Sometimes, I start my day at 10:30 a.m. with a European-style baguette at the artisan shop four blocks from my home. Today’s crisp shell holds between its yielding inner lips French ham, brie, butter and jalapeño jam.
The words “gluten” and “dairy” do not have their meaning here, as they do when I say things like, “I avoid gluten and dairy.”
This morning, I am not avoiding. I am savoring.
I am swelling with memories of having this at least once every day in Spain, where they will put anything between two slices of a baguette and give it to you for 2€: tortilla española, squid, and often just a single razor-thin slice of jamón ibérico. Nothing else.
Think about it. It’s so beautifully un-American. A slice of jamón and bread. No cheese, no squishy sauce to coax your mouth into accepting it. You have to trust you’ll be ok at the other end—the cotton-dryness of the bread may put your mouth into a start of alarm, but only until it finds the jamón, its fat sweating into the inner cushion of bread, and there it is—the softness, the oils, the impossibly rich peppery barnyard flavor, and then it’s gone. It vanishes just as quickly as you put it in your mouth. And you want more.
The Spanish could put more slices of jamón ibérico in the sandwich, of course, and charge more for it. But they don’t. You’d have to buy five baguettes, toss all the bread, and put the jamón on one sandwich before they’d do it for you themselves.
Because jamón ibérico is meant to be savored in its juxtaposition: How can this much flavor be packed into such a featherweight thing? The power of ibérico is in the marvel.
I’m back in Boulder now, riding my bicycle, doing yoga, sipping single-origin espresso, writing poetry, interviewing amazing people, sharing wine and dinner with girlfriends. It’s crisp but sunny, summer’s digestif.
It’s hearty, life here, and I can’t imagine tearing myself from it. In a traveling way, sure—in a permanent displacement way, no. Not yet. When I’m here, I can create a reflection of what I see around me—bliss, growth, magic—and store it inside myself as feeling. But, I find I have to keep coming back to recharge it.
Continue reading The Epic Skyline of Home
I’m in Spain, buying too many books in Castellano, drinking too much coffee (and wine and sidra and vermut and…), and really allowing myself to indulge in play. Lunch at 4 with wine? Sure. Gluten? Dairy? Pile ’em on top of each other and send them my way.
In terms of a more healthy type of play, yesterday I acquired a bicycle from the generous owner of La Bicicleta Cycling Cafe & Workspace, which I can borrow until I leave in 5 days.
I realized I had never biked in Madrid before—and I lived here for almost a year. I’m excited to combine my passions in a way I never have before—in this case, being in a world brimming with my favorite other language, and of exploring that world by bike.
Bicycling creates a flow, an ease, a rooted nugget of pleasure inside of me that can cancel out the negative outcomes of unexpected diversions. And in Spain, there are many: restaurants not opening when they say they will, losing something (my laptop sleeve now lives in Barcelona), machines eating your credit card at the train station then shutting down completely, clearly satisfied to have a siesta after eating your delicious only way of paying for things. Sigh.
Continue reading The Word “Retired” Should Be Just That
Hello! I am going to Spain in a few days and that is pretty much all I can think about. However, I managed to express something else in this video—what I definitely DO NOT mean when I say “live all of you.”
Plus, I share a beautiful note I received from Christian in China about the idea of living all of yourself (also a personal exercise in receiving praise, which I sometimes have trouble with).
In this episode, I talk about:
- How to receive praise
- The importance of expressing yourself
- What I don’t mean by “live all of you”
- Taking inventory of your feelings in the moment
- Giving gratitude for your side work (like Marie Forleo talks about: B Jobs!)
Next time: See you from España!