mardi 30 septembre 2014

No rules!

I thought it was going to be much easier for me to come back here at The Bridge and write a post once Sophie broke the ice and surprised us all with her unexpected blog entry days after her birthday in July.

I can not find the right words to describe the emotions I felt. If I try hard (with the help of a dictionary) I'd say for a couple of days I was overtaken by some state of elation and overjoy just for the wonderful thoughts of stepping again and walking through our cherished bridge.

However, two months had already passed since that happened and nothing had come up until today that I decided I could not longer stay in limbo waiting for the inspiration to come in order to write something valuable, meaningful, shareable that could match the delicious, thoughtful, marvelous post Sophie wrote back in July.

Maybe I got intimidated by her. Maybe I was rusty (and still am) after all this time without writing anything like this in English. This blog used to be my Arcadia, my place to experimenting with words, to play with them in Shakespeare language for no other purposes than the sheer pleasure it provoked in me.

Just until today that with this post I'm officially responding to my dear friend and accepting the conditions she's proposing. Which are really no conditions, because she's proposing no rules and strangely this sentence would become the one and only rule, the no existence of rules. We know: life is full of paradoxes.

This agreement should free us to write whenever we want, as much as we want without any kind of limitations, themes or other restrictions. At the same time it shouldn't constraint us to not do the opposite if we so feel pleased to, if for some reason we feel inclined to do otherwise.

"Writing in The Bridge as we please" suits me quite well. Why? Because even though I can follow rules and I understand the need for the world or the universe to have some kind of reigning order to avoid chaos, I feel I thrive better when that order is hidden, it's not imposed, when I feel free to choose when and how, if I control things and things don't control me.

What better illustration than the reflection of this on my own life! Let me share with you the good news. Since October of last year I'm free. I decided not to be an employee anymore. Since then I work independently by myself, I set my own rules, choosing the companies to contract with, without obligation to show at a certain time or bosses bossing, ordering, demanding things ... you get the idea?!

So much change this has brought to my life... It comes handy this bridge is open again for the business of exchanging these new experiences occurring in both sides of the pond.

I recognize that things could have been better, I still don't have the money I wish I had, however, better times are approaching fast and I still hope to make good on the promise I shared at the beginning of 2014 and I still expect being in Paris before the year comes to an end. Who knows!

But so far, that Coffee still goes on!

                                                                                                                            Love from New York,


mardi 22 juillet 2014


Back? Back...

No, i am not promising that i will be able to Bridgify (good lord, it feels good to use that word once more!) every other day. But i cannot recall how many times since my last post here i found myself visiting a place and wanting to pull out Moleskine and pen to write a few lines about it. But it just seemed pointless. The whole idea of pretending, or rather trying to convince myself as well as others every time that i would be more serious about posting on a regular basis was more than i could brace myself to do. Somehow, it was perhaps necessary to suffer the long sterility to be able to come back, freed from all pressure. A pressure implied by the lack of time, the lack of ideas perhaps, the lack of energy, added to the contradictory nagging desire to do it anyway. To write something, here. Do it! Just do it! Steal the time! Steal the strength and bloody do it!

Seven months ago, Fernando and i exchanged a couple of text-messages in which he announced me that he was planning to visit Paris some day this year. A wonderful occasion, we thought, for a real coffee really shared, really really enjoyed together. At that point i started thinking that it would also be the perfect occasion for us to reopen the gates of The Bridge. But the weeks came and went and the more i would think of it, the more obvious it would appear to me that doing so would be a very odd thing, not altogether comfortable. Surfing on a wave of enthusiasm and nostalgia, a bright Ephemera, bound to fail just like good old bonfires are known to be of very little endurance. And i didn't want that.

I didn't want to come back here just because The Bridge would have, for a very short and happy moment, become tangible. There are different levels of reality. This very example of Virtual life is one of them, as paradoxical as it may sound. And to be certain that this would have a chance to last, it would have to be the result of a stronger desire than the mere nostalgic wish to dig out the 'good old times'.

Many things remain unmoved, unchanged from what we we'll call 'back then', and many others changed (i.e: i now am an old hag of almost 3o :) ). I still am running after a great job and money, i have even less free time than i used to, but i am perhaps a bit more reliable when it comes to 'holding bonds'. A bit braver, a bit less ostrich-like. It is a quite recent discovery that i made about myself. And there would be no point to be bragging about that without putting it to he test. Give some long craved for evidence, at last, that i do not forget about my friends, no matter how far they are, or how 'virtual'.

Life does not provide as much freedom as it should to do everything that ought to be done. Days are short, rents are tightly packed around the edges of busy months, seasons melt in the depths of a narrow jug more commonly known as 'Year', filled with joys and decay, traps and fast lanes, burn-outs and procrastination.

So... what then?
Give the place new rules?
Take Fernando on a private conversation and decide together what would be the best recipe to put the place back on its limbs?

Maybe we should yes. But maybe we should just think about the fact that the best way to never break rules, to never miss appointments, to never disappoint expectations, is to never set any?
No plans, no backstage work, nothing but feel-like-it-ishness.

I'll leave it to Fernando's discretion.

