2.7.15

DAY 587

in {and out} Week 22: Heat

The heat started this year the same day she passed away or at least, this is my perception. Along the previous months, every time I was thinking about that possibility, I felt the heat. I don't know exactly why... maybe due to the diagnose, maybe because deep inside I knew she wouldn't live too much, 
maybe because regardless of all those facts, I had the hope that she would be able to live the first months of the summer, that I would be able to enjoy her company a few weeks more.

But my dear, dear, friend crossed to the other side of this existence a few days before the season would have officially started. That same day I felt a real heat and it was a foretaste of the solstice that was coming... the first solstice without her presence here.

I was not ready to start a new summer, not after all the things I have had to live this first semester of the year, not after losing most of the certainties I used to have. Not after having relinquished to the old sense of continuity. Not without this so loved friend (and the another sweet friend I lost at the beginning of the year and my precious cat who left me less than two months ago).

I was angry with the blue sky that shined brighter than ever before just the day after I had to say goodbye. World, people and in particular, this planet seemed so impassive to me!. She was not here anymore, but the heat continued its relentless progress and I felt it was detestable.

However, one morning I woke up very early. The day was starting and it was quite fresh and after opening the kitchen's window I paid attention (for the very first time in days) to the big firmament and I felt amazed. I forgot my pain for a second, I understood life and death from the viewpoint of this old mother earth and I felt released. I appreciated the pristine atmosphere and I thought of my dear friend who would have liked to delight in a morning like that once more time. I took a deep breathe and smiled for a second.

I know she had to go. I know it was the right moment (if this moment exists) because she couldn't keep living in so much pain (and she didn't want to). I had the incredible privilege of meeting her (I was only twenty five years old back then) and of having gone with her along her illness and I am thankful for this but I am going to miss her wonderful soul my whole life.

I still cry a lot but from that moment in front of the kitchen's window I have started to remember all the beautiful things we lived together...  and to reconcile with the heat, with myself and my presence here.




This entry is part of a project I am developing with my friend Montse Gallardo. We'll share a photo every week during 2015. Her photos will be always taken outside and my photos will be indoor shots only. We have created a Facebook page: In and Out. 52 weeks where you can see all the photos of the project. 


16.6.15

DAY 586

in {and out} Week 21: Abstract

The way that my photos and my texts mix together to create a consistent unit doesn't change very much every time I undertake this task but it never ceases to amaze me.

I often start with the capture of the image without a preconceived idea in mind about how the final result should be. I only prepare a scene (if I had to respond to this challenge) or let my eye leads me to what can be interesting or appealing and I play with the factors that are at my disposal. Even when I have to promote this mood consciously in the rest of my life, in this specific area it comes to me naturally… maybe because I feel in my element while creating.

Later on, the image suggests me a text that can be related to some recurrent themes or to something completely new. It can happens while I am taking the photo, along the post-processing or when I look at the final product, but I always can feel how a budding story line tries to emerge, how words that share a common thread come to my mind and I prepare myself to express it in writing.

All this process can be quick or can take more time depending on many aspects of it. This time, while I was shooting one picture after another, I was mainly concerned by emphasizing lines, shapes and colors rather than specific forms in order to create an abstract image. It was being a bit challenging but even so, while I was manipulating objects trying new compositions and new ways to focus the lens of the camera, a tiny, incipient, story started to develop.

Seashells were part of my childhood. Not only because I grew up by the sea, but because my father was an avid collector before my birth. In a given moment he got rid of his collections (I don't know exactly why) but there were some pieces at home and my mother preserved it after he passed away.

Looking at this image I can see the abstract creation that the challenge required and also, an abstraction of those early years because it somehow show how his passing (when I was only five years old) affected our lives and in particular, my life.

His death, all the unresolved issues that he left behind (that nobody, not even my mother, knew how to tackle at least not in a healthy way) and the resulting consequences, undermined many things inside me. It was not an immediate event, it happened gradually and insidiously. When I reached adult age I felt totally eroded inside regardless of what might be observed from outside. All the emptiness created by what I had to lose to survive, was filled with anger, and pain and fear.

I had to confront my past to take them outside and now I have all those charming nooks and hidden holes, all those odd angles and unexpected edges. I am learning to appreciate their beauty because it is the only way I have to move forward. 


I am learning to keep them clean, to let the wind and the light go through them, because I don't want them to be blocked again with the anger (or pain or fear) that still come to meet me when life becomes hard. 

I am learning to stay present and in the present, to stop revisiting the past and let go the “whys”, because there is nothing more to analyze, nothing more to be unraveled. 

In short, I am learning to focus on the things I have to complete, on the built-in issues that my story has: patience, tolerance, forgiveness, playfulness, dreams, acceptance… instead of on my need to make things better through demanding (and self-demanding) attitudes.


I am learning... 


I am just learning.


This entry is part of a project I am developing with my friend Montse Gallardo. We'll share a photo every week during 2015. Her photos will be always taken outside and my photos will be indoor shots only. We have created a Facebook page: In and Out. 52 weeks where you can see all the photos of the project. 


5.6.15

DAY 585

in {and out} Week 20: Yellow

Often the simplest solution can be the best one. Simplicity is a good ally of logical reasoning, of functionality, decision making and problem solving... not to talk about planning, but we insist on forgetting it.

This tendency has to do with the way we have been brought up,  with all the bad habits of the educational system and -obviously- with our ego's vices. This makes us prone to think that simplicity and naturalness don't make a good impression in others and we rather opt for a rehearsed complication.

As an analytical introvert and part of an academic institution which praises affectation and can obscure the easiest things, I have been a very good friend of complexity.

