Tulia Gonzalez Posts

May 9 / Sweet Challenge

Days here are given to the music. A string, a pitch, pressing the sixth in the fourth fret that with the capo would is actually the first, second and third in the second as well. One, two, three … has formed a well-known melody. I thought it was more difficult … like everything is done, when you finally do it you discover all was about to ” just do it” .

I download a new book: singing for dummies. I laugh with the cat and I looked at him with apology eyes in advance. As my only company…  it has ear to hear the amplified mouse steps. Misha do not blame you if you run away for half a day and come back later when I’m already sick of notes and “E minor” ” Gs “, ” Cs” and red fingers. I recorded(me) singing and playing to watch and listen to Tulia .

I always find a corner on the carpet in each house, where I sit with open computer, guitar or a book.  Owning the corner I spend hours in absurdities. Here in the house of Paihia a corner where it receives sunshine in the afternoon  in front of the window that I have wide open. The wind makes me shake a little bit but the sun warm up my nude skin. Revolution I said! with torso and chest on the air, over the balcony the sun passes from right to left. Another day.

I go to the market. A house under construction and Kiwi workers with thick legs and very short shorts. Here the practice of Rugby have them fit, but these workers do not whistle like in Mexico although these ones  would not bother me.

This town reminds me of Veracruz … because the humidity, the colorful houses in each mountain, and the sea at the foot . I laugh of the absurd of the mind trying always to compare, to make a reference with the “known”.  A guy with flirty smile tell me where is it and finally I come back with a huge lettuce as carrying a bouquet of flowers: with this I eat for a couple of days.  I set on my way to see the sea and the open skies of this place. I am careful of not drop the three dollars out of my pocket with which I will buy the food for tomorrow.

How long I sit here? Ha .. Yes … Yes. I am.  All that exists now is the sense of Being.  Not to be something, someone, just only Being .

I am immersed in absurdities for hours. I already told you? I read somewhere that we could all say absurd things, the bad thing is to solemnly say them… I laugh for me then when I publish this on the website. A new game. I don’t know how is going to work but as everything in life … the little pieces are going to fit together like tetris with each other to fall into its own place. And what do I say? as if everything has to fall into their “own ” place when  is the fact they have fallen “there” which makes  ” their own place ” .

Absurd things:  Wake up in the morning without memories of yesterday, touch my body try to see who’s here.  Baking bread at midnight with the recipe of the German girls. Translate videos to  Spanish justbecauseyes. To feel constantly  in love… and no other is there, just Life itself .

And of course, write without a particular purpose, just for doing it.

What Desafío Sweet is?

Is a Creativity Dynamic that started in Caminomundos.  The challenge is to write one Blog post for 16 continuous days with an objective beyond the literature itself.

HERE:

16 Posts/ personal essays for… just for do it.
16 Actions to promote or kick-start a project of research consulting.
2 Languages
One “let’s see what happen”

May 7 / Poetry

Once I believed in doing important things.

Once I believed  I needed to know more.

Once I thought  I should eat healthier, exercise more.

Once I believed  I could help everyone.

Once I believed I should take (me) seriously and stop being a child.

Once I believed I should be the best person I could be.

Once I thought it was important to change.

Once I thought I needed more time.

 

Once I believed I should work very hard.
Once I believed in the denial of work and money .

Once I believed I needed to travel to find myself.
Once I believed I needed to sit still in one place.

Once I believed I should be open, more artistic and creative to grow my spirit.
Once I believed I should be quieter, more introspective.

Once I believed I should care about politics.
Once I believed in the denial of politics.

Once I believed I should be radical.
Once I believed being radical it not makes sense.

Once I believed it was important to explore sexuality more.
Once I believed to explore sexuality did not matter.

Once I believed I should live Love Stories.
Once I believed to live love stories did not matter.

Once I believed I should live intensely.

Once I believed everything  was very complex.

Once I believed I should fight with the mind.

 

Once I believed I should forget everybody and every story, because they were heavy.

