On Solitude, and Babies
I awoke to this magical little Spanish paradise with no less than 4 tortoises crawling around on the terrace. This is the genius of Airbnb. Barcelona, where the city sleeps till after the afternoon. Or do they siesta then?
I am staying in the Sant Gervasi Galvany area, only a block from Mercat Galvany and its decadent rows of modernist Catalan establishments, bakeries and walkup tapas bars. The opportunity to try on another person’s life, to be in their intimate places and spaces. It’s like wearing another outfit, getting to be someone different for your time here.
In this case, her name was Mercé, and she had great style.
Up on the 4th story with gorgeous tiled floors from the 1930s, an open terrace embracing the sounds of the city.. and the tortoises. A truly unique encounter, as life should be. In the afternoon the leader of the pack, “Scarface”, crawled over my feet, interested in what my toe tasted like over the lettuce I was supposed to feed him. They live up to 150 years. More rotations around the planet. Slow and steady wins this race.
I savor the solitude. This is my last adventure before the baby comes, which marks a new adventure all together. Even though I am already bound to her, I make sure to sleep and rest, and travel in a different way. She is here with me, but I still have the freedom to ponder about. I am also without Michael, and can enjoy the solitary meanderings of my mind- a space I have always loved. I remember a quote I found on one of those quote websites- Emerson had said it. “Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in life.”
I’m here for a writing workshop and came early to acknowledge these last days of freedom- I can think in English, can get by in Spanish, and don’t have to worry about German here in Spain, at least. Unlike my sisters who thrive in chaos and conviviality, I am a solitary soul, which is probably why I was able to survive as a singer-songwriter for so long. I love the sound of silence, without distractions, watching the sun move across the terrace as the day gets later. I crave my alone time and wonder how it will be when the new arrival comes- it will be the best lesson of my life. And the greatest gift.
I do relish my inner sanctuary but at the same time eagerly await her arrival. Who will she be? Will she remember the songs I’ve sung for her? Will she be happy? Yes, I think she will. Because I am happy, and Michael is happy.
Until then, I slowly make the space for her.
I love this place of peace that I sometimes achieve- often the chatter of life distracts me, I’m swayed by a flickering light, a new idea. Like a puppy chasing a laser beam. To keep my mind in a state of calm has always been difficult, but now it’s even more important that I do so- for the birth of my daughter- to bring her into the world in the most peaceful way possible. I’m not afraid.
In this time, I’m strolling and not over-planned- strolling with no destination at all. The great affair is, after all, to move.