Friday, July 24, 2009

Butterflies On The Champs Elysees

Damien Hirst has painted the bike Lance will ride in the final stage of the Tour de France on Sunday. As you can see, this bike has a hugely powerful symbolic connection to our Pablo journey: it's covered in butterflies. This is the bike Lance will be riding when we watch the race do its laps around the Champs Elysees on Sunday. We'll be watching from the best place in Paris: the Livestrong balcony at the Place de la Concorde. Hirst's art bike is part of Lance Armstrong's Stages campaign, where his favorite artists paint the bikes he rides in various races and stages of races. Our friends Shepard Fairey, Mark Ryden and Kenny Scharf all painted bikes used earlier in the season. Kind of crazy how small the world is. Kind of crazy the places we find butterflies and other reminders of Pablo. We see these things because we are looking.

¶ We're almost ready to leave town. Last minute laundry and packing and, of course, the final run to Dangerbird HQ to drop stuff and grab some papers. Grady just returned home from school. Today was his final day of summer school. We're all happy that's over. At 1 p.m., we will drive to Forest Lawn to visit Pablo's grave one final time before embarking on our three week trip.

I can tell you we are ready to leave town. There's no way we are ready. There's no way this isn't going to hurt. I can assure you of one thing, and one thing only: we will remain conscious of our mission, as individuals and as a family. Our mission is just that: to remain in conscious contact with ourselves, with one another, with Pablo. We will look for Pablo out there in the world. And we will see him. Because we're looking. We will find joy. Because we're looking. We will find wonder. Because we're looking. We will encounter pain + sadness. Not because we are looking, but because we are floating down a river filled with those two emotions. They aren't bad. They just exist.

We will encounter the emptiness—le vide while in Paris, il vuoto while in Italy—of course we will. We're used to having Pablo—our physical little boy—right there with us. In the plane. On the train. Needing us. Wanting us. And wanting toys and games and food. And we are used to feeling the love and fun and excitement that emanated from our little Pablo. We still feel all of those things. But without le petit dude physically holding our hands, the excitement has turned to a longing ache—a wanting, a desire, a memory so vivid + active it hurts.

So, of course we'll feel the emptiness, within and without. Experiencing it consciously will be part of our journey.

We'll blow up the Pablove Twitter frequently during our trip. We'll post plenty of pics and updates here on the Pablog. Please hang with us. We'll take you along on this part of the journey.


Looby said...

Been reading for a while but have never posted. Just to say that as a mum of 3 little girls I find your writing inspirational. Your stories help me to live in the moment, enjoy every day and stay connected to my girls. I will be with you all every step of the way on your trip. Hope you enjoy the adventure.


Sara said...

Safe travels! I'm looking forward to reading all about your adventures!

Unknown said...

Enjoy. Love. Live.
xxoo Lynn

Dawn said...

That bike is exquisite.

Traveling mercies to all of you.

Jules said...

I hope you guys have a wonderful trip. Lots of love your way! We'll keep an eye out for Pablo here too!


MKPatrick said...

Bon Voyage! Pablo is with you every step of the way. Can't wait o hear about those miracles he'll show you. Love & Light,
The Patrix

Heather said...

What a beautiful bike! I can't wait to see it in action on Sunday. Enjoy your travles, enjoy each other and enjoy the energy of the world around you! I look forward to your updates on this next leg of your journey!

Jen said...

I hope y'all have an amazing and spiritual trip. I am sending peace and positive energy to you all for your safe travels and journey through Europe.

Heather said...

Traveling alongside you all the way.Sending you peace and strength, most especially during the empty moments but I would venture to say that P will come to you at those times and help push you through to the other side.

*I have a blogging friend from LA,she too has a magical boy.He passed from this life a year ago today.I spoke with her.Told her about you guys and of course Pablo.She has a really incredible post today about Evan,one spoken by her yoga teacher at his service.I immediately thought of you all.Visit her.Contact her when your ready.She said she would love to share with you the rest of the remarks of the day.She and her family are amazing.Much like another family I know from Silverlake!

miss becky said...

looking forward to it all...right there along with you. have the best.

Laëtitia said...

I have a little story to tell you. I live in france and think a lot of you and Pablo. I believe he's still the same little boy, now out of his caterpillar. Yesterday I was outside and a bee came flying right on my face. I was scared but then i just thought "I prefer when you play with butterflies Pablo !". There was a butterfly in my garden so i thought "Make it fly in my direction !" and the butterfly came to me, flew under the chair I was sitting on. I was amazed and thought "do it again!". Two minutes later, another butterfly came in my direction, flew close to me and went away. Then I felt Pablo's presence going away, going back to find you. It was around 5.00 pm here. Maybe it's just coincidoinces but i prefer tell you anyway, I felt it's was just a magical moment. (sorry for my poor english!)

Anonymous said...

Bon Voyage! Thanks for taking all of us along with you. I look forward to hearing all about your adventures along the way. What a wonderful experience for all of you. Tell Grady I send my love and wish him a very special journey, filled with amazing memories.

xo Kathy R. xo

Michela Bedard said...,0,7226364.story

7/30's LA Times story. Pablo is everywhere!!!

Michela, your neighbor on Easterly, who has been following your blog and family story