Monthly Archives: August 2011

A Story From Sardegna

In April 2010 I was invited to help friends of friends paint and prepare their summer home in Pula, Sardegna.

One day we were exploring the town and found a comfortable café to sit in and pass the late afternoon hours.  Some attention was drawn to us due to our obvious “tourist” status however the guitar we were playing at an outside table was more proof than our skin tone.

My friend Erin and I drank Pernods in honor of Hemingway, Miller, Durrell, and all our other admired artists who found beauty and life in the European way of life.  The “European way of life” includes sitting for hours at a café…you know you love it.

While we sat we managed to make friends with a few locals and the manager of the café who ran off to find his friend who played the guitar.  The sun was beginning to set and we were encouraged to come inside from the cold but also where there was a bigger space for a performance.

What you will see in the video is a type of call and response in Sardo.  “Sardo” is simply another dialect of Sardinian.

Our hosts continued to sing a traditional Sardo song that resembled to me a kind of battle of the wits.  Each line is improvised and meant to make a joke at the other’s expense.  Even though we could not understand the language (it differs completely from Italian) we knew they were really having it out at one another.  At one line you can see the bartender bowl over with laughter.

This certainly was one of those special travel experiences that only an open heart and blank itinerary can provide.  The men (of course Erin and I were the only women in the entire café) gave us a typical Sardinian welcome with a few drinks on the house, several smiles, and kisses on cheeks.  There is NO exaggeration to the fact that this song lasted for 2 hours!

In truth I don’t believe this was a normal thing for our hosts either.  Ultimately our guitar and their enthusiasm for guests created something that benefited all of us.  Every time I watch this video I notice the smiles on the faces of the older men sitting next to Erin.

When we left there was a sense of gratitude that over took the little café.  Our gratitude in being welcomed like family at this local gathering and their gratitude for our genuine enthusiasm in their culture.

In the end music brought us together.

“Music is only love looking for words.”
-Lawrence Durrell


Filed under Italy

БЫТЬ В РУКАХ чьих-то

БЫТЬ В РУКАХ чьих-то” is a Russian idiom that literally translates, “be in the hands of someone.”  I’ve been having some recent anxiety because in a way I feel in the hands of someone else.  The Trans-Siberian adventure was not my idea.  I am following the lead of another and that is something I am not used to.  Throughout most of my travels I would be planning and going with my own spontaneity.

In working through this inexperienced situation of relying on someone else I have realized a few important facts of life.  Well, at least in my life.

Trust.  Not only trust in the people you surround yourself with whether on an adventure or in your daily life but trust in The Universe.  Haha.  Yes.  I believe in that kind of thing.  There is no way after all the incredible people, places, and things that have come into my life I could possibly ignore the idea of there being something out there that is watching out for me.

Let go.  This takes constant practice!  Having grown up in an Alcoholic Anonymous environment and visiting several meetings as a child the saying, “Let go, let God” has crept into my subconscious and has driven a lot of my adventurous spirit.  As well as being a reminder during hard times that I do not have control over everything.

The Fun of the Unknown.  Have you ever been afraid of not knowing what you were going to do or where you were going to go? Have you ever worried about where you would live or if you would like your new home?  Have you been nervous before knowing if you would get that job you wanted or get into the school you had planned?  Have you ever worried about the future?  What if you could plan everything?  What if you knew everything that was going to happen?  Do you think life would be better?  Sometimes the fear of the unknown surfaces and to feel better I ask myself, would I WANT to know?  Would I want to know every outcome that results from my choices?  Hell no!

Life is so fascinating because everyday we are presented with opportunities that show the numerous choices, decisions, and/or paths we must make.  The outcome of these choices that we think we control is indeterminable.

Curiosity sparks the imagination and if I knew the result of every decision I made throughout my life I would feel unfulfilled.  Serendipity, fate, spontaneity, these are all words and scenarios that exist in life.  How much more powerful are they when they occur at unexpected times!

So today I’m going to think of these three things and remind myself that it is okay to be a little out of control.

Isn’t that part of the adventure?

“I hope for nothing.  I fear for nothing.  I am free.”
-Nikos Kazanzakis (Zorba The Greek)

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Filed under In Between Traveling, Interesting Things, Travel Inspiration