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how i fell back in love with life with the help of a washing-machine

i am new in this city and it was so wonderful in the beginning.
i tell you, wonderful
like being in love!
i was walking around, buzzing, actually feeling as if there was electricity running through my veins.
but life transformed the in-love-buzz into a routine.
that dreaded thing.
routine.
not just routine.
there was also fear.
fear of not making it.
everyone's talking about the economical crisis, about the 25% unemplyment, about how impossible it is to survive here.
no jobs, nothing to live from, why are you even here?


i got stuck, for a while, in a routine of fear.
paralyzed by the words of others, dumbstruck by numbers and opinions.
afraid that i had made a huge mistake, coming here.
how naive of me to think i would be able to create a new life!
i decided, a while ago, to stop my flying through the world, wherever the wind took me.
my decision was a well throught-through one.
i wanted to stop being, as i called myself, "a curtain"- flowing in the wind, allowing destiny and life to blow me wherever it wanted.
i decided it was time to take some action myself, and to be the creator of my own life.

so then my washing machine broke down.
and it was one of the deepest realizations, regarding myself, life, destiny and creation, that i have ever had.
so this washing machine was a second hand one, bought in Raval.
i knew when i bought it that it might be a risk.
but they gave me a one-year-guarantee, so i decided that i'd be safe for a year, anyway.
one evening as the machine was running, it suddenly stopped, and it was boiling hot, as if on fire. and then it wouldn't run no more.

the next day i started looking for the guarantee, and i looked and i looked and i....looked.
me- i never lose anything!- but this, i did. i looked for two hours before i gave up.
then i jumped on the bike (the wonderful barcelona biking system where you use public bikes) and i rolled down to the shop in Raval and explained the situation.
they were friendly and all, but emphasized that they would not be able to help me without the gurantee. they did demonstrate, however, very clearly, how to clean the filter, and do all the things possible to make it run again.
i realised that if this had been in Sweden, i would have called someone. a handyman, or whatever. or, being the curtain blowing in the wind, i would have accepted the fact that the machine was broken, and i would had left it at that.
accepting whatever comes my way and whatever way i come to, that used to be my way of life and thinking. or calling my parents and ask them what to do.
but in Barcelona, i have no one to call, and i didn't have the guarantee to save me, so i was left with... myself.

i took out the tool-box and got to work. water everywhere, everywhere water.
i pulled out a 2 cent-coin eventually, from the filter. i screwed everything back together and started the machine.
water everywhere. machine stopped.
i screwed everything apart again and i pulled out a 1 cent-coin eventually. i put the filter back- in a weird way...i started the machine, and this time, water EVERYWHERE- everywhere water, flowing, flooding, cascading... i pulled the electrical plug, and started wiping the floor, draining the towels, sweating and swearing... and eventually, i put the filter in correctly, and i started the machine again.
by now it was like 1.30 am and i was tired, sweaty, irritated- but as the machine started running, and it was running so smoothly, much better than before, and i felt..so..good!!! i fixed it, with my own two hands and unpractical head, and i DID IT! because i had to! because i had no one to call! because i was forced to use all of my power, creativity and energy!


i can do everything i want.
i can make it.
i am not a curtain in the wind, being blown by destiny wherever it chooses to take me.
i have the power to change things, create things, and fix things.
it is up to me to do it.
up to me and you to decide that we have the capacity to do even the things that seem impossible.
when there is no one else to ask, then we have to turn to ourselves.


i could choose to accept that the machine was broken, i could choose to believe there is a meaning with everything, and i can choose to explain things by karma, astrology, or whatever stupid excuse i may use, to not take responsibility for my own life and the events within it.

the circumstances may seem impossible, such as 25% unemployment or, much worse- no one to call to fix the washing machine (!)- but we are so much bigger than that.

i love my life, i love my washing machine, and i love Barcelona so, so, so much. it's truly one of the coolest places i have been to in my life, and it sure isn't an easy place to start a new life in- but then again, it actually isn't that hard, either.
it's all about what we choose to do with it all.

my washing machine helped me understand that i have a choice, and the power, to create what i want.
that i don't have to passively sit back and wait for things to come- or even worse, not come- to me.

the pictures displayed here are taken at the traditonal, old market in the old city, called la Boquería, just after i had been back at the second-hand-washing-machine-shop.
i didn't really understand what i was doing, as i was taking the pictures. i surprised myself when i understood that i was looking for emptiness.
all my pictures portrayed emptiness.
i love taking pictures at markets. all the countries i have been to, which have had colourful markets, i have taken pictures of.
i remembered one time in Tanzania, in a market in Dar es Salaam, where i filled up my pictures with colours. i looked for fullness. this day in Barcelona i looked for emptiness.
i guess because in emptiness comes potential, space, possibility.
there is space to fill up.
instead of using pre-filled options, i can start over, with what is empty.
by moving to a new place, i clean my plate, and i can now fill my plate with what i choose to fill it with.
because i have a choice.

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