And what is the comatose state?


The comatose state.

The state of being incapable of moving a muscle.

Absolute lethargy.

Disconnectedness from people, things, and the environment.

The inability to process information.

Those of you who read my blog regularly know that if I’ve entered this state, it can only mean one thing: I’ve made it to Spain.

Land of Don Quixote.
Place where tapas abound, where vino flows freely, and where coffee is known as “cafe con leche.”
A land whose food is so rich, you cannot avoid falling into a coma.

A paella coma.
A churros coma.
A tapas coma.
An Iberian ham coma.

The sky is the limit regarding the variety of food that can suddenly induce one to enter this catatonic state.

Unlike the state of “dolce far niente,” you don’t plan it, you don’t see it coming, you can’t prepare for it. It simply hits you.

You know when you’re at its mercy when your eyes begin to close; when your head dips forward and you look like a bobble doll.
All you want to do is sleep.
This malady doesn’t have an antidote; a prolonged siesta is the only cure.

Don’t fight it.
Don’t try to control it.
Don’t think you can outfox it.

Once it has you in its grip, you’re a goner.

It’s best to simply surrender
To inhale and exhale deeply.
To let it lull you into a state of oblivion.

The effects are temporary but the rewards are many.

Like Sleeping Beauty, you’ll wake up refreshed; ready to incorporate yourself into whatever you were doing before becoming its prey.

The comatose state: one of Spain’s greatest gifts to unsuspecting visitors.

I’ll be here all summer, folks and when I’m not in a food coma, I hope to regale you with tales from this magnificent land.

When was the last time you fell into this kind of state?

Reporting from sunny Spain,

Why is it so hard to say goodbye?

Three days ago, as I sat in the plane that was to take me home, I felt the overwhelming sense of anxiety that I experience every year.

This anxiety is not a result of a fear of flying.

Instead, it is produced upon realizing that my vacation is over and that I am being returned to reality.

The Son, ever kind and considerate, squeezes my hand as the plane takes off.

I smile as I am reminded of the many times he’s done this in the past.

He smiles back and prods, “Alright. Go ahead. It’s time.”

I look out the plane’s small window nostalgically before reciting my ritualistic goodbye.

“Goodbye Mediterranean Sea. Goodbye churros, cafe cortado, and paella. Adios sunny skies, sandy beach, and Gazpacho. Hasta luego Serrano ham, tapas, and vino. I will miss you Manchego cheese, chorizo, horchatas. Till we meet again, madre, familia, vecinos.”

Before I am finished, I feel the tears rolling down my face.

It almost hurts to see the fading landscape as the plane continues to rise.

Goodbye–such a difficult word to say.

And yet it is a word that we utter daily, weekly, monthly, yearly.

You’d think it would get easier to say it but alas, such is not the case.

The emotions that lie in its two syllables are difficult to process.

I realize that this isn’t true for everyone but in my case, “goodbye” is one of the hardest words to say.

As I peer out the window once more, I realize that only a white mist is visible.

It seems incredible that just a few hours ago I was embracing my mother, whispering the word goodbye in her ear.

I can still hear her say, “Goodbye has too much finality to it. Instead, let’s say, ‘hasta pronto’.”
Until we meet again.

Yes, she is right.

Hasta pronto harbors hope and expectation.

Hasta pronto seems to promise that we shall meet again soon.

Hasta pronto allows us to believe that soon we shall toast over a glass of vino, fight over the last serving of paella, or laugh at the brave men walking on the beach in Speedos.

Hasta pronto.

The melodic notes of these two words bring warmth to my aching heart; like a lullaby, they soothe my anxious state.

Hasta pronto.

I lean back in my chair and close my eyes.

I hear the sound of the sea as it crashes against the rocks.

I feel the warmth of the sun as it caresses my skin.

I taste the salt in the air.

And suddenly, the promise of “hasta pronto” has lulled me to sleep.

Hasta pronto, lazy days on the beach.
Hasta pronto, sweet Olivia!
Hasta pronto, cafe cortado!
Does anyone else think, “Where’s Waldo?” when you look at this photo?

Do you find it hard to say goodbye?