But once I started my inner work simplicity gained relevance... maybe because all the sources I checked considered it extremely important, in fact, it seemed to be an article of faith. To be honest, in the very beginning I found this kind of veneration ridiculous, whys should I choose it when I could opt for intricate thoughts, answers or strategies?.

But I persevered (probably because I also found the concept intriguing) and one day I went across Zen Buddhism and I acknowledged that I had found a tailor-made philosophy. Simplicity started to pervade my thoughts and my way of feeling:

 What could be more appealing than keeping it easy in the presence of life?
What could be more poignant than staying bare, pure while feeling bewildered?
What could be more impressive than acting with ease regardless of paradoxes and confusions?.

Little by little, I started to accept its significance and I realized that it was the ultimate sophistication. I also understood something that before I hadn't even conceived: simplicity is not a response in the face of an entangled life, it is a way to make evident that life is much more simpler than we like to think, it is foreseeable and comprehensible and clear as long as we don't want to change it.

This has been a great lesson. Even so, my old fondness for labyrinthine alternatives still reappears from time to time. Tiny relapses, you know… so I've been a bit embroiled in rambling thoughts about this entry of the project. And then, one morning, two words came to my mind: Lemon Yellow. And these two words clarified it all.

 The simpler, the better.



This entry is part of a project I am developing with my friend Montse Gallardo. We´ll share a photo every week during 2015. Her photos will be always taken outside and my photos will be indoor shots only. We have created a Facebook page: In and Out. 52 weeks where you can see all the photos of the project. 

31.5.15

DAY 584

in {and out} Week 19: Antique

The last time I visited my mother, I brought the camera with me. I was thinking of taking some photos of a very old and beautiful porcelain pitcher that she inherited from her mother. I prepared the scene on my bedroom's bedside table and shot a few photos when I realized that I needed something else to improve the composition. I remembered having seen a box of old postcards inside my closet. I knew that my mother had put it there and it contained postcards that we had bought along some travels, visits to museums and so on. When I found it, I noticed that there was another box under it, I opened it and it was full of papers that actually were mementos of my time in the high school. There were also lots of letters sent by me to my mother during my first year at university.

I opened the antiquated envelopes and there I found sheets and sheets filled with my handwritten words. I glanced at some of them and read some paragraphs here and there, taking time to enjoy the wording, to analyze the way I used the terms to express what I was living or report my mood and suddenly,  I realized that I was witnessing the emergence of my adult being: I could feel the dreams of a better future, the concerns, the need to accomplish and to have control;  my determination to be independent and to be conventional, predictable, reliable in order to achieve approval; the way I was taking charge of my life, of my sentiments and of other's responsibilities... the way I was trying to fulfill other's expectations... the way early experiences and conditionings were starting to take a toll on my life.

I was only eighteen years old when I wrote them but the person who I would become was already there surrounded by naivety and joy and hopeful anticipation and wishful thinking. All the things mentioned above would result in highly self-demanding attitudes in the following years. They would result in excellence, in sadness and sorrow, in lack of boundaries and in the admission of abusive behaviors. In short, in the attempt to repress my true self.

I can hardly relate to this antique being that was arising from my infancy and has lived with me till recently. I cannot relate to the child I was, either. I can hardly relate to the way I behaved or to many of my priorities. I cannot feel anymore the heavy burden that I was always carrying or the sense of not belonging here with its dull pain. In fact, all this seems to have fallen into disuse. All this seems to pertain to an ancient era.

Of course, I remember the good moments, I celebrate the learnings, I cherish my strength, I treasure the love and guidance that have supported me and made me evolve and I appreciate my path. I can see also a common or unifying thread going through all my story, that helps me to identify what has been (and is) true and authentic in my life, my genuine self... but most of what I found in those letters (except for this unshakable thread which is made of faith and creativity and trust and passion and connection) belongs to a bygone era and as it is said: let bygones be bygones.



This entry is part of a project I am developing with my friend Montse Gallardo. We´ll share a photo every week during 2015. Her photos will be always taken outside and my photos will be indoor shots only. We have created a Facebook page: In and Out. 52 weeks where you can see all the photos of the project. 

16.5.15

DAY 583

in {and out} Week 18: Big

All the indoors photos of this project are mainly taken inside my house and using items that I already have, so when the time to approach this theme came, I thought I would come out of the challenge well, but I hadn´t thouhgt of something: I don´t like big things.

I do not like sumptuous objects or flamboyant details. I don´t like exaggerated ornaments or personal accessories (except for rings, sun-glasses and handbags). I love all things small. In fact, there are many things that I find too huge for my taste maybe because I feel that little scales and sizes intimidate me less.

This is not only evident regarding house decoration or my personal image, it also becomes obvious when I look at my photos or my collages, even my doodles and the outlines and diagrams I usually give to my students are filled with tiny details. I need to create precise and meticulous compositions and an accurate work. This makes me diligent and methodical but also exigent and –from time to time- maybe too much punctilious.

However when it comes to another kind of things, I don´t feel the same:


I don´t fail to see the big picture (even when I can be focused on details).

I like big stories, big challenges and big emotions. I admire big hearts, big smiles, 
big trees and big cities. I adore big libraries and book stores.

I like feeling a big fondness for little moments of wonder and a big love for this life. I like having big ideas and knowing more about this big wide world. And those who are big enough to overcome their story, forgive and make the most of their experiences in order to have a meaningful existence.


And of course, I love big cups of tea!, whether in rainy or sunny days.




This entry is part of a project I am developing with my friend Montse Gallardo. We´ll share a photo every week during 2015. Her photos will be always taken outside and my photos will be indoor shots only. We have created a Facebook page: In and Out. 52 weeks where you can see all the photos of the project. 

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