A Wordy Summer

A self-decided summer project to respond to a creative prompt every day. Cozy up with some coffee and enjoy.

Sunshine, Tapas, and the Ocean

* Disclaimer—Way too long of a post, feel free to skip the words and peruse the pics, far more entertaining*

 This past week was the first designated study tour week for DIS. For those not familiar with the program, DIS builds in three weeks for travel. Two of these weeks you have free to visit other cities or to relax in Copenhagen and the other you are traveling around with your core course. I happened to have this first week free and took the opportunity to visit Spain and Portugal with a few of my friends on my floor—a trip which easily became one of the most phenomenal trips I have ever taken.

 We started in Barcelona, a quintessential stop in any sort of Spanish exploration.  Immediately I was struck by the colors of Spain- from the clear blue of the sky to the bright contrasting colors of the mosaics that speckle the building fronts to the vibrant clothing choices of the residents of the city.  This was certainly a stark contrast to Copenhagen, who somehow seemingly always entertains an air of grey. The food was even colorful. The first night Sachi’s cousin took us to a tapas place where we experienced a classic Spanish meal—lots of small dishes that we fought to order over the chaos of the restaurant and a fresh cup of Sangria. I was in heaven already. Night one. 

Richa, another friend I was traveling with, is an Architecture student so she was adamant about seeing the works of Gaudi while we were in Barcelona. Obviously I had absolutely no idea who this was, but with a promise of out of this world design I gladly agreed to let her take the reigns. Our first stop was the Sagrada Familia, a church he designed. To say that it was outlandish would be an understatement. An understatement of an understatement. It was magnificent—bizarre and beautiful all at once. It had a mystical tone to it, with bright stain class windows projecting kaleidoscope colors on the white columns as the sun beamed through.  I kept questioning how it was possible to build this sort of structure in 1882—completely awe inducing. I think Richa was satisfied with my response and we planned to go to Park Guell, another one of his works, the next day. 

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If the Church impressed me the park blew me away. It seemed to be piled on itself, multiple levels with winding paths and greenery artfully blended with equally captivating structural features. The view at the top was spectacular, and as we felt the sun kiss our cheeks we immediately decided an ice cream would compliment our inextinguishable cheer. You rock, Gaudi. I’m glad you existed. ImageImageImage

Finally, what would Barcelona be without an FCBarcelona soccer game?  While we were in the nosebleeds, we shouted like our encouragement determined the fate of the game. Barca beat Almeria 4 to 1. Clearly our presence meant something.

 Here are a few other shots from Barcelona! 

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We took a train to Madrid on Monday morning, a 3-hour trek through the beautiful Spanish countryside. My face was glued to the window the entire trip, a constant state of admiration.

Madrid was a vision of relaxation. We went to an art museum and lounged. Went to the Palace and lounged. Went to a perched park, watched the sunset, and lounged. We napped in the park.  We added churros and chocolate to our repertoire of Spanish food, more tapas, and of course, more Sangria. We wore sunglasses and left our jackets in the hostel. We were more than satisfied. We were rejuvenated.

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Our flight for Lisbon, Portugal left early Thursday morning and with a forecast of sunny and 70 we went to sleep on Wednesday night like a 5-year-old boy on Christmas Eve. 

 Portugal got added to the trip as an afterthought, all of us scanning a map of Europe and pondering where we should go from Spain. In returning, I have to recommend with the highest level of severity that anyone that has the time, take a trip to Portugal. Portuguese is the most beautiful of languages. Even without understanding what was being said, I kept feeling as though those around me were whispering love stories.

 On our first day we climbed up to a castle that teeters over the entirety of Lisbon. The climb up was hot and tiring, but I welcomed the sweat— to have sunshine that causes one to overheat is a blessing I only acknowledge after living in Denmark for a month. The view was absolutely breathtaking (or it could have been the climb?).  We could see the entirety of Lisbon and climb up multiple towers. We topped the castle off with another ice cream—a cherry on top if I do say so myself.