Once I believed that I was living the life  (as something I did, planned, or acted).

 

Once I believed that EVERYTHING I was it was named  Tulia.

What Desafío Sweet is?

Is a Creativity Dynamic that started in Caminomundos.  The challenge is to write one Blog post for 16 continuous days with an objective beyond the literature itself.

HERE:

16 Posts/ personal essays for… just for do it.
16 Actions to promote or kick-start a project of research consulting.
2 Languages
One “let’s see what happen”

Action 1:  To create a website and make it public.

May 4 / Sweet Challenge

Something that “always” has been here can not start. But may nevertheless be recognized, dis-covered. Right?
– I had been removing the cover. As I told a guy yesterday afternoon.

Just because today I have shiny eyes. Any particular reason, goal or challenge. There will be maybe a name at the end of these 16 days of continuous writing. There is nothing suspenseful or philosophy on this, just I can not name anything. All the names seem made of steam. It’s no genius either, I think it is rather the absence of a specific purpose (or ideas if you want to see it like that!).

Names: Places, countries, people, lovers, seas, the name of Tulia. All with the purpose of having no purpose. It is curious that this page has the name of “Tulia Gonzalez” and at the same time, I feel exactly That! I see a kind of “impersonality” in personality: Tulia Gonzalez is a project-page-person. I’ve given the name to something else and I’ll stay as only I… Sweet no name: Sweetly without name.

There are ideas, sometimes, but are not necessary. There is energy, sometimes to do things, to write, translate, to make research… entertains the mind with things but are not necessary. They are not analyzed neither. Is dropped and is allowed to become whatever is need to become. There is action in no action. And even the “no plan”, the dropping, the renounce, also loses its significance.

 

I said: Let’s do some consulting, something professional in all my lightness, and I trust that in some crazy way I can do it and if not, also is fine…

I say: Let’s write in the Creativity Challenge of Caminomundos. There are no words now but I trust the words will be there if needed, and if not … that’s also fine.

I say: Let’s live in that house for a couple of months … and I trust I’ll have money to live there… but if not, that’s fine too.

 

In all this movement something is still. Something is recognized in contrast to this immutable BACKGROUND. The little where putting together, just for nothing in particular actually. Just for today breathe air of autumn in the southern hemisphere. Just for today have a morning coffee in the porch under the sun. Just for take a bath in the darkness, and in the closed eyes be AWARE of have disappeared, have melted. It’s amazing not feel the boundary between the skin and the “outside” between the skin and the bath water… where one begins and the other ends?

– Days have become the same, but things are still arising on them.-

Let’s no name for now. For now the names can stay floating in the mist. For now I’m just saying: Yes… Ahaa… Yes.

What Desafío Sweet is?

Is a Creativity Dynamic that started in Caminomundos.  The challenge is to write one Blog post for 16 continuous days with an objective beyond the literature itself.

Here:

16 Posts/ personal essays for… just for do it.
16 Actions to promote or kick-start a project of research consulting.
2 Languages
One “let’s see what happen”

April 19 / French Polynesia

Reappear in the world after a one month blink. Time that was lived  in “no place” because there was not a single nigth spended  in the same geographical coordinates as the night before. An intense journey from the moment the coast of the American continent disappeared in waves. A shock of impression when realizing “there was no turning back here”… but then … then the silence … a pause in life, a break from the pace of the man’s world.  A puse to observe the moment itself…

The calendar said it was Sunday when we saw the shadow of something sticking aut to the usual perpetual horizon. The days had lost meaning, the boat had been without electicity the day before, I could not remember the last time I took a shower, and it seemed  like I’ve forgotten the smell of soil because the salt. I saw the distant island for 24 hours before arriving and I wondered: What could be doing the inhabitants of Nuku Hiva? How it would be a normal Sunday in the remotest island in the world? The Marquesas Islands are probably the most beloved for those who cross the Pacific Ocean as they are the first land that one return to the man’s world.