But i'd be happy to feel legitimate about coming back here, from time to time, and hear the echo of my french accent come back like a boomerang from a smoking coffee mug emblazoned NYC.

love from Paris,


vendredi 27 janvier 2012

Crossing a new Bridge

I'm leaving in two days and couldn't think of doing so without stopping by, not to say goodbye, but in a see-you-later way. From sunday on I'll be posting from Denmark, I don't know when, how or what since the only thing that I know right now is that I am leaving, I don't have the least idea about what it will be like. I'm all packed up already but still it seems like I'm the only one around here who is not nervous, yet everybody else seems to be. Some keep reminding me that if anything goes wrong and I want back, I definately can come back, which I would never ever do, I mean, when you go out there you know that bad things can happen as well as good things, I wouldn't just run because I didn't like what I saw, I mean isn't that what life is about? sometimes you enjoy easy life and sometimes you have to put up with difficulties. 

Anyway, I hope I will find interesting things to tell you about.

dimanche 8 janvier 2012

31–1 NY

Here and thereof, I declare that what you're about to read is true or as close to the truth as permitted by my subjective and limited perception of reality. These are the highlights (nice start) of what happened around me in that imperfect space of time comprehended right before and after the start of the new year:

It's 11:30 P.M. local time (4:30 GMT). Expectations are running very high for the new year that is approaching fast and furious, non stop, like a runaway train. This is specially true for the kids who are here, and here you must read my younger sister's house. The youngsters are hosts or were brought by their parents who happen to be relatives: brothers, sisters, cousins, and their partners, friends, and friends of our friends. They are making a lot of noise with their trumpet toys, chatting and yelling, running up and down the stairs and around the house. Madness is on the loose!

The TV is on, live from Times Square where the celebration is the most important event marking the beginning of the new year. All main channels have separate transmissions but they cover the same thing: a line up of pop artists singing and dancing until the drop of the ball sharp at Midnight would officially record the start of 2012. It's so appealing for tourists and foreigners to be there but no more so for locals, newyorkers like us, who find going there very taxing, quite demanding if you want to get a good view of what's going on. It's really a feat. You should have planned it all, well ahead, in advance to get to the site at least 7 or 8 hours before Midnight, and only water is allowed for you to carry in the extended area surrounding the square.

Now it's 11:50 P.M., and the excitement is visible in everyone's face. People look for location, they gather around the TV waiting for the signal that shall relieve the tension that has been building up in anticipation the whole night. Everybody gets ready as if something big is going to happen....

Earlier we had dinner. As it is now a norm when the family and friends reunite for events during the year, they all participate in the preparation of food and meals. Some people bring drinks, beer, others lasagna, different kind of sweets, pies, Portorican or Dominican recipes, salads....and in the summer they grill and grill and grill.

It is an invisible but well oiled machine that organizes everything. And all seem to run smoothly and effortless because each and everyone knows what to do. Everybody does what they're best at, and since participation is voluntary there are few issues to resolve. I like setting, taking care of the bar, the drinks, bar-serving my 'customers' who, thank god, are not very sophisticated in these regards and hence, not very difficult to please. Also, I'm getting good grades and remarks at preparing fancy salads and salad-dressings... Now, they say it's mandatory for me to bring something of the likes or I'm disappointing some of the people that are regulars, assiduous clients...

Tonight the main plate was a huge 'paella' that was prepared at my house (downstairs) by my oldest niece et al... That really helped to kill some time. The drinks also helped ease some of the jitters caused by all the stimuli affecting our senses and coming from all directions.

But the way we entertain ourselves is very different depending on what our age is:

And it's 11:59 and everybody stands up. And everything stops. We all meet around the TV and now is 10 seconds left, 9.... 3, 2, 1 and a very loud "Happy new year" cuts the air and is heard at unison filling the room and all gets crazy. The confetti from the TV is non longer exclusively inside there but spreads all over the living room and while we change people to exchange hugs and best wishes and we raise our cups and glasses to the ceiling in frantic display of exhilaration and relief I could see my older sister in the middle of the dining room with red eyes quietly weeping and crying ...

dimanche 1 janvier 2012

Happy New Year v.San Sebastián


It’s 10 to midnight and everybody has their place in front of the TV, some got lucky enough to find a seat in the couch but others have to do with just a piece of floor or the edge of the living room table. Counting and re-counting the grapes of each one’s bowls, and the little ones cutting their 12 gummy bears in half, thinking they’ll have an advantage over the others in the competition they think grape-eating is, but for their parents, preventing them from choking when the time comes. It’s almost midnight and all of us are already holding the first grape with our mouths open, ready to chew and swallow, chew and swallow for the last 12 seconds of the year.

First bell, chew swallow, second bell, chew… third bell, bite, fourth bell, fifth bell, sixth bell, seventh bell, still no time for chewing, eight bell, ninth bell, you start making space in your mouth for the other 3 grapes to come, tenth, eleventh, twelfth… this is when everybody jumps shouting “Happy New Year” and reach you from every angle to kiss you and wish you a happy new year while you’re trying to not die swallowing the 11 grapes you had left in your mouth (as if there were any more space in your stomach) and drinking the glass of champagne someone just served you. Making a toast together with everybody in the family, even the ones who are away aux Landes and who by means of skype share the moment with the rest of the family here present.

2011 is over, with all its good and bad aspects, 2012 will bring new challenges, unimaginable difficulties and unexpected changes, but of course it will also bring joy, but even a year older and 366 days of further experience, next year we hope to again swallow grapes and drink champagne together, as a constant in our lives to not get lost or taken aback by all the newness of the year that has now just got started.