OK, I admit to an experiment of sorts. I’ve stashed myself at the foot of a spectacular cloud forest in Costa Rica. I’m alone and even the birds are a bit shocked at my rather meager collection of Spanish phrases, but hey, that is what experiments are designed to be: meanderings into the unknown.
While other expats spend way too much money sitting at perfect sites along the beach, drinking inordinate volumes of umbrella drinks, I count the toucans and ask them to keep on soaring. I’ve walked this walk before: solitary (soltera, single babe) on other jaunts worldwide. Some might be way too quick to view me as some wizened old bitty with wiry hair and smelly old thrift store clothes. I have to confess: I brought the whole enchilada: just in case I was invited to meet el presidente or you know the drill, a night out among them.
A night out among them at this stage of the gig is a bit tremulous. I live up a long muddy cobblestone road, and then down another equally precarious jaunt down a dark path. No thank you. I’ll hang with my toucans. Oh and I adore my mosquito net which I hauled in my suitcase. Twenty bucks at Amazon and worth every penny! I recline while mosquitos wait eagerly outside to pounce. I picture myself as Meryl Streep in “Out of Africa”….waiting for Robert Redford. He hasn’t arrived yet but one can light the lamp and hope.
Writing retreats are cool. They engender comradery and so many thought provoking inlets while writing buddies wax poetic. The solitary route bespeaks of monks and monkettes and talking to God. Hell, I’ll talk to the wee hummingbirds that buzz my laptop daily. Napping when I wish, rising in the middle of the night to write, wandering along the path next to the thundering river? all mine and no I don’t spend multiple hours sharing on Facebook. It’s my walk for now. When I need to engage with another human, I’ll put on my happy coat and meander beyond the gate. My Spanish is somewhere between horrible and hey she’s improving. Expats are few and far between. It’s kind of a difficult choice I’ve made, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
A gecko just crossed the doorstep. He is always watching me from the ceiling and then meanders down to stare at what I am writing. I wish I could do that ceiling maneuver but as a homo sapiens, it just isn’t our gig. So I”m here. Sometimes I listen to the beating of my own heart. Sometimes I remember God knows what of my rather unique life. Memoir? maybe but I’m actually not that self-absorbed. I’ll stand at a distance and write someone’s story but with another name attached. For now, this is more than enough, yes, enough is a tremulous word, MORE THAN enough suits me just fine. And Mr. Redford, if your GPS has misdirected you to another cloud forest, so be it.
It was now clear that the door was swinging open widely: “Catch me if you can” was the prime directive. Suddenly life had become more alive. Nothing surrounded me except my own personal joie de viv. The need to behave, conform and worst of all fit in were now shed like last summer’s stretched out bathing suit.
The sheer guts it took to keep walking, in fact, skipping forward was now a game of spiritual aerobics. All the happy camper things I had learned so long ago, that had been shelved for enforced behavior mod and believing in the corporate song and dance were now awakening again.
Life would certainly be intriguing. If nothing else, I’d do what I’d always wanted to do: live off shore in a cool place (to be defined) and WRITE! Wheels up!
Today is Easter for the Christians, Passover for the Jews, and the bridge makers of it all sometimes sigh: What exactly does He is Risen truly mean? Last night, I watched “Jesus Christ Superstar” again. I’ve watched it ritually for close to forty years. Ted Neeley is still playing the part of Jesus in his seventies, and, worldwide. Where does he get his vitamins to move onward every year? He imbues the kindness of Jesus as well as his human frustration as he plays that powerful role. “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” takes on a deeper meaning. Last night, I put on the captions and actually sang along. Why not? But as I studied those captions, I realized dialog I had missed even with my repetitive viewing on Good Friday or Holy Saturday. It became clear that often the lyrics were subtle Sometimes they were evocative: “Jesus is cool” voiced by the high Sanhedrin priest.
And then the dialogs of Jesus and Judas. Clearly the love between the two of them was there as well as the agony. Tim Rice, the lyricist, is my hero. He brought the story to life, not just another repetition of something written so long ago. It is timeless.
Well, here is where I’m going with this blog: What if He is Risen was reflected in all our thinking? What if Redemption, ah the elusive word, was ACTIVE NOW. Redeem? Rise? Crucifixion? Forgiveness. All the words repeated ritually just might take on a new meaning.
We are smack in the middle of global change whether we wish it or not. This “Holy Week” I contemplated who actually cooked the Last Supper. Now there’s a subtle veering to the side I honestly thought: Wow! The girls are at the market buying the lamb today (Tuesday). Wow! The girls are prepping the roast for cooking and doing side dishes. I even asked a Jewish friend what kind of side dishes would be at the Last Supper? Sure it appears humorous but in fact, it’s kind of nice to wonder. We glean over so much in our rituals. And then I went to “Who cleaned up the dishes?” Women quietly did their thing then as we do now but often invisibly.
What I’m trying to say is this: What if we just threw out all the ritual repetition and allowed ourselves to feel the Rising from a very personal space. Maybe we could throw out bigotry, judgment and taking any sides and oh yes, TWEET kindness for all. Sure I’m Polly Anna again but Polly also rises. Our planet, our people, our nations our states, our cities, our homes just might HEAL.