Monday, December 14, 2009

it´s hard to get by just upon a smile

Hey folks.

Eva left this morning to head back north, while I must now head south. And in her absence I find many thoughts and feelings swooping in to fill that cavity. I guess now is the time for the processing of all these thoughts and feelings to begin. It´s rather daunting, as I feel a lot of things I have never felt or experienced before, and I´m not sure how to proceed. I guess all I can do is trust in my instinct. It´s lead me through foreign lands before relatively successfully. I think I´m blessed with a good head on my shoulders, combined with a pretty good gut instinct. I´ve always been inclined to overthink things rather than barrel through them heedlessly.

The last couple of days have been lovely. Eva and I make good companions, and when combined with a beautiful location it´s difficult to go wrong. On Saturday we rambled through Manuel Antonio reserve, greeting monkies, sloths, poisonous snakes, and raccoons, and spent hours on its famous beaches. The water is in a cove, or a bay, and so the waves are incredibly gentle. The forest comes right up close to the beach, so you feel like the land is curling its arms around the beach, protecting it. It´s so relaxing. The water was warm, and we could just float for hours. Sometimes I like a rough beach, to feel like I´m really interacting with, contending with the forces of nature. But this beach is just what the doctor ordered and we decided to come back the next day to enjoy it even more. Saturday night we went to a bar where those party people from Friday were playing. And I sang with their band in a sort of open-mic situation for the first time. I sang ¨Bitch¨by Meredith Brooks and Cat Stevens´¨Wild World¨. I know, natural pairing. But both songs actually do hold a lot of personal meaning.

When I was in ¨Papa Married a Mormon¨at BYU, Katie (who was stage managing) and I created a soundtrack for the show. We chose a song for every character, and the song for my character, Aunt Cathy, was ¨Bitch¨. I belted along to that song with Katie quite a few times in the car, and whenever I hear it I think of her. She´s been on my mind a lot lately, as the anniversary of her death recently passed, and this trip is the kind of thing she would be all about. She always longed to travel (though she mostly talked about NYC or Europe), and didn´t have the opportunity to before the accident. I keep thinking she´s watching over me as I adventure down here. And I keep thinking how I wish she could have seen the world like this. I thought of her as I sang, and how proud she would be of me, singing out in front of all those people. Since someone so close to me passed away so early, it makes me appreciate life more every day. Even though it happened 4 years ago. Honestly, her death was a major impetus to grab my life by the horns and come down here. To live my life the way I dreamed, to not let life pass while I´m looking the other way. It´s an effective, if morbid or painful reminder.

I was first introduced to ¨Wild World¨when I watched Harold and Maude for the first time. But it really set in when my friend, Julie Glover, put it on her graduation CD she created for her friends in 2002. It´s been a treasured song ever since, one that continues to resonate with me years later. And reminds me, as songs do, where I was in life when I first heard it, as compared to where I am now. What it communicates to me is a casting off into the world. Something we were doing as we all set out from high school to college, where we would really discover who we were. Something that I do every day down here, as I set out to discover new cultures, new places, new experiences, continuing to discover who else I can be.

There is ample opportunity for reflection when you travel.

The next day we spent all day on Manuel Antonio beach. It´s extremely easy to sneak into the park, by the way. During these days I´ve been so content to be with Eva. But I keep trying to imagine what these activities would be like when I´m on my own. I would think, I´m really enjoying myself on the beach right now, but would I feel this way if I were alone? I´m really enjoying having this drink as I watch the sunset from this terraced bar on the hill, but would I have come on my own? Would I have the guts to show up to a bar and sing with a band if I didn´t have someone next to me encouraging me? I worry.

But I also optimistically move forward in my plans.


Melanie said...

Katie WOULD have been proud of you. And she would have loved to be on your adventure with you. You never know how you'll react to being alone until you try it for a while... If you can do it safely, I think you should try. You might surprise yourself..,

and you DO have your guardian angel there after all...

Rebecca said...

You will learn to do and enjoy those things on your own, even if you're hesitant at first. And you'll meet more people, and hopefully get to travel with some of them for a while.

I wish I could have heard you sing! We'll have to do karaoke when you come back to NYC.

I don't know what happens to consciousness after we die (and I'm okay not knowing), but I feel like perhaps Katie, or part of her, really is there, traveling with you, seeing the world with you.

Talk about cheesy. Yikes.

But I feel that way.

I'm so excited for you!

Unknown said...

you bring me to tears sometimes laura. i miss you like crazy.