February Photofest – It Doesn’t Matter What Day

The last couple days after my last post were a mixed bag. My mom went back in the hospital, work was incredibly busy, and I was living more like a local, just living my life and trying to get by, than like an adventurer exploring my new world on my own.

Oddly enough, that settled me into this space in a way that felt…more authentic? Getting up, doing my morning routine, walking to a little coffee shop I’d found, then working hard all day, dealing with the complications of my aging parents and a sister stretched to her limits by having to deal with everything on her own, I experienced what it might be like to be an expat here. What the rhythm of a life apart here might be like. I opened my door and let the humidity enfold me like a warm, wet blanket, listened to the sounds of traffic and the cacophony of birds, to the men on their food-and-drink bikes calling out their wares; had a beer in the tiny, lovely backyard after work, took the trash out, dealt with tropical bugs and enjoyed a refreshing, cooling rain late one afternoon.

Last night, my last night on my own in Tulum, I wandered back up to the restaurant and shopping district I had found the last time I ventured out, and had dinner in a delightful little outdoor restaurant with trees in the middle of it and fairy lights and cool trip-hoppy music, and sent back Marco Polos to my people back home, because I wanted to share the magic I was feeling with them. I listened to the cadence of a language I have vowed to learn before I come back (everywhere I went I tried out new phrases, asked “como se dice…?” and tried to stretch my very limited vocabulary.) I felt at once a pang of longing to be home where the world was familiar and known, and the magic of being somewhere wholly new and enchanting – and that was, even better, becoming quickly known and familiar as well.

I had an interesting exchange with Sir, trying to explain the mystery and delight I felt in the dichotomy of being both wholly in the moment here and yet still able to recognize the gentle ache of longing for home, my dog, Adam – even him, though we have not known each other for long. Apparently he is not able to experience more than one thing in that way, and I felt a little sad for him. My world is such a wonderful kaleidoscope of experiences, thoughts and emotions all tumbled together, while at the same time each being experienced in its own, exquisite perfection (even the sadnesses, the pain, the sorrow) that to not experience it that way feels like a constriction. My goal, my desire, is to open my heart to all of it, to not deny one iota of my existence and to experience it all in its immediate, messy, tangled glory. Maybe, on a baser level, that is why I can experience pleasure and pain at the same time, orgasm through the lash of the whip, laugh through my tears.

Today is a beach day with the Canadian and K, though our snorkeling trip got canceled due to rough water. I’m looking forward to lazing about under the shade of a palapa, talking, and watching the clouds race across a painfully blue sky while the turquoise sea crashes against the rocks. Tonight I head back to the Canadian’s place in Playa del Carmen with him and K, and then Saturday I am headed to the airport and back home. I hear it’s cold and snowy there, and I am relishing the feel of an icy wind again, of a brisk hike bundled head to toe, of seeing stark, naked trees outlined against a gray sky. And to finding my home routine again, before I set off for another adventure, this time to the Pacific Northwest with my daughter in March.

And since I am behind so far on February Photofest, I’ll share a slideshow now of these lovely days I’ve had here in Mexico, from the mundane to the naughty to the magical. I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I did making them!

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