Off, off & Away again

It started simply enough, a couple of emails back and forth, a few phone calls to talk about the details, an offer to fly away in just a few days – to a place I’ve never been, with someone I’ve never met. Oh this life of mine.. Here I was craving a trip off, off and away, and here I go..

***Note to self, never take a split flight red-eye again without drugs at the ready, or sound cancelling headphones at least…

Breakfast Tacos

 

And that was how I found myself at the Austin airport, enjoying (ok maybe that’s too strong a word, partaking of…) a couple breakfast tacos at a time when I’d usually be deep in my dreams with hours to go before I wake. While the sounds of country music kept me entertained.

I mean, there’s nothing quite like eating eggs, microwaved bacon and a potato piece or two (with lots of salsa thank you kindly) at 5:30am listening to a classic country song:

She’s a good hearted woman
In love with a good timin’ man
She loves him in spite of his ways
That she don’t understand

Farewell Austin

She’s a good hearted woman
In love with a good timin’ man
And she loves him in spite of his wicked ways
That she don’t understand

Farewell Austin, perhaps one day I’ll know your weirdness further!!

And onward I flew, with less sleep than is smart – to a place I’d never considered going before, not for lack of beauty or pleasure found there but because up until this point, the list of places I want to visit (when I find the resources) has been rather small, and specific..

Last year was Tokyo, Japan, a city, and a country that was just so far out of reach financially I left it way on the sidelines. Yet when chance favored chance, I found myself there, and in love with .. everything.

Poolside

Here I am again… finding myself in a far off land, filled with amazing experiences to tease me and leave me longing for a more I never knew I’d crave.

The pool, so blue isn’t it?

But it doesn’t stop here – and amazingly enough, I never stuck more than a toe and a finger or two in this beautiful looking water (and oh so warm)..

Why, you may ask?

Well there was something else that drew my attention..

3 Blues

Oh, what’s that? Off just at the edge of this tempting pool?

It’s a little bit of an even more amazing blue, and green and … life filled colors.

As far as my eye could see.

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And here, I dove right in, I didn’t linger at the edge..

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But for just a second, to prove I was here at all, to myself and to you.

Feet in the Sand

The sand is like walking on a soft cloud here, the water, welcoming me in, and home for now.

I am mildly ashamed to admit I visited an old friend, a lover of sorts, that I had not consorted with in almost a year..

Happy Hour!

“Grown-ups love figures…

When you tell them you’ve made a new friend they never ask you any questions about essential matters.

They never say to you “What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies? ”

Instead they demand “How old is he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make? ”

Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.”  

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery  (the quote on the Starbucks board here, as are all of the non-Waylon Jennings lyrics in this post)

That’s right, I’m in fantastical Playa Del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico – and I’m at Starbucks!! (Shhh)

Indulgence

The only place I found soy milk (they even offer lactose free milk here! Though I have as many issues with that as milk usually…) was offered with coffee in my short visit.

Never leave

I spent a very brief 48 hours here, but found many wonderful sights and a few friends…

Maya Portal

http://thetravelguru.org/448-tourist-attractions-unveiled-in-playa-del-carmen-to-enhance-its-beauty

Nibbler

Agouti (Funny Friend)

 

Sweetness

“She cast her fragrance and her radiance over me. I ought never to have run away from her…

I ought to have guessed all the affection that lay behind her poor little stratagems.

Flowers are so inconsistent! But I was too young to know how to love her…”  

My sweet canine friend, one of a few homeless dogs we ran in to here, this lovely lady was .. one of the sweetest critters I’ve been blessed to meet – and she ended up with my dinner in her belly (chicken, she wasn’t a fan of the baked potato) and most of my companions steak too.

 

Those eyes!

“People have forgotten this truth,” the fox said. “But you mustn’t forget it.

You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed.”

If they wouldn’t have halted me at the airport, this dog would have been at my side back home… perhaps if I go back, a bribe will suffice.. as it seems to work for nearly everything else here!

Sometimes I wonder at the moments in our lives, this one, meeting this sweet lady, is one of those that left me with a distinct awareness of something inside, shifting, awakening.

Rescue Me

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Fred (Ethel and the kin were hiding)

 

For my last few hours I spent my time at the spot I could never get enough of.

Floating, resting, in the presence of the holy divine. For though my trip was not entirely as calm and centered as I would plan, and hope, any trip to be (it started out VERY BUMPY), it was amazing, and I am grateful for the chance that I was given to visit.

“Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.”  

