Gala on my mind. . . In Cadaques, ES.

June 1, 2012
I was made for road trips. They make me happy. I feel like I’m on a discovery mission that is my experience alone to have. Captain of my own ship.
Madame of my own destiny.
hee haw…!
And so I went to Cadaques. North of the city, it’s on the way to France, to see what all of the fuss is about and check out some Dali-ness.
Here’s what I found. . .

Now I’m not any kind of Dali fan really and truth be told I’m really more interested in his work that was soft and subtle. (Although, i do love me some eccentric artist time and a chance to explore the artist’s studio is always fun times.) I am however, really interested in his obsession with Gala. His muse, his wife, and the female in hundreds and hundreds of his paintings, drawings and sculptures. So naturally, while in Cadaques, I had to check out the home which he created in the small port town he grew up in for the two of them to love / live in. While waiting for my tour to begin I came across this quote on a wall. It really moved me. The sentiment behind it. The intimacy he was so intentionally trying to create for the two of them like an enormous life-sized Valentine.

( Ah… but intimacy cannot be manufactured. . .)

“Our little house was to be composed of one room about four meters square, which was to serve as dining-room, bed room, studio and entrance hall. You went up a few steps, and in little hallway three doors opened on to a shower, a toilet and a kitchen hardly big enough to move around in. I wanted it to be very small – the smaller, the more intrauterine -. We had brought the nickel and glass furniture from our Paris apartment and we covered the walls with several coats of enamel. Not being in a position to carry out any of my delirious decorative ideas, I wanted only the exact proportions required for two of us and only the two of us.”

Notes. From my journal the next day:
 …the house that Dali built. The life created there on the point, in the port, by the sea. A life for two. A place to be a little bit mad and wild with though and creativity. A private place. No friends allowed. There is a time and a place for friends and family. And a time and place to be lovers. To let your imagination govern. To sleep and rest in the comfort of the one you choose to create with in this life. Standing among the ghosts of this place. The laughter and the insanity echos. The days in the garden creating creatures and the collection of things… Painting and reading and breathing deeply. Meditation and the answers / ideas that come from being still in nature…and… – the rest is private. 
Last Painting.Unfinished.
View from studio window.
Backyard Creature.
Self Portrait with Creature.

Polar Bear. House Interior.

That wan’t the only thing about this little excursion that caught my attention. Cadaques is stunning. Perched on the sea with tiny streets made of stone and endless beauty to discover. Luckily, I was there before summer tourism kicked into high gear – so lucky me – there were many early morning hikes and walks and meditative moments sitting with the sea. I cannot imagine not wanting to return to this tiny magical place again and again. Although for some reason, the sea was over run with jelly fish so swimming wasn’t happening.

Morning View.

Stone Street.

Stone Wall.

Jellyfish.

Morning Meditation.

Morning Run.

Boat and the Sea.

Morning Hike.

Someone’s Private Island.

Cadaques.

Morning Hike with Poppies.

Cadaques.

Morning Hike with Flowers.

Here is a final picture of me hiking around. Below is the town and house of Gala and Dali. There are wild flowers everywhere and it is early in the morning. It is very still and smells of sea and grass and summer.
It is very hot but I am happy and reminded of how precious simple things really are.  🙂
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From Tarifa to Tangier… Let’s Go!

May 17, 2012
First stop on the “let’s explore” part of this trip was Tarifa, Spain. Located at the southern most tip of the country and know as the kite-surfing capitol of
(i think) the world. This place is amazing in Spring because there are not a lot of people, the weather is starting to warm and the country side is in full bloom. I went there to horse ride for the week but after a short lived experience with the stables I opted to road trip and hike around instead.
Let’s Go. . . Tarifa. Andalucia. Spain.
   
When you don’t have anywhere to live why not get out of town and explore the country-side?

At lease that was my idea when I set out to explore and it turns out, I’m pretty much right on that one…
Although, word of advice: This is NOT a road trip car. It is a glorified roller skate for city use at best. But it
did make me laugh when they pointed and said… “this is for you…”
The “Smart Car”.
Wild FLowers.
 
Mountain.
 
And a lot of ruins. . .
      
