” I have to more or less trip over work before i touch it”
(thankyou Karen for giving me The Times Magazine every month, full of literary/art pearls-see pg.147)
It has been a rainy, blustery weekend–albeit mentally invigorating.
I noticed my posts come after some sort of revelation, or rumination, or happenstance. It is almost as though I cannot wait to have ephiphanies, or discover new things and share them here. But one needs to live life before commenting on it, thus the days of silence. When I am not here, I am charging, like a battery, and keeping my eyes and ears open for interesting stories, art, individuals.
Friday night I meet an oceanographer/historian of Maltese origins with a penchant for adventure, who shared a video from his version of ‘Motorcycle Diaries’. In 2001 (or 2002, I do not remember exactly, there was wine involved) he and few companions rode from San Diego to the end of Baja California, crossing a stretch of land, called Punta San Carlo, which has never been crossed before, by literally asking some fishermen to load their bikes on their little boats. The fishermen in the boat proceeded to wear lifesaver jackets and I thought about what my father’s reaction would be if someone asked to load a motorbike on his fishing boat. Even though he has a Suzuki street bike, I chuckle at his reaction. He would take on the challenge for sure. We discussed how the oceanographer (now living in La Spezia, Italy, with his gracious wife) should put the video online: if he indeed went ‘where no man rode before’ I am sure hundreds of fellow bikers would be interested. His video was titled ‘Lawrence of Baja’ (from the oceanographer’s love of Lawrence of Arabia) and set to some pretty interesting music. Through him I also learned about Malta, the Knights, the Crusades and a book that Lawrence of Arabia wrote for his thesis ‘ The Influence of the Crusades on European Military Architecture‘ (see, architecture follows me everywhere, no rest for the weary, along with discussions about Arab architecture, civilization in Spain etc.). I had the occasion to meet some other Maltese citizens here in San Diego and I always love to discuss how Malta is so close to Italy, yet the language contains lots of Arabic words. A land truly between two worlds.
Something to ponder upon : Gibraltar (in Italian made into the latin-sounding Ghibilterra) actually comes from the Arab word Gib’ Al- Tareq, or Mountain of Tareq, who was a condottiero, or conqueror, responsible of the ‘Opening of Spain’, or the cultural invasion of Spain which lasted for 800 years and left us some of the most beautiful Moorish architecture in the world, such as Grenada and Alhambra.
SO you might think that a motorcycle journeythrough the deserts of Baja, in a completely self-sustaining fashion (and I am talking about plastic bottles containing gasoline strapped on bikes), inspired by Lawrence of Arabia (who himself died in a motorcycle accident) is pretty adventurous, right? Well on the very same night I also met a visiting British comedian who decided to move back to England from Australia, with his girlfriend, by biking (as in bicycle) across this land, camping (as in tent) on RV camps and refilling on fuel for the gas stove by asking RV’s to share their gas —since it was sold in five-gallon canisters and impossible to carry on bikes. I do meet the most interesting people and now officially feel the need for some adventures of my own.
My own brush with Motorcycle Diaries (my long dreamed-of trip to Cuba) did not happen this Spring, due to creative accounting on the part of the IRS– apparently I made just enough money to pay more and not receive a refund, call my tax bracket a financial Bermuda Triangle…So I have been pondering how it would be to walk throughout California, from San Diego to San Francisco…and what would be my cause?
These are the thoughts that go through my head as I walk home from school, usually in the evening, usually a 45-minute quiet, starry walk, full of dreams, prayers and stories.
These days we are fed imagination through the media. We are not really given a lot of opportunity in our day-to-day lives to exercise our imagination– most of us aren’t–and dreams are purer imagination, pure creation: it’s as if we are producing a movie every single night, all of our own, it is completely self-created and instantly created..
Dr. Veronica Tonay
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