Blog as Confessional

8PM School Night in La GraciaIt’s 7 p.m. on Friday night and I’ve just ordered a café Americano in hopes it might jumpstart my flow. The sun is getting low and there’s a fantastic breeze rustling through the trees around Placa de la Vila de Gracia, just two blocks from my apartment. The square is somehow peaceful, despite a virtual tornado of 100 or so children between the ages of 3 and 13, who seem positively jubilant to kick-off their weekend. In fact, as I type there are two small girls playing with chalk under my chair, prompting me to chuckle out loud when their tiny heads tap the underside of my seat. (I’m distraught I don’t have my camera, btw.) Its been a week since my last confession, and I’m feeling a little guilty about it. This blog has been a thoroughly worthwhile enterprise: sometimes hobby, sometimes therapy, sometimes merely a way to avoid repeating myself. Whatever the case, it requires time and energy and focus and this week I’ve been a tad lacking in all three.

Perhaps it’s the working. It’s hard to believe that before September, I’d been out of my once cozy corporate box for 9 whole months. Frankly, I’m struggling to believe I was ever a willing party to the cruel, inhumanity of the 9 to 7 grind. It’s nothing to do with the work itself; but rather the slow, dull, mindless routine of it all. Human beings just aren’t wired that way. Hasn’t anyone heard of circadian rhythms, for goodness sake?

Perhaps, too, it’s the fact that I’m still a little worn out from experiencing one of the highlights of my trip so far: La Mercè, the 4 day annual festival that commenced last Thursday and left me exhausted when my head hit the pillow on Sunday night.

Held each year in honor of Mare de Deu de la Mercè, the Patron Saint of Barcelona, La Mercè feels a bit like Independence Day + New Years Eve + New Years Day + St. Patty’s Day, all rolled into one, long party -- sans the streamers and the stale draft beer and the port-a-lets. Four days of cultural events, parades, concerts, and an event called Correfoc, a “fire run”, which the promotional material warns “carries serious risk of burning to all spectators”.  Behind my maiden voyage on the Mediterranean, it’s the coolest thing I experienced so far.