back on native soil for almost a month now, and rio tugs at my heart every day. or is it something else?
missed opportunity? frustration with the cold? faraway friends?
i've been fielding all sorts of questions, getting the answers as i give them, sometimes after...
and due to various levels of support, i'm pleased to report i'm uncovering some deeper answers
and inspired direction for 2010.
before i dig in to the "shtuff," i'll first give examples of the helpful levels of support which have helped
me arrive at my current state of mind:
level 1. a smile and a hug, and a, 'i'm so happy to see you!' no questions asked.
to you, i say thank you...
level 2. the friends who look at you cross-eyed, ask a million questions, then say,
"ok! if you're happy, i'm happy!" again, thank you.
and then we have level 3. this is the stuff that really gets the ball rolling in a new direction...
you know, the questions don't really ask anything, but tell you things, the sit-down conversations
that make your stomach drop to the floor and all the water in your body gush to your eyeballs, the look
that shoots straight into your soul and latches hold, and those words..."i'm concerned,"...oh, god...
to you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you...
leaving rio was one of the hardest decisions i've ever had to make. mostly because i knew
either way, whether i stayed or left, i wasn't really fulfilling my goal. i thought about
my options for weeks. i rationalized. i got really scared, made excuses and thought about all
the things i could tell people to convince them that leaving was my only option.
i know my hands, my heart, carry an incredible bounty of memories from my trip. but memories
fade. as my tan has regrettably done as well... what i have now, i can't name. it's the result of exposing
blood and bone, and finding fear and cowardice. what i have is mine, and it doesn't need your input.
for me, that is greater than any day at the beach, sweeter than any suco, and stronger than any cachaca.
i realize that i make a great co-captain; but in my own life, co-captain has gotten me to the middle of a lot
of paths, and never to the end result. on this path of self-discovery i have realizations out of exciting and
high-intensity experiences, but rarely put them to use in the day-to-day experience.
what i know is that i've always been an all-or-nothing type of person. i tend to jump in with both
feet, without asking what/how/why/when/where. i trust. i give. but i don't always take control.
as one wise woman put it, "you're like a little fire that keeps burning up." so how to tend that flame....
and that is where i stand now, balancing between deliberate, measured, even-keeled actions, and free,
passionate, caution-to-the-wind experimentation. life is a practice like any other: in yoga, if i only
practice back bends (which feel easy and natural) without strengthening my core, my overall practice,
and especially my lower back, suffer. in capoeira, if i focus 100% on kicking and don't observe my opponent
and evade their kick, i will end up taking a martelo to the face or getting knocked on my butt for the world to see.
hmph. wouldn't be the first time...
somehow i always end up on my feet, but i'd like to avoid the bruises on my backside as much as possible
moving forward. i am so grateful i took the risk i took because it stripped me inside out and i now get to
start from scratch; with a bit of wisdom tucked in my pocket. a very good place to start. even if it is already
the sixth..."today is the first day of" something or other, right?
so to all friends out there, types 1, 2, and 3, thank you...and if you ever need a hand to help you
up off the floor, or someone to ask you how you got there, or maybe someone to look down at
you and say, "i'm worried about this," consider it done.
i will do my best to offer some wisdom when it counts.