Category: Life

November 27 / Diary

I could have published the photos of Bangkok and the trip to Thailand that I never planned, selfies in the Kingdom of Siam, the dorados, the flowers and the castles of dragons.

I could have published that Holbox trip in June when my uncle and the puppies in the heat, or Luz and me fighting the mosquitoes but pretending a perfect picture with the turquoise blue behind, the horizon and the sun, and make you feel that everything here is perfect, that there are no mosquitoes, no allergies nor invasive tourists in this “paradise”.

I could have shown the photos of Puerto Vallarta in March, the pretty cats, the boardwalk and the entire apartment with its air conditioning; here also the perfect photos would be touched in Photoshop, would gladden the view with a better exposure and increased blues and greens, erase that plastic boat in the sand, and enhance the sharpness and brightness, the contrast too.

I could tell you that we sailed, that we went to San Francisco to see Captain Tom and he likes the publications at the moment, we did not escape from that. San Diego: at home almost every day because of the heat, the work, and the dogs.

And the sailboats? white and clean and perfect while one cooks in the middle of the waves and you want to vomit the pesto with mushrooms that you have just dined, using motor instead of sails, and you also hate to cook and do the dishes for the whole crew because you have to be woman in the middle of men and even up to here sometimes the ages and the genders are imposed.

But the photos! haaa those are perfect, the Sea of Cortez always blue, the heat and the bathing suits premiere, the sailboats after all always have to be poetic, right?  What am I missing? Valle de Bravo, the progress of the house with its four walls, the growth of the cats, the acceptance to the postgraduate course in Australia, the visits to Guanajuato, the airports, and the goats, again the goats.

It seems that Facebook was left behind, and the nights are still cold.

July 11 / Life

Are you sailing back or flying?

The fact that this question can even be made, it means that there are options.
-Flying, this time I’m flying.

I bought an airplane ticket that will take me back to Mexico in thirty something hours by plane, but the journey to come here took me almost a year on a sailboat. The world can be a bizarre place.

Yesterday I dreamt that I finally left the island, that L was taking me to the airport, that my passport was expired, and I didn’t know if Mexico would recognize me.
I’ve changed so much. I don’t even remember how tacos taste.
That’s why I bought a return ticket, because one day I said: “my grandmother’s food” but I no longer knew what I was talking about; seems that I don’t remember anymore, but that I am rather inventing, and this can be scary.

I left behind my home, friends, my brother while he was still a kid , my nephew when he still didn’t know how to speak, my dogs when they were not yet old, my cousin when she was single, my grandfather when he still lived. I mean, children grow, the older get older, the food gets eaten without me, my friends are getting drunk, and my girlfriends are marrying and having weddings with an empty seat that has my name.

These are the big and small sacrifices for the one who goes away and makes small families everywhere. We have houses and dogs, and routines of the day, even if for others this place is far and unknown, to me is close and familiar. Here I have a small family, the wind brought me to New Zealand and  I have woven a life.

I telephoned my grandmother, she was so happy, we laugh
Grandma, I said, I’m calling on Skype,
(Although she does not know what Skype is)
She tells me: Hija, every day I think of you,
and I think: many kilometers behind the sea
half a turn of Earth separates us
but I call you and you still say:
Hija! every day I think of you.

Then I got hungry and bought a flight ticket.

(Photo: Halfway between Mexico and New Zealand 2013, Tom took that GPS screenshot, perhaps in Bora Bora or Mopelia, or one of those invisible islands)

June 19 / Diary

We all have those little parts of ourselves that we like to hide. It may be a middle name, the high school Prom photo, or that you failed the fifth grade.

Margarita didn’t like me probably because is diminutive, and I wanted to be related with something strong, to have bigger hands to hold stronger, to be more “real”. Now I don’t care about diminutives, now I don’t wish that anymore. I see that is not the size of the hands, but its determination.