We entered to Taiohae  Bay crossing the mountain gates. Other sailboats were resting in the water. We droped anchor and the movement finally stopped.  It stopped!  We floated with a slight sway and  jumped on the dinghy to go ashore.  While I was going away from En Pointe for the first time I turned to look at the small yellow world in which I lived.  I got a feeling of detach from something to which he had belonged.

I got to ashore. I walked with weak legs, sea legs, because my muscles had weakened. At the beginning  a little as drunk, or rather like a child learning to walk? I learned to walk again then. I jumped around  expecting that everything will move… but not…  then I found everything so fixed, so disturbingly solid. My mind was confused, again playing a joke on it. I was overwhelmed by all the new things I saw: trees, yes, they were Uru trees and were very green, mountains, flowers, animals, horses, colors… people, voices, houses, languages! (French and marquisien). So much for someone who has only seen blue for long. I walked and I got tired quickly, my heart was beating hard, I took a deep breath… it had lived at sea level  and suddenly I was going up.  I felt the change in the whole body, in my mind, in my impressed heart.

On the island of Nuku Hiva  the first thing I found were smiles. Kaoha! every person that crosses on the way said . The friendliness of the people of Polynesia is famous among sailors; relaxed and simple; warmly smiling  to welcome those who brought the wind.

Total population of the largest island in the region = 2,600 people. The Marquesas are “the garden of French Polynesia ” is pure nature, there is any big building, however I was impressed by the degree of “development”. Tecnically is France and that can be seen in their few streets as neat such as Switzerland, in Baguettes, in their laws, and in the education, and health system.

But,

How is the land beyond the other side of the Pacific?

The Marquesas are a land of lava, young and green islands where everything grows. Are islands of towering mountains in the sea, floating mountains, hills newborn.

A land where there is no cold seasons but fruit in season all year.

A land that sleeps peacefully under the most beautiful spectacle of stars. Here there is no nightlife besides the ones made on the shore, no rush in here.

A land where few humans live and the language of their ancestors is learned as well as the national language  in the schools.

A land with talking drums and ukuleles.

An island where life is on land, but it is known that one belong to the sea.

Principal pueblo en Nuku Hiva, localizado en el un antiguo cráter volcánico que parcialmente se colapso en el mar.
En Pointe (yellow trimaran) anchored in Taiohae Bay. Photo: Tom Van Dyke
April 19 / Sailboats

– So you’d never been on a sailboat?

– Never

– And you want to cross an ocean by boat anyway?

– Hmm … well, yes…

– Well, at least you know how to swim!

 

People were impressed because I come from “the mountain” as they said when I talk about Guanajuato. Sailing and cruising is not part of the culture in Mexico -yet-, even if here there are the most popular ports for sailing across the Atlantic and Pacific. However I was more impressed with the lifestyle of “the sailing community.” I’ve found all kinds of people on boats;  people with amazing stories about how they came to this lifestyle, men who spent more than 20 years living on a sailboat,  young couples who live-work-travel from country to country in this way, families with children (where children have never lived ashore), people from diverse backgrounds and countries. I also discovered that the “community of sailors” is a small group of people around the world, and how they support to each other.

 

Living aboard a sailboat is having friends wherever there is another sailboat.

 

Then I came to travel and live aboard Romany Star.  Pablo, the Captain needed help to take his boat from Barra de Navidad  to La Cruz in Nayarit in exchange I would learn the  basics of  sailing. The first impression aboard was the recognition of the living  space, it seems all so compact, everything has a specific place and a way to accommodate,  each corner of the boat is well spent. After that, it comes the recognition of the space occupied by the boat in the water. Is to say:  Well,  this is the space where I live,  I sleep , I travel… and after that is water. There is a feeling of being a small floating little world, a disconnection with the world on land being seen from afar, but also a different and stronger connection to everything around;  nature , water, and its constant change. For me those weeks  were about to learn this way of experiencing the world living in the water.  It was then when the days passed floating that I realized how light we can be,  but I was also aware of how much we weigh.

 

Living aboard a sailboat is to live floating.

