In the centre of Palma there is a little corridor flanked by two pairs of Sphinx on each side. I spent a long time trying to establish which gateway I wanted to pass through. I chose this one in this direction.

As is often the case with gateways, we pass through them all the time and often without even knowing we are passing through. People were milling back and forth constantly. I couldn’t pass in any way but mindfully. Maybe I’m too old fashioned. But I notice gateways.

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” This is a Rumi quote that shows up on Alice Instone’s incredible tarot – she just ran with whichever major arcana excited her and then bulked the rest up with new names for minor. “The Gate” is one of her cards. When I first encountered it, it was hard to fathom. Now I get how it fits in a reading. What the symbol is. I saw two Sphinx gates today, one either side of a pedestrian zone. I chose to walk between just one pair of Sphinx. Towards the light, but with the clear knowledge that it was late afternoon light. The guardians didn’t stop me. I didn’t have to answer any riddles. And who knows what it meant, but with Rumi I long went to that field. That was a portal. I just didn’t attach value to it.

I’ve been paid now for the job that took me here, and paranoid me just looked at what it cost vs what I got. I was convinced I’d fucked myself. As it is, I was cheap but actually I was fair and everybody wins. Likely I’ll be back here in January.

Dad and I used to drive to St Moritz together at the start of the school holidays. We would carry all the things we wanted for the flat on Via Aruons. He’d do the bob and eventually after many years Max and I would go and do the Cresta. I miss that flat. I miss being able to come and do the Cresta. Nowadays I’d be fucked, as I got incredible times as a teenager and now I don’t have the access to top grade toboggans and I gave my kit to the club. My helmet was mostly destroyed by an actor friend of mine demonstrating that it had no projective capacity while I tried to intimate to him that nobody gave a fuck about safety if there was a few hundredths of a second in it.

I loved those long drives though. Dad trying to be paternal. This glorious socially bent older male. He was never a father. He didn’t know how. I was the last of his brood and he had stopped caring. He was a friend. He was cooler than anybody my limited experience could connect me to. His mates were and are still deeply interesting and weird and brilliant. Me being unruffled in the world of motor racing makes sense if you knew dad. I’ve found my compromise, where I can honour the parental pressure and be myself too. Extreme-E. I’ll be off to Uruguay very very soon …

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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