Then it was off to Tangier with this guy –  to see what Morocco was all about.
   
Hugh (guy with me in above picture) and I ventured over to Tangier, Morocco and decided to take a little day tour which we quickly coined The Tour of Nothing. First stop on the dude’s tour was the above photographed parking lot where there “happened to be” Camels to ride around in a circle for just 1 euro. I did not partake but jumped on the campy photo opp. Everywhere we went with our guide, there just “happened to be” something. . . Man selling “rare” trinkets, Snake Charmer, “Expert” Carpet maker, “Affordable” herb dealer. . . It was so obviously a tour of his friends businesses to which I am sure he got a cut in any purchases…But we had fun anyway and it was interesting to see the contrast between Spain (so near by) and my own country. Anyways. . .
Cafe.
Snake Charmer.
 
Door.
Streets.
 
Doors.
 
Herb Shop.
Dry Cleaners.
 
Rug Makers.
   
Me (taken by Hugh)
Boys making a raucous.
Graffiti.
Love Note.
 
I love the south. It’s absolutely stunning. Spring time has to be the best time to be down there – just before tiny Tarifa gets swallowed up by tourists and there’s traffic on the two lane road. Hope my travels bring me back there for a longer visit – it’s a great place to wander and explore and make friends with strangers.

Searching for WTF – Finding ART.

may 23, 2012

Hello loved ones. . .

It’s been awhile and quite frankly I’ve just been a little bit lazy to write and catalog and all of that. . . But now… you’re in for a treat as I am home and very very sick and have nothing I can do that doesn’t involve sitting still. So enjoy!!
I’ve been trying to collect images for my “WTF Spain” collection but having a hard time as it’s not something so easily captured. It’s mostly the way things work logistically here (as one would expect) though there are plenty of random “WTF’s” on the regular but I don’t want to seem rude so I just log them into my personal data base of images. Although these first two portraits caught my attention as clearly maked “WTF”. Bueno.
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Actually, I have been looking at a lot of art and making a bit myself these days. Followed friends to a portrait museum I forgot the name of and found some really interesting work from around the world. Here’ s a quick view of things I found interesting, lovely, strange or inspiring.
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One morning I woke up, walked out the door and it was “Paint Outside on The Street” day. Just a decided day to close the street and put down plastic and paint away. . .
It went on for blocks with old and young. Seasoned artists and novice at best all side by side. Made me happy. I was smiling. Oh Spain. How cute!!
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Then my friend Dustin arrived and we toured around and drank and he made fun of me and everything was very fun for a few days. Was nice to have the company and get into a little bit of trouble. . . and as always, new street art was found. . .
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Then it was on to the next. . . Lot’s more to follow up on today so stay tuned. . .
Here’s a pretty pic I took at the beach also.

Viva El Corazon!!

Heart Shaped Spud.

I found this potato and since I went to Paris a few weeks ago this email update has a certain ongoing theme.

Love. . .

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 Greetings once again Friends and Loved Ones. . .
 
It’s  been a strange past month or so. Most recently resulting in becoming homeless and therefore traveling to avoid what that actually entails. I am, after all, in possession of a credit card and a passport and lucky enough to have just the right hand full of good peeps to store what is left of my worldly possessions so I can move about with relative ease.
 
Makin’ lemon aide as usual.
 
Oh Paris. How amazing you are – even in the rain – you’re sexy. What a great couple days with good friends, great music and what Paris is known for – LOVE. Thanks to AM and posse for a great hang also… great night had by all and I always love sayin’ “I’m with the Band”.
 
Grafitti in Paris.
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Love padlocks (also known as Love Locks) are a custom by which padlocks are affixed to a fence, gate, bridge or similar public fixture by sweethearts to symbolize their everlasting love. ( ah… how sweet..)

I love this tradition. I think it’s charmingly romantic and when I walked upon the Ponts des Artes I completely fell sentimental and filled with some sort of childhood romanticism that I sincerely believe still exists if willing to find, fight or wait for.
Such a sincere sentiment locked by a metallic gesture.    *** le sigh….
 
