Today is my birthday. It’s 8 a.m. and I’ve traveled to Brazil, Spain, Sienna Italy, New Zealand and Africa. People have treated me to coffee and breakfast in every city because it’s my birthday and I feel like a stuffed piñata. I hope to be broken open; to spill my guts, to get that bikini figure I’ve always wanted and move on to the Crete, Greece.
If only imagination were enough to satisfy the summer itch to travel, but we are human. The senses like to be engaged. And summer calls, the days are long and scream to us ‘break it up, do something fantastic, learn more, live more, experience more. In fact, entire lives get turned upside down to get ‘sense’ satisfaction that goes beyond the imagination. The smell of coffee in Central America and bread baking at dawn in France can’t be exacted in America when mixed with, well…American smells and activities. Or maybe it’s just that when we do turn our lives inside out to go to Central America for a great cup of coffee, the senses are heightened by the discomfort and sacrifices to get there.
I’m not in control anymore. And I like it. When I’m in control, I’m right about everything and yet nothing is right.
I’m thinking about all the ways I can travel this summer without actually getting on an airplane in the balance of work, family, friends. I have a few ideas, like:
- Re-read The Old Man and The Sea. See if those terse sentences
take me to a new place in my own writing.
- Cook from around the world–A different culture every week. Currently, Santa Fe Kitchens. Next week Brazilian, etc.
- Take a break from Anais Nin’s diaries and read instead a biography of a Flamenco dancer. And then have a Flamenco Dance performance in the backyard.
But I still think writing along the craggy rocks of the steep and, often messy brain of the curious thinker is still a favorite of mine. And, although I began this essay saying the imagination is not enough, I wonder. I wonder if the simple rejection to live on auto-pilot makes our sojourns even to the post office something like traveling. To see all the life that is around us in a new way can be like growing another imagination.
The man in line at the post office with the nervous tick and thick black hair, who catches the eye of a kind old woman—her smile disarms him and when he drives on to his next task he is calmer, his day just got more…well, just, simply more.
It’s summertime and the livin’ though, maybe not easy is certainly in migration toward the mysterious. And, lets face it, life drained of mystery is flat, and claimed. I aim for a shaggy life, with a hot heart for adventure in everyday life.
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