Why do we need to be taken so seriously?
Perhaps, deep down we want to be anchored to the ground, become mountains, and we are afraid of the lightness of being made of air and blood.

Getting drunk in a bar in London with A (that man with woman’s name) I said: A, I don’t understand why people tell me I should “take it more serious”, while actually I am not able to believe entirely anything that is said in this world; sometimes I feel like a character playing different roles, changing outfits as life needs”. That night we laughed so much, as we always did in the office too. – Do you think that’s why women do not take me so seriously? I laughed with him until dawn. Deep down, A is like me, he doesn’t care if he seems to have soft hands and yet her hands are big and strong. After that time, he went to India to work in an NGO. I took a sailboat and learned another game, one about waves and wind.

– I seem to be so small, so soft, so full of blood,
susceptible to change, the wind, or the sun
I live here in my chest, my hands, my feet that are cold,
within all this vast space inside…
Is it really that being so small, I am so strong?

August 21 / Diary

I see a loose thread, and I take it. It’s my way to start weaving with words. So there is an opening. Did I tell you that sometimes I find myself suspended in an eternal continued moment? When rain drops fall on the roof and I must stay still, suspended, almost holding my breath while listening the knocking against the roof and watching the drops slowly wringing through the window. Yes, is in these small details where I live when a lot is the time in solitude and infinite the freedom.

Great mysteries have occupied my mind these days. I’ve tried to figure out where is the spot where the sun reaches the most to set my island, lie, read or work without moving as time elapses;  I’ve been listening quietly the noise of contraction and expansion of this wooden living house  in order to learn it language.  Unimportant things also happen here. Like forgetting in the morning who I am and by surprise discover in the mirror someone’s face.

Could it be that the word and the writing is a muscle that relaxes and contracts like this house? That one must exercise them? Or may simply be that creativity and ideas are flying around one…? I like to think that the great stories and the most vivid poems hover invisible in the world, waiting for a hand holding a pen in the air, cold fingers on the keyboard, a silent mind, and a heart on  palms, open or cracked, or broken if you want…

I always write about the same things, always ants moving from side to side, beads sliding through the window, how the sun rises and sets, the particular walking of this strange woman, or how people here smiles in a certain way. These things  always absorb my attention and I don’t know where is the space for the big happenings. I could say little about politics and I ignored almost all the news happening in the world. I don’t do it on purpose it’s just that the rain is still falling, then it has occupied a primary focus these days… then I do not know much about planes falling or wars exploding in the East. Therefore might I have to apologize for this, for not watching the news to find out exactly the number of deaths that occurred today. I realize all the rules I am breaking, but it’s just that the rain continues to announce its presence on the ceiling, the warmth of the blanket covering me, the smell of my shirt so mine, and this hand writing.

No that  I ignore the suffering of the world, or I deny it.  Not that I don’t realize it.  Sometimes I also want to cry, sometimes I feel so small,  sometimes I have toothache, and there are nights when I have nightmares about men entering through open wide doors and I have to go out, look up , find a bit of starry sky to know that I am awake, that the only certainty I have is this-moment, is this breath, this beat and I that have cold feet. I feel that everything is inside out, the world is inverted wanting to go outside in … filling things, filling with information, making things, eating things, changing things … It’s like I need to reverse everything, invert it completely. Like flip an orange from the inside out… and that everything internal it feels outside… and the external it feels  inside. “We want to fight darkness when all we need is light.

It’s all quiet here, it seems the only constant. Sometimes the wind moves branches and the sound of the evening cold contracting the wood jumps in the silence. The birds call each other ignoring my presence. If a storm comes from the north, then I let the water run through my face and hair. It’s warm.

August 8 / Creative Challange

{Day 15 of 30}

I disappeared from Internet. I am back for a while to the archaic times. The rhythm of the days was given by the strike of a laptop along with any intention or concern to procure work, write, or even post on Facebook.

