I know I said I hoped to start blogging about Barcelona two weeks ago. But the realities of grading papers and catching up with movies have made that difficult. It hasn’t helped that my perfectionist tendencies have re-surfaced. Not with my writing so much, but my photos. I have a number of pictures I want to share, but it’s taken me a while to figure out the best way to post these on the blog (clicking on the photo will take you to a larger, clearer version). And I’d still be figuring that out if Dave Stirling hadn’t offered his invaluable help. Anyway, enough excuses. I’m not exactly sure how many people besides my mom have been waiting for this with bated breath, but let’s kick off the Barcelona blog.

The Apology and Explanation
I’m not a travel writer. Every once in a while, I have fantasies about becoming one. I mean, wouldn’t that be the greatest job? Getting paid to travel the world, stay in fantastic hotels, eat amazing food. I could live like that.

Honestly, though, I wouldn’t be a very good travel correspondent. The sad reality is that I’m just not observant enough. I can’t tell you how many times old girlfriends shrieked in exasperation because I didn’t realize they had changed their hairstyle. I rarely notice the small but revealing detail. I usually overlook the critical facts that flesh out good travel writing.

Instead, I’m a big picture person. I like to be inspired by something and use that as a springboard to discuss all sorts of other topics. I prefer to wax poetic about the world at large rather than the small aspects of one little corner of it. This is true of my film writing, too–I have to remind myself, as Neil often implores me, to use the details of a movie to undergird my larger ruminations. Otherwise I flit from generality to generality.

Which is why my Barcelona posts will be more essays inspired by my stay in Barcelona (and the day trips to Bilbao and Montserrat) rather than a traditional travel blog. Obviously, I plan on letting you know what I did, but don’t expect long discourses on the food (which was fantastic) or the nightlife (uh…). Instead, expect some navel gazing about interacting with history, the nature of space in the Bilbao Guggenheim, finding God on a mountain and in the speakers, and the joy of discovering. Hopefully, that won’t be too dull. And even more hopefully, it will inspire you to respond with your own reflections. I’ll try to emulate girish, who has such a nice way of posing questions that inspire fellow bloggers to converse. And for those of you who have been fortunate to go to Barcelona, please chime in whenever the mood grabs you.