Meditations on Writing in Spain

The past ten days or so have been so incredibly mystical in so many ways. Travelling to one of my favourite countries in the world and reuniting with a really precious loved-one has just been so… So… Cinematic. It’s honestly felt like a romantic movie for the most part, something I never thought I’d experience because, well, I’m a hipsterish geek with delusions of individuality.

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Spain has been romanticized in my eyes for years now. It’s a country of dramatic history, of passionate dance and art and home of the world’s most charismatic Europeans (take THAT France… Just joking, I still like you). At the very least, that’s what my mental image of Spain has been. Of course, learning the language and spending almost two weeks in various cities around the country has given me a much deeper and less sentimental view of the country, one that is more realistic but no-less beautiful.

Sitting on the steps of a small gothic cathedral, overlooking a statue of Goya and being bathed in afternoon glow, I started thinking a lot about the craft of writing. Getting things from my soul out of my mortal shell in a stream of consciousness has always been the goal of this blog, but recently I’ve found this stream becoming polluted. It’s beginning to read more like a lifeless diary and commercialised travel blog than something from the heart of James.

I was reminded of this by the image of a quietly smiling, ginger man meditating outside Museo El Prado, and another of a magpie flying up to a high, sun-lit apartment. Walking slowly, inch by inch, down the avenue of El Prado, tapping away at this small screen, I began to feel the same light and energy I felt when first starting this blog. I was madly writing to capture the feelings and memories that are so precious in life, getting them down on “paper” before they float away into whatever oblivion lost words go.

I guess I’ve been craving the attention, wanting to write a popular travel blog with thousands of visitors daily, but at the same time I find it painful to do so. I want to write honestly and openly about feelings and the ethereal, not just about the amazing places I’ve visited over the past half-a-year. Now, full of emotion and heartbreak again after saying “hasta luego” to my favourite Spaniard, I think it’s time to start injecting some of this back into Electric Holy Road. Love, art and travel are really powerful drugs, and words are a welcome side-effect.

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Naturaleza Muerta

At the same time I don’t think it right to revise or edit anything that’s already been written, because at the time of writing that’s exactly what I wanted, of was able, to say (and hey, this blog is an important historical document now). So, if you want to read these accounts from start to end, see it as a record of happy and painful memories, witness the change in style and recognise the danger of routine.

In the midst of melancholy is wonder. Even in the saddest and hardest place you can find positivty and hope. Even if things seem cold and hopeless there can still be orange sunlight on the horizon. That’s the message I want to take away from this.

Who knows what the future will bring, so why try and force it? If there’s anything I’ve learned from my strange love story this past year it’s that things just work if they need to, and I’m sure life will continue to surprise and delight going forward.

There are no words, no thoughts even, that can truly capture what these recent travels and reunions and departures have meant to me… But I can try.

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