Archive | July, 2015

Life lessons at the pool

20 Jul

3-year-olds at the outdoor pool, showing off the results of swimming classes

they dive like dolphins

they swim like fish

their confidence wider than the cloudless sky above

and a mother ponders:

we were taught to keep our heads above the water

breast stroke, whip kick, not much more

and we swam in line, our progress being measured by how many lengths we could swim without interruption

the first thing these kids learn is to put their heads UNDER

no breastroke or anything

and it works

they dance in the water, they embrace it

maybe that will help them to embrace life

and to know what to do when they go under


9 Jul

A year or two ago, when I had just started writing short stories, I passed by the library and thought: “Wouldn´t it be great to be a writer? Dropping off my daughter at school in the morning, going to the library to write for a few hours and then pick her up again for lunch? What a perfect job that would be.”

This summer I decided to hire myself for my dreamjob. Just for a month and without any pay, but oh, how nice it is… Every morning I go to the library and I write. It doesn´t matter when I come in, it doesn´t matter when I leave, there are no deadlines and nobody´s assessing me. It´s only me and the story that wants to be told. I don´t know if I´ll be able to finish it, and if so, if it will ever be published. But I´m writing and I´m happy doing it, and that was the whole point.

They say “don´t push your luck”, but there´s nothing against gently ushering it in the right direction.


Message on a T-shirt

4 Jul

T-shirts with an English text on are in fashion these days, here in Spain. These texts range from absolute cliché (“Live your dreams”) over slightly funny (“I´d rather be in Malibu”) to downright absurd (“Get OFF my CAR and LET me GO.” What the…?).

Two days ago I saw a man rummaging through the garbage, looking for material to sell or reuse, which is very common here. To be honest, I´ve become quite used to the sight of people going through the garbage containers. This man was wearing a T-shirt with the word STRUGGLE printed on it. And as soon as I read those 8 letters, my perception changed. Suddenly I got a glimpse of what life must be like when in the morning instead of taking the metro to a clean office, you hop onto your old, shabby bike and spend the day with your arms up to the elbows in other people´s waste. “Struggle” was probably a fitting word for that man´s situation.

And I wondered how we would look at people if the words on their clothes gave a glimpse of their lives.

The immigrant whose T-shirt would read “I´d rather be in Ecuador”. Or the woman with the black eye wearing a shirt saying “Get OUT of my HOUSE or LET me GO.”