This photo of my precious Spanish friend was taken decades ago during my first trip to Barcelona. When I think of La Movida in Spain, in such an artistic, and dynamic city, her bright face full of freckles and powerful green eyes stayed stamped on me like a favorite old song. Her name had vanished from my memory the same way the colors had faded from this Kodachrome and wherever she maybe I pray she is doing well.
I was lost and on my way to the Miro Museum the day I met her. From a distance I discovered that she was heading my direction with the early sun rays engulfing her back. Looking at her from my angle the back light was adding a candlelight warm glow to her slim tall body and hair. Nervously, as she got closer, I asked her for directions to the museum and to my surprised she graciously decided to take me there. It was a 40 minutes walk and once there we hugged, double kiss and said goodbye but not before she wrote her name and phone number on a piece of paper. From then on each day she was showing me the beauty of her city and its surrounding. My trip to Barcelona was so special that I ended up staying for over a month instead of two weeks.
After the terrible attack in Barcelona sad sweet memories started crawling their way inside of me and flew me back to peaceful Spain and its romantic Mediterranean sea. Those impressions of Barcelona lead me to write this.
I was quite fortunate that I wasn't around documenting any world atrocities or wars like WW2, Vietnam or any similar situation. The closest I ever got to a battlefield was attending a few Civil Wars reenactment when I live in Tennessee and Virginia.
For the past few months, and specially the last two days, observing the state of our nation and our world from a front row seat, have left me with many questions continued by empty answers, uncertainty and angst.
We have a president that lacks the temperament, honesty, social and political acumen required to lead us ahead while offering us comforting and inspiring words just as the sky is turning black. Instead we get an array of Twitts at 3 am.
A true leader must rise to the occasion and guide all citizens equally while protecting not only our nation but also our dignity, well being and mind.
Instead we are left with the presence of the unknown while guessing and hoping for the best as our nation and the world is in flames.
Then opposite shores of the Atlantic I think of Europe and converse often with far away family members and friends wishing to feel better but when we say goodbye we are all left with a gut-wrenching feeling that keeps growing and holding tight.
I would love if we could return to the time before the invasion of Iraq when most world leaders told us, "leave them alone." Instead the USA opened the Gates of Hell which allowed all type of terrorists to attack innocent civilians at will while creating a painful photograph that keeps coloring with blood the streets of Barcelona, Madrid, Nice, Paris, London, Stockholm, Brussels and reaching out to other countries. It also created a vacuum allowing hundreds of thousands displaced Muslims to flee their war torn destroyed countries while reaching European shores.
I just wish there was a formula to finally close those gates of hell and once again have some peace.