11 January 2008

Miracles happen everyday...

and sometimes the same miracles happen every day. Like for instance, the man I pass every morning on my bike. He is also biking, the opposite way, but the amazing thing is that he is always carrying crutches, as in crutches that help people who can't walk (but apparently can still bike).

Other fun things happen everyday here in Cantabria, like for instance, the young student in my pre-school who dressed up with a bacardi beret and a cape, looking like some kind of Ché-inspired, alcoholic superhero.

And maybe the most random, would be last night. I was in a restaurant enjoying a drink with friends and went to the bathroom. As I was leaving the bathroom I almost ran in to someone. He said, "Hey Scott." And wouldn't you know it, it was Erik, the American who lives and blogs from Colindres, Spain. I'd never seen him before and only communicated through blog posting, so it was so random to finally meet him...in the corridor of the bathroom of a random restaurant in Laredo. He also wrote a great entry about the experience. I guess I do live in a pueblo.

So, it's exciting to come back. I was home for two weeks enjoying a great Christmas holiday. I went through a little internal debate while home about blogging. What do you do when you're home and everything feels normal, but still somehow "blog-worthy"? I usually video and write about things that I notice as an outsider...but when I'm home, in a way I'm an insider and most things are normal...but still a lot of my life back home would seem unusual to an outsider, and I feel like I now at least recognize what other people would recognize as odd, even though it's normal to me. Whether it is belting out hymns at a small country church with my Grandpa Johnson, driving for hours to see family and friends, eating out almost every day, running into acquaintances all over town, or enjoying a Christmas celebration with 15 cousins, it's home for me...even though I know it is quite foreign from the foreign life I'm now living. So, I don't know. Maybe I should have documented my home, but in some strange way I didn't want to label my home as foreign because it's still my home, and I like knowing what to expect and having it feel normal.

I guess now I can resume documenting since I'm in the confines of a "foreign" country. Game on.


Erik R. said...

Sweet, I have a category label!

What's funny is that in that exact same corridor I also had a chance encounter with someone that I had only met once several hundred kilometers away. Maybe I need to stop peeing so much in that bathroom.

I've experienced the "what's there to blog about at home?" feeling you mentioned. The answer is that, if you put yourself in the right mindset, there are always strange things that you notice and can blog about the world, wherever you are. And if you live abroad for long enough, you start noticing lots of odd things that Americans do.

Silje said...

Why do you have to blog only about things that are "foreign" or "odd"? Isn't it enough that it's important to you?

Scott D. Meyer said...

i'm not sure. maybe it's because it's easier to write about things that are a bit foreign. i think that it's easy to describe crazy experiences because the adjectives almost choose themselves, but it takes a talented writer, Annie Dillard comes to mind, to be able to right about normal things in a powerful and deep way. i'd like to be able to do that but it seems that I shy away from it. maybe it is also a bit of protection. maybe writing about something important and personal opens up some kind of world i jealously want to keep my own, and not only opens it up but also makes it fair game for comments that could challenge what i consider to be important and right. it's a pretty lame excuse though because if something is important and special to me, i should want to share it and maybe even promote it or defend. these are new, unformulated thoughts, but maybe the start of getting to the bottom of this strange phenomenon.

Erik R. said...

There's also a certain freedom about writing, in English, about Spaniards that don't speak English. You can be more or less certain that they won't read what you write. Not so when blogging about family and friends back home.

mulia said...

Scot, welcome home!
Tell me how does it feels to be there with my sweeet friend????

yea..life is full of miracle. it would be a miracle if we meet again sometimes somewhere..

btw, do u like the picnic spoon?

al said...

i think that if you want to keep things personal and to yourself, you should do so. i'd even venture to guess that as much as you love sharing new and adventurous parts of your life with others, the parts of your life that are familiar, home-y, and warm--perhaps the parts closest to your heart--might feel too close to your identity and your spirit to broadcast so openly for anyone just yet. and you know, i think that's normal, and good. on the other hand... it's rarely wrong to venture out of that comfort zone.

sometimes, scott, it seems like you've got "adventure" figured out, which doesn't mean you should stop doing it, but might explain why your brain has moved on to asking different kinds of questions, ones you might feel uncomfortable posting for others to critique. what would happen if you approached these questions--about home, family, life, and self--as a new adventure?

mulia said...

well i think, scott, u could always open or close comments for each of ur post. with wordpress, u could also make pasword or lock any of ur post. so if u feel like writing things on ur blog, just do it. but then u decide if u wana share it to public, just to some people or for ur private reading only (like diary).

but to write what we feel is very important. we are introvert people. we need that.


Emily said...

Let's be honest, Scott... I think South Dakota is a bit like a foreign country. At least, that's how I feel whenever I go back to visit these days! :)