Two weeks in the city of Auckland, a small apartment built on the base of a volcano. Out from the back door I can see the sloping hill covered with trees and grass that once would have been a fiery path of volcanic rocks. Those that are still under my feet.

N wrote me “I have an important question for you: How do you escape from the boredom of everyday life?”
Hmm… I do not get bored, I say, because I drink a lot of tea. In a cup I put a tea bag. Then I put hot water.  In the hot tea I put honey.  In the sweet tea I put milk.  Then I drink sip by sip by sip, and -just- for that instant – nothing else exists.

After this arduous explanation, I went for a walk in the sun along the street that goes to the supermarket. Just for an instant – I get out of the way to step aside, let the people in hurry pass me by, those who want to arrive.  And I look at the sky. They must think I’m stupid. I stood there watching the birds migrating. But they do not realize that they, neither, are going anywhere.

I keep walking and got to the supermarket. All vegetables require my attention but I stopped just in front of one container.  I think anyone has so thoroughly chosen their tomatoes! I watched them, took them in my hands, turned them, as if they were giving me some kind of information and finally chose three of them. At home I sliced ​​them with extreme caution, as if – in this in instant- the entire world depends of how perfect is a tomato slice.

On the garden I spent hours devoted to the study of hens’ behavior. There are three: one white, one dark, and one spotted. And my results of this field observation are translated as follows:
Scratch – peck- scratch
Peck – scratch scratch scratch

Peck- peck – peck (that’s the instant where I am chased by one of them).

Also the time, or disappeared or stopped (which in this case is the same) while playing the guitar. My fingers pressing strings sometimes with rhythm and many others without. But -just- for this instant – I do not think “good” or “bad”, just let myself play in peace.

Later I dive into the foam of a cappuccino. Swim in warm milk and sweet bubbles. Sipping slowly, warming my hands clenched against the cup. That soft pleasure of cotton. That warmth of home, then – just – for this instant- I do not wonder “what’s next”  after having drunk the last drop.

Here hours also are occupied admiring the cat curled up on the couch. I watch her and time is not longer counted by minutes, but for her tummy rising and falling while sleeping. How quiet! With his eyes closed as lines, peaceful, nothing disturbs. Then – just – for this instant- it seems as if nothing in the world could be wrong.

At the end of the day I write with paper and pencil, a blanket on my legs while the raindrops are slowly sliding out the window. Then – only – for this instant – no one write or read. There are just words that could mean nothing too. And feeling happiness for free – just – for this instant, I don’t wonder if is tied to something.

Foto: desconocido
Foto: desconocido
August 4 / Creative Challange

{Day 14 of 30}

They were waiting for at the bus stop in Auckland. I left the village waving from the window with my right hand to a group of elders who came to say good-bye. It was a long trip, a rainy and unexpected warm day. It reminded me of my college days when coming back from Guanajuato to my home town at the end of the week and one of my parents used to picked me up at night from the stop.  Here, in the other side of the world, two big Maori guys wating for me. They took me (again!)  to  Cameron Street, the house where we would find their dad, uncle, aunty,  an extra trampoline in the garden, a new boat in the garage, a potato growing in the window, and two small baby cats jumping around in the mattress where I sleep.

And from that mattress in the living room I hear the waves licking the beach in the distance. This beloved sound is part of me and I could not be more present now… The people and everything there in the village, the sheep, the mountains, all have become blurred in my mind. Like sticking my hand in my pocket looking for something and I just find emptiness. Thinking – Did I forget to put them here? All the memories? I was sure to have saved them in my right pocket – there is nothing. An empty hand.

I think perhaps everything is about the “inner journey” and the “external journey” is another way of that same inner journey. Why people travel to see beautiful countries, exotic places, have experiences? It is simple: To feel ourselves there.  To experience ourselves – there.
Where do I feel that experience? Where do I feel the landscape I see? Perhaps I feel it inside, somewhere in the chest?
Where do I feel the streets of the foreign country for which  I walk? Is it perhaps on my own feet?
Where do I feel the exotic food? Would not it be in my own mouth?
And then we travel to experience these things but in reality is about ourselves, right? What we seek is to experience ourselves. What we seek we carry it already with us.