 The following day we ventured to a set of Church ruins that had been converted into a museum. Perhaps the greatest thing about Europe is its sheer age.  So much time has been experienced by those ruins—so many seasons and visitors, days and nights. It’s often hard to wrap your head around, but there’s something incredibly humbling in trying.  We ended the day at Cascais beach, where we lounged in bathing suits and actually had to apply sunscreen.  I am sure you can guess the excitement. 

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Our final day in Portugal was spent in a neighboring city called Sintra. This hands down was the highlight of my entire trip. The city is oozing with castles and palaces, a sprawling garden falling in its center. I had a moment of eternal gratitude for my situation—to have the opportunity to see what I was seeing. And for the first time, I too was sad. Sad that my family, especially my Mom, could not be with me. Sad that others may never have that same moment—to have their eyes fall onto something that actually can move them to tears.  I feel now more than ever how truly lucky and fortunate I am for this time, and I guess I’ll end this post with a thank you. Thank you to those that welcome us to new places. Thank you to those before me that have created the things of fairy tales. And the ultimate thanks to my parents for giving me this truly extraordinary experience. 

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It’s back to class now. I have to write a paper on Fairytales for my story telling class. Seems pretty fitting after this magical trip. 

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Sunshine, Tapas, and the Ocean

* Disclaimer—Way too long of a post, feel free to skip the words and peruse the pics, far more entertaining*

 This past week was the first designated study tour week for DIS. For those not familiar with the program, DIS builds in three weeks for travel. Two of these weeks you have free to visit other cities or to relax in Copenhagen and the other you are traveling around with your core course. I happened to have this first week free and took the opportunity to visit Spain and Portugal with a few of my friends on my floor—a trip which easily became one of the most phenomenal trips I have ever taken.

 We started in Barcelona, a quintessential stop in any sort of Spanish exploration.  Immediately I was struck by the colors of Spain- from the clear blue of the sky to the bright contrasting colors of the mosaics that speckle the building fronts to the vibrant clothing choices of the residents of the city.  This was certainly a stark contrast to Copenhagen, who somehow seemingly always entertains an air of grey. The food was even colorful. The first night Sachi’s cousin took us to a tapas place where we experienced a classic Spanish meal—lots of small dishes that we fought to order over the chaos of the restaurant and a fresh cup of Sangria. I was in heaven already. Night one. 

Richa, another friend I was traveling with, is an Architecture student so she was adamant about seeing the works of Gaudi while we were in Barcelona. Obviously I had absolutely no idea who this was, but with a promise of out of this world design I gladly agreed to let her take the reigns. Our first stop was the Sagrada Familia, a church he designed. To say that it was outlandish would be an understatement. An understatement of an understatement. It was magnificent—bizarre and beautiful all at once. It had a mystical tone to it, with bright stain class windows projecting kaleidoscope colors on the white columns as the sun beamed through.  I kept questioning how it was possible to build this sort of structure in 1882—completely awe inducing. I think Richa was satisfied with my response and we planned to go to Park Guell, another one of his works, the next day. 

Image

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If the Church impressed me the park blew me away. It seemed to be piled on itself, multiple levels with winding paths and greenery artfully blended with equally captivating structural features. The view at the top was spectacular, and as we felt the sun kiss our cheeks we immediately decided an ice cream would compliment our inextinguishable cheer. You rock, Gaudi. I’m glad you existed. ImageImageImage

Finally, what would Barcelona be without an FCBarcelona soccer game?  While we were in the nosebleeds, we shouted like our encouragement determined the fate of the game. Barca beat Almeria 4 to 1. Clearly our presence meant something.

 Here are a few other shots from Barcelona! 

ImageImageImage

We took a train to Madrid on Monday morning, a 3-hour trek through the beautiful Spanish countryside. My face was glued to the window the entire trip, a constant state of admiration.

Madrid was a vision of relaxation. We went to an art museum and lounged. Went to the Palace and lounged. Went to a perched park, watched the sunset, and lounged. We napped in the park.  We added churros and chocolate to our repertoire of Spanish food, more tapas, and of course, more Sangria. We wore sunglasses and left our jackets in the hostel. We were more than satisfied. We were rejuvenated.