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To see, to feel, to be felt…

“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.”  

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And as all beginnings do, this one had an eventual end.

Farewell Mexico

Farewell Carmen Del Playa – may I be graced with your company again someday.

“All men have stars, but they are not the same things for different people.

For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides.

For others they are no more than little lights in the sky.

For others, who are scholars, they are problems…

But all these stars are silent.

You-You alone will have stars as no one else has them…

In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing.

And so it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night..

You, only you, will have stars that can laugh!

And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me…

You will always be my friend.

You will want to laugh with me.

And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure…

It will be as if, in place of the stars, I had given you a great number of little bells that knew how to laugh”  

If I should never come back…

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I’m going somewhere soon, moving on, and away.

To a land with high reaching mountains, with caps of snow, even here in the middle of these hot, sunny days.

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Without a ticket in hand, or a destination in mind, I will be on my way.

To a beach, with deep blue seas, as far as the eyes can imagine they see.

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I’m going somewhere soon, far, far away.

I will stare at the departure board, and wait for a flicker, for a sign. A light in the darkness.

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Then I will be off, on my own, with just this bag on my back and these words in my head.

To a meadow, vast and infinite, in it’s green beauty. Where purple flowers dance with blackberries.

 

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Where the softest sigh comes floating in, just a breeze to show the way.

Taking me down, down a hidden path, to the waters edge.

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And away, away I will go.

Over the land I call home, up, up and beyond the borders laid down by men, and women, to keep people out, to keep some of us in.

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I will wait in line to board that plane, not knowing if the way I am going is forward, or back.

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Off, on my own, I will go on – up, up and away.

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Soon, goodbye shall be on my lips.

 

I’m going somewhere, where there will be no looking back, no wondering at the choices I’ve made, no doubting if I should ever come back.

 

 

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No Passion for Paris

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I’ve had a bad habit of leaving many projects halfway done throughout my life. Often it was arts & crafts projects that I would love the IDEA of finishing, or the idea of the finished product, but about halfway through I would wander off to some other creative endeavor.

Some projects I manage much more.. completely, than others. Once I get started I finish it – as much as it can ever be. Word related tasks, such as letters, poetry, posts (ta dah!), even contract, legal documents, work related stuff; if it’s not done in one sitting, it will be done in two. (usually)

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However I can recall dozens of crochet, embroidery, cross-stitching, painting, drawing, gardening ideas even – leagues of projects that I’d find months, or years, later halfway done and I have NO interest in completing them.

Thankfully I keep coming back to writing, so I don’t have a total sense of unfinished business with my creative energies.

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But after my trip to europe a couple of months ago I started a separate writing space to share my journey there, flush with lots of pictures! I made it through Verona, Rome & even St. Remy, writing it up with enthusiasm and joy – just a few hitches here and there, mostly with the pictures.

Then I made it to Paris. And I got about halfway through when I didn’t so much hit a wall, I just.. got lost.

I know what I can say, the words, the journey, the people, places and food. But every time I contemplate wrapping it up, I feel as though my internal motivation just dies.

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Paris was great, it was interesting and fascinating, a big city with bright lights and lots of food. So why can’t I finish this writing??

I’ve spent weeks trying to figure that out. Did I have lots to write about? Most definitely. Lots of pictures to share? Oh boy, do I ever! Did I enjoy it? Yeah… mostly.  Would I go back again? Hmm. Ok, I can slowly see where, and why, my interest in finishing the subject at hand is dying.

I don’t think I like Paris. Though I spent the majority of my trip there, and though I fell in love with Montmarte and the artists and some of the beauty of Paris… I have no passion for Paris.

Somehow this feels wrong, I feel as though I must be missing something, inside of myself even! Because who doesn’t like Paris?! Well, I guess that would be me. I’m sure there are others too. (Right?)

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But still it seems that someone in love with traveling and architecture, food, new cultures, creative pursuits, art, poetry, cats – should love Paris too.

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I don’t. And my fear of saying what I want and what I need is sent in to overdrive when I realize what I have to say isn’t all sunshine and daisies on the topic of Paris. And that if I had to pick my top 5 places to travel to in the next year, or two, Paris isn’t on there.

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I would like to finish the posts, then I can move on to my Tokyo posts – a place I saw less of but liked more! (And for what it’s worth, I love Rome, Italy, all of that wonderful place)

It just comes back to writing with a voice about what one has any passion for – and just like the cross-stitching, or knitting, or the idea of eating cardboard, I have no passion for Paris.

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