Exiting the old city walls of Córdoba, I turned to see them bathed in the golden light of early morning. Doves were nesting in the cracks between the stones. It was a stunningly beautiful scene. I chose not to cheapen it with a snapshot, and instead relegated the image to memory.
Just then, the rising sun caught a thick plume of contrail pollution in the distance and emblazoned it with orange, against the pale-blue sky and the wall’s crowned top. Depressing thoughts about the direction of humanity came to mind.
After touring the artistic and architectural achievements of the Moors, one can’t help thinking that we don’t create or build with attention to detail like we used to. Once, incredibly beautiful and intricate structures – which took hundreds of years to build – were erected on mighty rivers. Today, shoddy apartments and condos rise over receding rivers – available from the $120s.
Staring out the bus window at around 9:15am, the once-clear morning sky is painted with the brush strokes of contrails from the early arrivals into the airport. Outside of town, as we hit another curve in the road, a smoky fog carpets the undulating hills and snakes between endless rows of olive trees. A middle-aged woman sitting next to me vomits her breakfast into a plastic bag. It’s all I can do not to join her.
I wonder what the contrail of the airplane I was in today looked like... Overall, my “carbon footprint” is much abated since I moved to France. I almost never use anything but electric train, bicycle, or regular footprint.
Last night, in dreams, I saw a muscleman spastically swinging a ball and chain inside a small circle – but never letting fly – set against the backdrop of the two halves of my now-divorced family enjoying Disney World together – followed by them eating at separate tables in a cafeteria. They then appeared on The Family Feud at my behest... if only. Most of my dreams are so literal, I’m not sure you can call them dreams.
Somebody should create a game show where two divorcees are the contestants.
The flying dream recurred. Actually, it’s more like a floating dream. I run, flap my arms, and slowly rise, upright, to an elevation of about 15 feet, hover for a moment with my arms outstretched like helicopter blades, and then slowly, gracefully land. Fear keeps me from going any higher or letting my body go horizontal – like a superhero – and flying fast and far. The metaphor of my life can be found in this dream.
For many years I believed it was a scientific certainty that flying dreams were not in my repertoire. Then, waking from the floating dream about a month ago, I realized that not only had I had this “flying” dream many times over, but the idea had somehow floated from my subconscious to my conscious mind that I had – on more than one occasion – actually hovered in the air. Note to self: you can’t hover, you never could.
Sometimes, my mind’s eye creates a vision from the perspective of a speck of dust located on the inside of a human ear or on the side of a coffee mug. The only other time I’ve ever heard mention of anything remotely similar was in reference to the administration of an herb called salvia divinorum by shamans in Chiapas. Somebody wrote on the internet that they smoked some, and then thought they were a paint chip. I tried it once, but nothing happened and it gave me a sore throat.
As there are a lot of fruit trees in Spain, the song “Fruit Tree” by Nick Drake has been in my head for over a week.
European flights descend at a gentler angle than those in North America.
I’m excited to be back in Paris.