El albergue

El albergue

Friday, May 10, 2013


What a beautiful day. Gorgeous. As I sit here on this little terraza, elevated above the noise of busy Calle Princessa and slightly shielded from it by the decorative wall rising behind my back, I savor the happy sunshine and the bit of breeze that breaths spring into my senses. In front of me waits a beautiful lunch – cold beet soup, a piece of whole grain toast, and a tall glass of fresh mint lemonade…

Do you ever stop to think about how many details our brains take in every millisecond of our lives? I mean, really, so much information is gathered by our eyes, ears, noses, skin, emotions, taste, and even just instinct every second of every day. And our brains process it all. They take all those tiny details and formulate them into cohesive thoughts and experiences. They decide which ones should be highlighted and important in our memory, which ones sort of merge into the overall picture, and which ones get completely forgotten, dropped in some box in the dusty back shelves of our brains.

And so many of those details are the ones that get forgotten. They seem non-important, a mere glance of perception aside from the bigger, more important things in life. For instance, why would you ever need to remember the way fingerprints are smudged on the window of the metro door, left there doubtless by countless commuters like yourself who were balancing against the glass as they waited for their stop to come? Why would you ever need to remember the peculiar constellations of old gum smashed into the sidewalk by countless pairs of feet? That’s unnecessary, right? Or what about the conversational ups and downs of your neighbors’ voices at the table across from you?

Yet those details are what fill out our lives. They give substance and shades to our experiences. Without us even realizing it, those little details that pass by unnoticed or uncared-for work together to help create the whole of our understanding of how we feel or how we remember any given moment. You could say, millions of tiny brush strokes all together are what make up the greatest paintings.

For example, right now, this moment on this terraza is going to rest in my mind as deeply relaxing, a moment of deep peace and happiness. Why? Well…

There’s the delicately bright pink of my soup, with the splash of green parsley droplets of white cream.
There’s the tender little chunks of beet swimming in creamy, slightly sweet broth alongside the occasional spark of fresh onion.
There’s the tiny spider timidly crawling across the wooden platter between my soup dish and the small plate now littered with the crumbs of my toast.
There are the two straws sticking expectantly up from my refreshing lemonade with its lightly bitter, sour taste.
There are the fresh spring flowers peaking out from behind my computer, where I pushed the charming centerpiece.
There’s the lilting chirp of birds in the tall trees overhead.
There’s the fluff from a flowering bush somewhere floating about in the breeze.
And there’s the general sense of being unable to adequately communicate the entirety of this thought, this place, this moment.

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