Archives for posts with tag: adventure

“Life is not long, and too much of it must not pass in idle deliberation of how it shall be spent.”

– Samuel Johnson

Horizon Stepping

If one makes a plan or sets a goal, he is making an attempt at self-organization.  This is admirable…but what really matters is his self-discipline in executing this plan or reaching this goal.

One who does nothing at all is a loser.  One who talks about doing a lot but gets nothing done is, unfortunately, still a loser.

You can talk, but can you walk?

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During the booty-bouncing frenzy of my very first Zumba workout, “the Latin-inspired, easy-to-follow, calorie-burning, dance-fitness class,” I had an idea.  As the sweat was streaming down my forehead during the final song (a Bachata number by Latin Pop sensation Prince Royce, or “Roy-eeece!” according to what I hear on ciento siete punto nueve, El Sol) I thought to myself, “Hey, I’ll memorize Spanish lyrics!”  In no time, I’ll become a whiz at pronunciation…aaaaannd…a more well-rounded singer!  ;-)  My sister will be positively thrilled the next time we’re in a car together.  Here is my list of songs we should all know how to sing:

Antonio Banderas – Cancion del Mariachi

Me Sobran Las Palabras

El Tilingo Lingo

Andrea Bocelli – Beseme Mucho

Pablo Milanes Con Cotan El Albino Y Compay Segundo – Chan Chan

La Tortura – Shakira y Alejandro Sanz

Te Lo Agredezco, Pero No – Alejandro Sanz y Shakira

No es lo mismo – Alejandro Sanz

Loco – Enrique Iglesias y Romeo Santos

FùtbolNiño de El Salvador El Salvador Fans

After finishing grade school, I would rarely remember Señora Ruiz or those Spanish lessons that were forced upon our class.  In high school I would give up Spanish for French because I was obsessed with Vogue, fashion, and romanic visions of traveling abroad..and my name is Chloe.  French has not yet stuck.  There was nothing “French” about my community to reinforce the language…and my French teacher hated me.  (But Paris is still in my future!)

Goalie Fooling Around Amigas

Eight years later, I’ve returned to Español.  Picking it back up was easy, thanks to my adolescent brain and my newfound commitment.  I am devoting honest attention to learning a new language and I am expanding my ability to communicate with the world.  It’s incredible!

Immersion is key, truly.  In eleven months  I’ve made serious progress in this quest.  I’ve fallen in love with the language and the culture without ever having left America.

Parking Lot BBQ Las Vendedoras FireCrowd

I am a server in a busy Washington, D.C. restaurant where much of the kitchen staff, true to restaurant stereotype, are Latin.  I started teaching myself by being quite annoying, actually.  Every few minutes, I ask one of my new friends, “¿Como se dice blah?  ¿Como se dice blah blah?”  They reply and I use the newly-learned phrase over and over again until everyone but me is sick of it.

My methods are broadening.  When guests from Spain or South America are seated at my tables, I ditch English as best I can.  My palette has expanded from the Mexican food on which California has raised me to Latin dishes from across Central America.  (Estoy enamorada de pupusas y horchata.)  At every pupuseria, Subway Restaurant, or carwash where the attendant is a native Spanish speaker, I practice.  I listen to Spanish radio and Mariachi Pandora.  I lust over the Salsa-dancing women with flowers in their hair at Latin-inspired nightclubs.  I now take a Conversational Spanish class — Level 3!!

And as if all that weren’t enough, I’ve even gotten myself a Salvadoran boyfriend (and personal Spanish dictionary in one).

Mi hermoso Mi guapo... William, mi novio William Chloe Chloe on the Water

Lo emocionado que estoy para hablar Español.

These photographs are from a New York/New Jersey road trip we took in July.  For his birthday, I surprised my boyfriend with tickets to a double header in the Gold Cup Soccer (ahem…Fútbol) Tournament. We watched his country take on Trinidad and Tobago and Honduras beat down Haiti.  Fue un fin de semana muy latino.  Qué emocionada!  ♥

Smithsonian Castle

According to dictionary.com

 

art [ahrt] – n., the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance; the class of objects subject to aesthetic criteria; any field using the skills or techniques of art; illustrative or decorative material; the principles or methods governing any craft or branch of learning; skill in conducting any human activity; trickery; cunning; studied action

 

 

 

Steps of the Smithsonian Castle Little Flat Man on the Crosswalk

I hadn’t felt the sun in two weeks but for the daily walk between Metro Center and my new job.  Starved for fresh air on my first free day off, I embarked on an art adventure at the Smithsonian.  It had been over two months since my cross-country journey finally reached Washington, D. C. limits and I hadn’t yet been to a museum!  So I went, with a Subway sandwich that I ate on a sunny park bench outside, watching quietly, the castle at my back and open grass before me, Washington Monument left, Capitol Building right, and strangers, squirrels, and birds rustling all about me.

Twinkle Tree Lights

 

With the last bite and a deep breath, I stood up and took my first step toward adventure.  Like viewing a photograph, my eyes followed the scene as I walked, settling with fascination on tiny details that hide in the depths of life’s story.  And I captured them – the little flat man stenciled in yellow in the crosswalk; the fringe of my scarf in shadow on the steps of the museum; the twinkle of the light distorted by tree leaves on bare hallway walls.  My camera in constant use, I collected images that I hoped would paint memories I would one day put into words – these words.  My steps seem to take themselves as I wove through a maze of galleries and artwork with countless pathway possibilities.  I never even looked behind me, never had to choose a route; everything there was to take in made its way through my stream of consciousness and all I did was follow, eyes wide, at whichever pace felt right.

Mythological Scroll Shiva Nataraja (Lord of the Dance) Shrine of the Parshvanatha Bodhisattva White Avalokiteshvara Turkish Tile

The thing about the museum, and the rest of the world, is that ‘art’ is what connects us, creates us, is created by us in everything that we do.  We see ‘art’ in almost anything.  Imagine that.  One trip to the museum heightens my senses, enhances those tiny details, magnifies them in meaning, giving me a deeper understanding of beauty – of art.  It’s a natural process – art of visiting a museum.

Art Gazing 13 Window Light

I went home in the evening with aching feet, filled my body with food and sleep, and woke up newly inspired and reenergized.  And here I am, writing this to you: Go to a museum on your next day off.

Ocean Waves Architecture Crinkled Leaves Washington Monument

Next stop: Imax film, Flight of the Butterflies, “to experience the most incredible migration on Earth” and the Live Butterfly Pavilion, where I will “walk among nature’s flying canvases.”

 

This tree found me.  It waits for me outside those doors.

Golden TreeAppreciate the LoveIt holds...Life clings to it

I could sit with it, appreciate it until sunset.  Brilliant, blazing, in a sea of bare branches, it stands golden.  Life clings to it like the vines on the trunk, enough love to stay alive through winter.

Alive in WinterBranching Out

This tree found me.  It waits for me outside those doors.