I crossed the block to go walking along the beach and did not recognize the ocean. Maybe because it is a winter sea. It is a cold sea and I wear a jacket, and tennis shoes, and I can’t feel the sand between my toes, no warmth sun in the skin, and neither the stickiness of sweat under the armpits. Of course! so far I had not seen the sea in winter. It feels weird to see something so familiar and at the same time feels new. 

The next few days passed between movies, walks on the beach and meeting with Thomas’s friends. So many young people! I exclaim which resulted very funny. With Leo we went for rides in the car at night. We drove up the mountain so he could smoke a cigarette. And with the night view of Auckland and wearing huge jackets:

I could call myself homeless if you want to see it like that… I say remembering the TV program we saw by chance was a guy interviewed some homeless in the city.
– Leo laughs.
– Or … I can say that I feel at home everywhere.
Haha, you are funny Tulia. That’s true, you are definitely Not homeless.
– Although, I can’t stop craving for tacos!

Those days between the letters I received and wrote, I tell S:

Exactly where I feel “at home” or “foreign”?
If that feeling of being at home actually comes from inside us… because it is “here” where I feel it, right?  Then …  Is that some country, house, or group, gives us that  sense of belonging or maybe is something that comes from inside of us?

Because the truth is that… often I feel close the family from far away, and sometimes I felt “distant” even being in the same city.

“The Heart does not know any distance or journeys.”

 

Auckland City from Mt. Eden
Auckland City from Mt. Eden

{Day 13 of 30}

Will I remember this place?  The mountains? Shall I look around  wondering for the pine forests … the sheep, visits to the river? So far, the only place I feel sometimes nostalgia is for the Marquesas Islands, Nuku Hiva… if I strongly close my eyes and remember when we being welcome from the open sea. And it’s enjoyable, this nostalgia, to felt it so far…

“Remember” from Latin re-cordis:   through the heart again.

But Taumarunui is different. A village that has come out of the fog to give a welcome hug me for months and I know it will be lost back in the fog. Maybe that’s why I’ve taken so many pictures, vain subconscious attempt to keep something knowing it is a place that belongs among the clouds. I am grateful for my complete hibernation. It’s the perfect time to leave.

I feel so palpable the transience of places, situations, people and also 6 weeks seems such a life full of details, so full of different. Shedding sheep, drawings fog between the houses, different walks beside the same river, bike or ride the mountains alone or with company. No wonder how this time has passed. I feel part while I see from outside – all temporary… everything running on… When I arrived?, I was doing before this? Where was I? And then the feeling of the instant that encloses all (-or that forgets all). As knowing myself standing right here and be in constant motion … like the stream, the stream-time. And the inner understanding that:

Present is eternal.

 

And certainly I do not feel free … forgiven … saved … sure … not if I now that feeling of hang in the balance, of knowing that there is only a very slight line for something to go out of place in the universe, of better say: to fit differently. –  It is so thin the small change in perception and yet it changes everything. Maybe it’s this little tension, of knowing that in a thin inner line makes me feel throbbing and present.

Today I spent a whole day listening to talk C and P about their trip. Sometimes with genuine care, other joking, others only present with a blank mind (not needed anyway response) at the end of the night the point where I wonder if I am doing some effort to pay attention or not to put it? As the TV: I have the inability to watch it.  The TV just does not capture my attention, I see into a meditative state but I’m not seeing more than a reference point in the room.

I’m feeling much love for everyone, Greame, the home owners, Lynn, Robin, Mark, and Kiko the cat … knowing me into them… knowing they show me a part of “me.” One type of love rather neutral.