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Besides that, there were a number of other beautiful things that caught my eye. . . Shaggy sheep dogs and cats that have jobs in shops and restaurants.  Notre Dame. Pantheon. Skies about to break with Parisian rain… Elegance and charm and delicacy. Compliments from strangers and good conversations and food. Ahhhh….. 
 
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This dog works at a book store. Paris.          This cat works at a restaurant. Paris.
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Detail. Gate and Brick Wall Pantheon. Paris   Church at Dusk. Paris.
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108 steps . Where I stayed. Paris.                Restaurant. FInal meal. Paris.
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Then back to BCN to keep on with the the studies of Spanish and round out the following week by heading off to a Yoga/Meditation Workshop in the mountains of Alcocver. This pretty little place was once (or maybe it still is, i’m not 100% sure) a commune in the 60’s. Deep in the woods with a lot of acreage surrounding. . . Quite a sight. I left early from the weekend for various reasons but all in all it was a good experience and nice to be out of the city.
Sat Nam and Namaste Ya’ll.
 
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Back to Barcelona and the continuous flow of street art that I am constantly discovering on a daily basis. I wish I could share these walks with you. Wandering and just filling up on the the color, the line, the mark and the poetry…. and everywhere I keep finding love notes from strangers. Love notes to us all.
 
LOVE.. . to you.
 
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 For now, and once agin, my love note to you. . .
 
Holding you in my Spud Shaped Heart.
 

BCN wanderings and findings Part 1 – new city.

April 23, 2012

Sooooo….. Spain.

Um. Yeah.

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Greetings from Espana where I have been making use of time in unusual ways while settling in.
Wanted to post a quick note and some pics of my first few weeks here so you could see what I’ve been up to.
So… here it is from yours truly.

Been doing a lot of wandering and subsequently absorbing all of the quiet beauty this city is continually exuding. There are moments when i notice, how the color of the sky is reacting to stone. How shadow and color intersect – it becomes something poetic. Mystical even. Art is everywhere. From the sidewalks to the structure to the tile to the paint on doors by shadowed artists. It’s a wonderful thing to take in. Slowly. Intentionally. Quietly. Time has somehow shifted into a slower pace here – something I’m not sure I’m really ready for or want – but none-the-less I’m making due and seeing what is to be seen.

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Been also taking time to wander through museums and find things that are interesting. What else am I going to do in these first few days? I was particularly interested in the Frederic Mares Museum – an Epic hoarding museum. Man “collected” (I say hoarded) the most intense amount of relics, artifacts and antiques – I couldn’t even get through all of it. I couldn’t stop thinking about the level of mania that one must live inside to passionately “collect” this volume of things. It’s hoarding mania at it’s finest. When I say, it’s beyond words….
trust me. It is. For every ONE picture here, there are MANY of the exact same thing. Hundreds maybe. It’s just fucking insane. I can’t even really talk about it. It’s insane.
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And then there’s the Picasso Museum which, I will say without hesitation, I was underwhelmed by. Really underwhelmed. . . but these two I really enjoyed.
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And then there’s my day to day walks. From here to there. From this way to that. The art that exists on the street is gorgeous. I’m constantly seeing new pieces. The amazing work of painting poets. So many intricate designs and ideas. The first one is my favorite. I see it on the days when I walk the same way back from the metro. The second is for you. . . 🙂  The rest… well… enjoy.
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Last weekend I watched the Castells do a small festival in my neighborhood.
Amazing and treacherous. Here’s a link to a mini-docu about what I went to but on a much smaller scale…
but you get the jist.   WATCH at least the first 2 minutes….
And a few pic’s from me:
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It’s not all tapas and cava though. . . a lot of ebb and flow these days. A lot of time spent thinking and talking to myself… can’t tell if that’s a plus sometimes – I can be quite the chatter box.
Thursday I’m heading to Paris to see a friend and wander with the French for 2 days. I speak no and understand less in that part of the world.  . .  But certainly, I can photograph.
This is my love note. From me to you right now. Sending my heart and my pictures and a few words – hope i’ll hear a peep out of each of you… thinking of you always – and to those of you writing me
about your dreams of me. . . keep them coming. It’s amazing and I wanna see what happens.
Love from Spain,
Jess