Sunday, January 16, 2011

AMBIVALENCE: Valencia, Spain

So, I now know the secret. The way to get me to update my blog is to tell me I need to write an assessment report! Brilliant!

I've been thinking alot over the past few days about how many things I love doing, that make me happy and calm and content, that I have not done much of in the past 6 months or of those things, funnily enough, is blogging. Another is singing. Photography. Cooking. Eating. (Well, that one I've been doing pretty well, actually.) 

And I realized that, in the past 6+ months, there've actually been tons of things that I had something to say about...ugh, bad sentence structure, sorry.  Anyway, one of those things is Valencia, Spain, where hubby and I went in late August. 

I think I didn't write about Spain because, overall, the trip was hard.  And that sounds ungrateful, I know. But it really was.  We went in the week right before I began my internship, and I had a lot of time-sensitive dissertation work to do, and was trying to mentally prepare for a huge change in my life, and the start of something I had been working toward for years.  It was also late August, and I learned as we were on our flight there that the worst time to visit Valencia is August. Swell. So, it was extremely hot and made seemingly relaxing things like lying on the beach into exercises in mild torture.  Mild torture, but still. Also, the nicer beach, the one that was less crowded and more spacious, looked like this:

That's rock.  Hard, pointy rock.  So, it was beautiful, and I took lots of great pictures, but you had to wear shoes to keep from cutting your feet, obviously couldn't spread a towel and lay out, and to get into the water, you had to jump into the sea off of a sheer drop off, into the super deep water.  All the while timing it properly so that the incoming waves didn't push you immediately into the jagged rock face you just jumped off of. It was terrifying. And really sad, because I didn't want to be terrified, but the power of the ocean is incredible and we are extremely frail in the face of it, and I was all too aware of that and so was too scared most of the time to enjoy the beautiful Mediterranean water.  So, I just took lots of pictures.

The thing that saved me on this trip was that I had a camera glued to my hand/face the entire time.  I borrowed my friend's D90, and without it, I don't know what I would have done.  The trip was business/pleasure for hubby, so there were times when he was busy, the family we were staying with was doing family things, everyone was speaking Spanish, I had no clue what was going on, and no real agency to be able to control what was happening, where I was going, or what I was doing (which, needless to say, was extremely difficult for me), and so I took pictures. I looked, I framed shots, I fiddled with f-stops and shutter speeds, I shot. And that's how I didn't go crazy.  I also think the camera helped me to see the beauty of where I was, though I was feeling so ambivalent about being there.  Valencia is a beautiful place.  I was just there at the wrong time.

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1 comment:

  1. I'm studying in Spain right now and I absolutely love it! Valencia looks beautiful and I hope I can go out there for a weekend before I return home!