Barcelona, baby


Joy. Even in the midst of sorrow.

Last night when we were half way across the Atlantic, flying over seamounts outside of St. John, Newfoundland, I cast the I-Ching with my Kindle (how new age of me) and got the hexagram for Joy.

I’d asked about the purpose of this trip.

How perfect. Joy.


The dark functions in my life were in full catastrophe mode after Manchester on Monday night. The news of it was on every monitor in every airport.

To me, the real terror is to terrorize everyone into believing that the world isn’t safe. And yet planes take off and land by the thousands every day. Babies are born. People hold each other’s hands. We work and we sleep and we get on with life.

Something terrible happening doesn’t change that.

Yes, it’s horrifying; however, I don’t want to let my heart shut down.

I do not want to live in fear.

But sitting in the boarding area at JFK hearing terrible news, it was hard not to fall into the ‘what if’ mode of thinking.

I started to stew and gnash my teeth.

My mind raced as we boarded the plane and readied for take-off.

I watched the unworried faces of the crew just doing their jobs.

It must be OK, right?

Three hours later, after jamming my considerable ass into a narrow airplane seat and buckling in without a millimeter to spare, and eating my dinner with it sitting on a shelf created by my boobs because there was no way to eat with it in my lap, sanity poked through and suggested the I-Ching.

So, I finished dinner and I threw the I-Ching. And that reading realigned my energy for this experience. It put me back on track.

This trip is about joy.

It’s about writing. Meeting new people. Learning something. Stepping outside my comfort zone.

It’s about eating caramel brownies and seaweed snacks for dinner because I am still too tired to go out.

It’s about rest and renewal.

It’s about walking outside of my comfort zone and breathing in whatever comes my way.


Today on the way into the city by cab, we drove these narrow curving avenues and tunnels.

The cars are all compact. Most roadways accommodate them nicely.

But here many commuters ride scooters.

In fact, they ride as if they will never die.

They weave in and out of traffic and drive between the lanes of cars, inches from a sea of moving vehicles. And the cars simply make way for them.

The drivers aren’t upset by their roving. They know to watch out for them because they know they’ll be there.

The scooteristas wear helmets and casual clothes and flip-flops. Seeing them made me feel like I’d fallen into Roman Holiday.

My cab driver knew exactly where to drive me and never for a moment showed any frustration in getting me through this wild lattice-work of streets.

And as he left me on the curb, my host, Maite, leaned out the window above the street and said, “Shavawn?”

And I looked up, bags strewn around my feet, and she said, “Welcome. Welcome to Barcelona.”


Everyone has a book inside of them. Everyone has a story. Wouldn’t you love to share yours with the world? Get your free writer’s toolkit, packed with tricks and tips to get you started. Just do it. Don’t wait. Don’t die with an untold story inside you.

© 2017  Shavawn M. Berry All rights reserved

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2 thoughts on “Barcelona, baby

  1. You are correct, we shall not live in fear. I visited Manchester yesterday for our planned family outing. I admit it was a little unnerving to see armed police patrolling the shopping centre. It did remind me that we are very well protected, and there are lots of people out there who make it their job to care for us. We need to remember the joy, and make good use of it while we physically can. Enjoy your visit 🙂

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