subconscious habits of finding people less than. i am confronting automatic response patterns and prejudices that come up, for example, when i see an anarchist and just want to write him off as an angry lost soul. first, i have to acknowledge that i really do feel this way and then try to move into projecting/thinking/praying only good things for this person - as well as asking the Great Spirit to help me out with my crusty, impatient tendencies to be closed jerk. basically, asking for help as i work towards becoming a more merciful, understanding person. and we all know that life is a lot better when you are hanging out with someone like that. things feel on time and you feel as though you are actually a unique and interesting person.

donnie, how is your health?
thanks for asking, mom. i think i have a tiny fracture in my i amped up my vegas spirit and gambled on some new shoes. ahora, mi vida tiene un equilibrio nuevo. rusty, did roger ever get us our damn zapatos?

two of my favorite street statues found on las ramblas

street in barcelona...dudipoo below, 'taking the browns to the superbowl' - was nakey, by the way.

free travel tip of the day:

nalgene water bottles are cheaper and less shady than thai massages.

thanks to big daddy, patrick wroblowski, (boulder-colorado´s foremost jedi touch healer and the guy who helped rolf me back together for this pogrimmage) for teaching me the importance of creatively keeping my IT band suavisito. i was using a lacrosse ball, but i lost it somewhere. indeed, necessity is the mother of all freakin' works, too - dare you to try it.

roll out those demons...

note to self

ok, so the farm thing was not a good idea...note to self: lonely middle-aged german women running farms = unnecessary drama
cool digs, though - eh?

my mother gave me a book a few years ago by parker palmer - let your life speak - in it, palmer drops mad science about how to live well, but my favorite piece of advice for when encountering tough situations is: "if you can´t get out of it, get into it".

this has been mantra time for me (traveling always is) and these recent days have been the only recent time that i have reminded myself of palmer´s words and used the escape hatch. ha! when someone projects victimhood vibes onto you and starts yelling at you for not sharing the load (in the capacity that maybe a co-owner of a farm might), and in conversation they vascillate between manic exuberance and grief, then it is time to go. even if the sun is setting and you don´t know where you are headed - just that anywhere is better than here.

so, as i pack my bags i remind myself of napoleon´s advice to his soldiers, "On s´engage et puis on voit" (jump in and then figure it out). i leave a note for the woman encouraging her to sell her overrun farm and get into community, clean my area, say a prayer of thanks and blessing, hulk the flybar over shoulder and head for the highway. first dude i see: road construction worker

"disculpe, senor...ustedes van a amposta ( name of the nearest town)?"
" no, pero vamos a tortossa."
" ok, esta bien si mevoy con ustedes?"
"si. no problema...esperate por alli (wait over there - near a construction shed)."

boom. ride secured. three moroccan homies cranking out an immigrant living in the unrelenting spanish heat, concrete dust in their ears, hair, and encrusted around their mouths. it´s 8:00 pm, their hands calloused but hearts softened, and they welcome me into their car. they take me back the way i had hitchhiked three days earlier and dropped me off near a river. i am on my last 20 euros. i remind myself that i did everything i could have to make peace with pyscho farm woman and that there is no guilt available for me to own, and i walk into town to get some ice cream. it tastes damn good. costs 2 euro - i need the remaining 18 for food (8) and travel(10) over the next two days. i meet 8 or so high schoolers who want to see me jump on the flybar. salta! salta! salta! they love it... i help them do it, and then watch this - the give me 10 euro. what? "no, es gratis!", i say. they wouldn´t have it - a truck load of more friends pulls up and we are all jumping, laughing and they want to give me this gift of money for my travels. que amable. how kind.

heart full of wonder, i head to nearest pub to watch germany v. italy and drink a celebratory beer in honor of my country´s independence from england (july 4th) and as well, for my independence from the creeping illusion of comfort and security at the farm - which was beginning to break the rhthym of trust that i had going. after the first half i go for a walk and find a different place to watch the game. better vibe, young people, families, "regulars". upon entering, i receive weird looks (customary when carrying around flybar, or perhaps b/c i kind of look like charles manson right now) - and then, "hey! hey! de donde eres tu?" i retort back my original coordinates, and this spunky, fit, overly- bronzed russian woman invites me to sit down with her husband and 8 others gathered around the table. it´s noisy, the game is blaring, plates of food being passed back n´forth. these people have known each other a long time.

after answering a barrage of questions i begin to ascertain that these folks are all neighbors and that it is one of their birthdays. a huge plate of potatoes, onions and the leg of some animal are generously slopped down in front of me. "eat! eat!" i am floored with surprise. an hour ago i was pinching pennies and now i´m eating a free meal with a table full of loud, beautiful russian immigrants and their neighbors. it gets better...

i was planning on sleeping in the local park and then making my way south in the morning. change of plans. this is why: nathalie explains to me that her neighbor, igor, needs to call australia in the morning for business, but cannot speak or understand english. " you stay at his house tonight and help him in the morning! ok?" i laugh. accept. throw back another shot of birthday vodka for igor.

italy wins in overtime, we shut the place down with the owners (who began drinking with us), jump on the flybar outside, and then head home to igor´s house on foot. i get into a conversation about franco (spain´s former fascist dictator), el che, and fidel with a kind-eyed spainard and we all say our two-kiss farewells. igor´s wife is over the top. she insists on taking all of my clothes and washing them (even the clean ones), shows me the shower and then makes a bed for me on their couch. that is where i´ll leave you, b/c that is where i am.

faith. hope. love. -donnie