ImageImage

Our flight for Lisbon, Portugal left early Thursday morning and with a forecast of sunny and 70 we went to sleep on Wednesday night like a 5-year-old boy on Christmas Eve. 

 Portugal got added to the trip as an afterthought, all of us scanning a map of Europe and pondering where we should go from Spain. In returning, I have to recommend with the highest level of severity that anyone that has the time, take a trip to Portugal. Portuguese is the most beautiful of languages. Even without understanding what was being said, I kept feeling as though those around me were whispering love stories.

 On our first day we climbed up to a castle that teeters over the entirety of Lisbon. The climb up was hot and tiring, but I welcomed the sweat— to have sunshine that causes one to overheat is a blessing I only acknowledge after living in Denmark for a month. The view was absolutely breathtaking (or it could have been the climb?).  We could see the entirety of Lisbon and climb up multiple towers. We topped the castle off with another ice cream—a cherry on top if I do say so myself.

 The following day we ventured to a set of Church ruins that had been converted into a museum. Perhaps the greatest thing about Europe is its sheer age.  So much time has been experienced by those ruins—so many seasons and visitors, days and nights. It’s often hard to wrap your head around, but there’s something incredibly humbling in trying.  We ended the day at Cascais beach, where we lounged in bathing suits and actually had to apply sunscreen.  I am sure you can guess the excitement. 

Image

ImageImageImage

Our final day in Portugal was spent in a neighboring city called Sintra. This hands down was the highlight of my entire trip. The city is oozing with castles and palaces, a sprawling garden falling in its center. I had a moment of eternal gratitude for my situation—to have the opportunity to see what I was seeing. And for the first time, I too was sad. Sad that my family, especially my Mom, could not be with me. Sad that others may never have that same moment—to have their eyes fall onto something that actually can move them to tears.  I feel now more than ever how truly lucky and fortunate I am for this time, and I guess I’ll end this post with a thank you. Thank you to those that welcome us to new places. Thank you to those before me that have created the things of fairy tales. And the ultimate thanks to my parents for giving me this truly extraordinary experience. 

ImageImageImageImage

It’s back to class now. I have to write a paper on Fairytales for my story telling class. Seems pretty fitting after this magical trip. 

 

 

June 29, 2013: This is the voice of my body.

I wonder what my body would say if it could speak. How would it sound? Would it be an artful conversationalist, eloquent in phrasing? Would it take part in witty banter? Would it have an accent? Australian perhaps. Or maybe an Irish brogue.  Raspy even.

 How wonderful it would be to have the ability to speak through movements, like a lyrical dancer. To move with the rhythm of life.  Words would be unneeded. Or art, maybe. The page acting as a welcoming audience.  To speak with a sort of grace vacant of language is voice in its most beautiful form, a magic preserved for the gifted.

 Unfortunately, my clutzy, jerky body is not cut out for elegant movement. My shaky hands lack the poise to create anything but words. I guess I’ll have to settle for just that: the written language. Though it may not be as visually awe inducing, it is the truest form of expression. With it, I can strive to capture the voice of my body, and an array of other things as well. 

June 28th, 2013: Write about small regrets.

Sometimes quick, sometimes unbearable, each day we cope with the brain’s single most flaw: it’s inability to predict the future. We can never truly know how we will feel immediately after an action is taken; we can’t possibly be sure that each and every choice we make will be void of anger or shame.

A forgotten thank you; an overlooked opportunity; a fear driven no; a drink too many; a misread sign; a too-short haircut; an email sent in anger; a seatbelt unfastened; a broken alarm clock; a late departure; an eager kiss; a see- through bathing suit; an impulse decision. The makings of regret.

Perhaps the most difficult emotion to overcome, it eats and eats and eats away at your insides, emptying you and filling itself, only strengthening its power. Questions stream into the human consciousness: Why? How? When? Embracive self-ponderings fuel it’s rage, continuing to devour until what is left is no longer a man, but regret itself, embodying the existence of its victim.

A man does not have regret.

Once it is welcomed and fed, he becomes regret.

June 27th, 2013 : The heat in the afternoon.