Last day in Taumarunui I tell myself…

Wash bedding
Shaking subtracted silhouettes
Remove odors of love from the pillows
Ignite memories and diaries
Pack with special care not to get ghosts
Make a deal with the witness cat
Watering plants with fluids leftovers
The last evening in the bath – boiling water
Collect kiwis for friends in Auckland
Say goodbye to my loved sheep
And my rubber boots…
And my work gloves that I will never use again…
Because I am done with being farmer: it’s time to city.
I left a warm and inhabited house.
The owners will never know the reasons for the sudden urge
Of wanting to make out in front of the fire
On the carpet that one day turned into camping, and war and love zone.
Shhh…
Taumarunui the place I’ve lived longer in NZ. Village of fog, so hidden from everything else … populated by a thousand old people playing bingo on Wednesdays and loving walking as much as ice cream and tea.
I leave spoiled, good eaten, and full of kisses.
Another place where I temporarily belong.

What Desafío Creativo is?

Is a Dynamic  that started in Caminomundos.  The challenge is to do some creative work for 30 consecutive days, can be posts, poems, pictures, etc. Do you want to participate?

HERE: This is a creative writing experiment where I’m mixing my dairies. Sometimes I write from the present or sometimes I just post my old dairy that I wrote when I live aboard a sailboat for one year.

{Day 11 of 30}

There are days like this one, when I said -I slept too much. I opened and closed my eyes in the morning … feeling a sensation of have missed something that I do not know. It is winter. It rained all week, a thin, continuous pouring rain. But this feeling of sluggishness may not have to do with it…

And on days like this when the direction of an internal map is missing (and yet does not mean being lost) that feeling instantly takes me by surprise.  As who inspects a foreign object for the first time by rotating it with the hands in front of your eyes, look inside, outside, from below, from behind, flipping it … and just does not understand its true utility …  I sometimes see  man’s life like that – I mean, my life-.

Then I turn the little figurine to find somewhere to put it… on the shelf maybe…. or perhaps it has some purpose unknown to me, some different use…. And with my  fingers I draw the shapes and lines;  and with my mind I intend to imagine its possible  uses or appearance … my life. Then I say I slept too much today, with a feeling I lacked something and I realize that is not mine … that I’m riding clouds between dreams and my pink-flowered sheets in a girl’s – stranger- room. I’m pretending be misplaced (as if I was placed!) and then I see that standing up in the same point in the world I could feel myself both:  lost or founded. So I’m waking up, as I am aware of this. I mean I am opening the eyes behind my opened eyes.

Cloud rider – While riding my fluffy cloud of thoughts … I think there is something I should do, something I am missing… then –suddenly – I jump out of bed naked. And everything is like a faint trail … sometimes … a feeling that fades with coffee and toast.  I stop riding the could-  How I know?

Because space
for  feeling the space.

I remember the conversation with my friends from the sailboat Muktuk. An Austrian family with two children aged 8 and 11 years who lived in Alaska on their sailboat. They said they had to go breaking the ice to move, but there is a problem: Stuck in the ice, stopped boat, and the GPS does not work … you know, because the GPS tells you which direction to go only when moving. (When stopped it marks the location but not the direction). So you need to get going, instinctively give the first step and when there is motion the GPS is able to mark the precise coordinates and indicate the direction. This first movement you may have given it in the opposite direction or falling of course … but you know the direction now and recover …  the GPS is working…. But if you stand still … it never set the direction (and you can even get stuck and frozen).

The movement itself is the direction.

Kaikoura, NZ.
Kaikoura, NZ.

What Desafío Creativo is?

Is a Dynamic  that started in Caminomundos.  The challenge is to do some creative work for 30 consecutive days, can be posts, poems, pictures, etc. Do you want to participate?

HERE: This is a creative writing experiment where I’m mixing my dairies. Sometimes I write from the present or sometimes I just post my old dairy that I wrote when I live aboard a sailboat for one year.