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Published: February 25th 2014
A part of me died in Paris. I left it at the Louvre. I saw so much pain, love and struggle in the magnificent art that it had reverberated and grown within me. The beauty and darkness had become a part of me. In its catharsis the artists had toppled my walls and shared with me the raw power of creation. And then I had left that relationship inside the chambers of the Louvre
I visited another famous cemetery, Montparnasse where I paid homage to more fallen artists such as Samuel Beckett and Jean-Paul Sartre, on the way out of the city of lights and had a final delicious lunch. I was heavy. I was overwhelmed with the struggle of the artists and the sensitivity of the passions that had driven to the creation of such masterpieces that the museum had collected. The "Muse
", "um" .
My conclusion from seeing all the creative projects was that I had to follow my passion. My life depended on it. I titled my work "write or die
" and started tapping away on my laptop. As I wrote on the plane the words flowed -like a spring river purging the clogged dry ground-
and I sobbed. My heaviness finally and slowly lifted as the plane soared above the clouds; southbound to the Catalan Capital.
I found a new lightness
in myself that I would bring into Barcelona.
The electricity called from the proud city of party animals, great food, free thinking and rad
architecture. Many a friend had told me that Barcelona is the place for me. I never had the opportunity to experience it until that mid July day.
As much as I prefer a natural peaceful environment the buzz lives in the walls of captivity. To quote Trey Anastasio the song composer from Phish: "
There's some good points, some bad points... But it all works out (I'm just a little freaked out)... Find your city; find yourself a city to live in!
I discovered a great hostel in a mellower part of the city a short walk from the center. Casa de Gracia
had a setup of tapas (spanish snacks), sangria and live flamenco
dancing my first night and I tripped out on the coolness factor. Not only were the performers awesome but the locals were great, the girls were hot and every traveler was cheerful around
me as well. I had found my city.
The first night I bonded with a group of fellow Americans who had been in Ibiza and were witnesses to the running of the bulls. We went down to the ocean clubs. There was seafood
, sand and blurs of drunkenness.
Not to brag but every single night there was a different opportunity to have love and freedom with European women that were passionately enjoying the life of leisure. I mean one day I went on a bike ride with 15 college aged girls; and me.... Lucky Josh
Most nights I would find different cliques as I moved to other parts of the great city and experienced varied activities. This was midsummer in Europe and I was living it. My kidneys were relieved when I opted to go onto an excursion to the Costa Brava
and enjoy the ocean and kayaking.
We loaded into a van and zoomed down to a Catalan town called Sant Feliu De Guixols. The town on the sea has a classical monastery and the locals speak mostly the Catalan
language; which sounds a lot like French. The sea was bluer than blue and a
tad bit on the brisk side. We jumped off cliffs into deep caverns. We snorkeled. We toured to small inlets and private beaches resembling a European version of Thailand's "The Beach".
The pinnacle of the kayak tour for me was the end. We were taken to inlets only reachable by boat. There were super high cliffs with a very small takeoff point to jump into the Mediterranean
blue-green. Since nobody stepped up to the challenge I clambered up first as everyone watched. The Hawaii ocean boy in me came alive and after being about 60 feet high I climbed another 8 feet. With no time to think I leaped forward to free fall into the water! It was fun. Everyone followed suit after me and soonafter we kayaked back to land.
Too quick it was time to leave the sun
paradise and venture back to the city. There were still lessons to be learned in Catalonia.
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