I have a love/hate with air conditioners. For the most part, I love them. They insure a good night sleep; a comfortable dinner; a cozy cup of warm coffee in the morning. They do great things.

But my hate emerges when I am reminded what artful liars they are. Deceptive liars. They convince you that while dressing you should certainly grab that studded blazer, in case you get chilly. You should absolutely straighten your tangled hair. Go for the liquid make up! Sweating is definitely not in the cards today.

Then, you encounter the heat in the afternoon.  The mug and fog and humidity and wall  aggressively greet you when bolting out the door. The blazer gets shoved in your bag, your hair quickly frizzes, and the make up has already started to drip down the outskirts of your face, creating the allusion that you are, in fact, a walking painting.

It’s a bittersweet love affair I have with my AC unit.  A rollercoaster of emotion.

May 29, 2013: Before I was born…

I was born in 1993, causing me to constantly identify with the frequently used term, “90’s kid.”  Today, even, while perusing through my Facebook news feed, (an activity which similarly defines my generation) I stumbled upon a link to a buzzfeed.com post titled, “50 Things That Look Just Like Your Childhood.”

If you have the chance, check it out:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/things-that-look-just-like-childhood

The post details a series of images that a true 90’s kid would recognize. It had me smiling, reminiscing, and cheering with delight that most of these things have become obsolete – things like Tamagachis, blow up furniture, and HitClips to name a few.  It took me on a brief, but fully appreciated, trip down memory lane and had me giggling at the generation I was born into. The 90’s are now more than a decade in the past, after all, a fair enough distance away to deem them laughable.

Despite my soft spot for the 90’s, I think everyone has fantasized about living in a different time period than the one they were born into.  I’d love to visit Paris during the 1920’s, when Hemingway and Fitzgerald could be spotted chatting at a local café, or Greenwich Village during the 50’s when the Beat generation was born.  I wonder if I would be brave enough to house a running slave in a tucked away room, or to fight for my rights openly and proudly as a woman. I’ve never been a history buff, as dates and facts really aren’t my forte. But stories- the stories of the past- now those are romantically captivating, and constantly have me wishing that Marty McFly and Doc Brown could include me in their time travel adventures.

Part of this fascination with the past can be derived from my parents, who repeatedly share stories of their childhood and youth, only to finish with the clichéd conclusion, “But that was a different time.”  From full days spent at the local pool to biking across town to a friend’s house, it has been made clear that with less to worry about, freedom and adventure were fully lived terms.  My Dad, in particular, has a list of quotable stories, things that seem impossible or exaggerated – like the time he threw up on an officer outside of a grocery store at the ripe old age of 13, or how he lost his license 5 short days after receiving it because he was caught speeding by the very same officer.  My Mom, too, never ceases to amaze, as she proudly describes her perfected method of skipping school, (which included walking to the bus, then dashing behind the house and perching on top of the garage roof until her parents left for the day,) or the time she hitch hiked a ride with a creepy old truck driver only to be frightened out of the travel method for the rest of her life.  As us kids listen to these distanced memories of our parents youth with wide eyes, it seems that they must be lying.  How could the same woman who sets an 11 pm curfew even know how to hitch hike?  Or the man that’s biggest pet peeve is leaving a kitchen cabinet open be so carefree that a determined police officer could not even rain on his parade?  Seeing the confusion in our eyes, parents then use the “But those were different times” line to assure that these people are far, far away. People bred by a different generation, where these things were acceptable.  

          Still, as my own youth seems vacant of these unbelievable stories, I wonder what I will be telling my own children years down the line.  Will I be romanticizing a time where people actually played outside, or used a pen and paper to write, or read from this thing called “book”?  I sure hope this is not the case, though time will only tell. I guess in the meantime, I should simply live. Because I think that’s really all that my parents did.  Live now and worry later.  And above all else, do it for the story.

May 27, 2013: It’s snowing

It is snowing

Heavy, determined white tears. 

The earth is blanketed.

Shivers spread.

 

The fire is burning. 

Vicious growing flames

Illuminated in a loved ones eyes.

Sweaters removed. 

 

A kiss. 

Soft, simple touch. 

An intimate memory 

Ignited by the cold.