It never ceases to amaze me at the way we, as humans, can focus on so many things at one time.  Being able to focus on more than one thing – the much maligned at times multi-tasking – is something that some can do better than others.  At times, I am crap at it. 

I do try to multi-task as much as possible.  This probably has a connection to my belief that I have a lot to accomplish.  If it isn’t keeping Sol y Mar organised, it is trying to get my pseudo-garden flourish, or do something artistic, or something literary (in my business-sort-of-way), or working on a client project.  There is so much to do, and whilst I am usually pretty good at keeping things sorted in my mind, once in a while, I do become completely distracted by…well, by stuff.

I was thinking about making this the subject of an upcoming “Plain Talk” newsletter, but figured bollocks to that.  Especially when I realised that distractions are often hypnotic in nature.  We find some things so interesting that we can become almost mesmerised by them.  A good example is the legendary lava-lamp.  Remember the late 1960’s and early 1970’s when just about everyone had one?  It didn’t do much of anything other than provide a meagre amount of light, but it did have those bubble-like gooey blobs that would slowly float up from the base of the lamp, only to once again sink again and begin the process all over again.  You could, and I think many did, just sit and watch a lava-lamp do its thing all day long. 

Well, (thankfully), it isn’t the 60’s or 70’s anymore, and whilst I have just discovered that they are still being sold, my versions of the lava-lamp of this era are the sea and my fireplace.  Today is a good example…I was about to write a new “Letter from the Village,” but after a while sitting in front of my computer (which is on my desk in front of one of the windows overlooking the Mediterranean), I realised that I wasn’t typing.  I was just sitting looking out the window at the waves coming into shore.

Watching the sea can be very calming, almost hypnotic.  Regardless of how big the waves are, I just love watching them.  Some days, the gently ripple in almost mirroring a soft ballad, slowly coming to shore in a peaceful rhythm that could almost lull you to sleep.  Some days they are more like a flotilla of steam engines, forever racing their high crests to shore, where they mimic massive hammers pounding the rocks on the shoreline into submission.  And then there are the days like today…a light breeze out of the South-West, causing the surface of the water to look almost like Monet is flicking his brush back and forth making the waves appear to glisten like millions of little diamonds as they flutter toward the shore. 

And if the visual isn’t enough, the sounds are even more incredible.  I could spend hours listening to the water as it meets the shoreline in an orchestral version of heaven.  Listening and watching the waves descend onto the rocks in a tactile greeting is something that a power greater than you or I could have ever devised. I cannot do anything other than believe that I actually must have been a good boy growing up to be so privileged to hear the sea sing its lullaby everyday.  (A cautionary note to readers: the soothing effect of the sea is magnified incredibly if your CD player is stuck on repeat during one of several songs by Dusty Springfield softly in the background.)

I would have continued to sit here and watch, but I managed to come out of my near trance when I realised that I needed to light the evening’s fire.   Right.  Fire.  Another almost hypnotic-effect-generator.  I love watching the fire in my fireplace at night.  The flames dance around as if they were part of some delicate ballet, gently streaming upward into the darkness of the chimney.   I could go on and on about this, but you might think I am acquiring pyromaniac tendencies – which I am not.  I just am amazed of the calming effect a fire can have.  Luckily, this effect wears off quickly in the morning when I have to shovel out all the ashes from the previous evening’s flame-dancing-extravaganza.

Okay, the fire is going, and I am resisting sitting in front of it falling victim to its hypnotic qualities, and instead am trying to complete this letter…but I think I have lost my train of thought.  Perhaps I should have left my computer on the desk instead of taking with me to the sofa in front of the fireplace, with the rhythmic sounds of the gentle waves coming to shore in the background.  Buggers….



another day at Sol y Mar



just where is Jimi Hendrix when we need him?



hmmm, so peaceful



what it almost feels like some days



the ballerinas of Sol y Mar


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copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, James B. Rieley