 

For three weeks I learned in English the basics of sailing. Sail names,  boat parts, the names of the lines and its use. I also learned of knots and that everything has a different name just for belong to a boat. I learned the language of navigation,  but mostly I learned the language of the wind,  because a sailboat is for the wind and  I was for the wind too.

 

Living aboard a sailboat is to recognize the direction and strength of the wind.

 

I’m always asked if I get seasick. It’s one of the biggest concerns that people have when talking about living on a boat. I do not get seasick but I have discomfort the first day of sailing.  I feel weak and if there is much movement I don’t want to cook ,  neither read or do anything.  I’m just sitting out in the breeze, looking at the horizon (to have a reference point). There are however many different factors and answers for this seasickness question. It is assumed that at some point we all get seasick but the boundary for each person is different. I know people who get seasick and they have been living on boats for years. Also it depends on the type of boat, the wind, and the direction of the waves. Is recommended to lying down on the floor,  the closest to the water; other people prefer take drugs or pills;  and others have become used to living like this because as everything else: it will pass, in addition the seasick is not all the time but  in certain circumstances (that can last days tough).

 

Living aboard a sailboat  is to live in constant motion.

 

In the last seven months I’ve meeting all kind of people, some with an  average economic level (depending of what is average I guess…) and some others who practically could buy anything they wanted … and yet in a boat all carry certain belongings that we can fit in and no more. The priorities are very different in a sailor’s life. Paul and Bob (both Captains) were successful business owners in the United States. They created their own business, lived a life of luxury and excess were car, properties, and a lot of  nice things.  Both one day just got tired of that lifestyle and sold everything , bought a sailboat and went to live in the sea.

At this time I have used no more than 4 shorts, 6 shirts, and two swimsuits. I have a pair of sandals and  tennis shoes… that’s all I need.

 

Living aboard a sailboat to live with few possessions.

 

In the other hand, it didn’t take me long to discover the disadvantages of this type of life. First, there is an attachment to the boat, once you own a boat there is a constant “concern” about it. Second, is that get very expensive, some people say “is like a hole in the ocean where you throw money.” Third, is that everything revolves around the boat , that’s the priority. And last is that it is hard work, there is always something to fix and even the simplest things like getting water it consume energy and time.

 

Living aboard a sailboat is work and have vacations at  the same time.

 

Something curious that happened to me when listening  conversations between ” boat people ”  is that they reminded me so much of being in my grandmother ‘s ranch.  My grandmother and uncles are farmers and most of their chats are about climate, soil, plants, etc. Among sailors you talk about the moon, you pay attention to changes in the waves, temperature, weather… your conversation will go all around fishes, corals, sky, or the visibility of the water.

 

Living aboard a sailboat is talk about weather.

 

Life in a sailboat includes physical work.  One feels very present all the time for being using the body constantly, in different ways. Also you naturally get into water sports; swimming, diving;  long walks when you get to land, biking, or just exploring around. Living on a sailboat one becomes sensitive to the body’s own cycles and cycles of nature. I discovered more aware of something wild .

 

Living aboard a sailboat is living barefoot.

laundryenpointe
Photo by: Tom Van Dyke
April 18 / Sailboats

Morning coffee

I come back from my contemplation becausuddenlyddently rocking back and forth, I put the lid on my cup. Ha! Those tourist boats passing so close!  making waves,  shaking my coffee  and throwing aside my baguette with jam.  There is no respect. They don’t see that people live in here?  I immerse in myself again…

There are memories that are like cracks, and cracks are like doors… there are moments that when evoked they transport us. They’re waterfalls.  Is living them again. Today I’m flooded with a memory.

Is there something that could be called “Beginning”?

1.  Today I went back to the moment I knew that someone had crossed the Atlantic in a sailboat. On sailboat ! The Atlantic ocean?  For weeks?  In the sea? A woman and… alone?  Incredulity, amazement, a shaking feeling of ” REALIZE ” something.  I was living in San Francisco. That day I was biking around the bay … down there of the Golden Gate Bridge I saw the little white triangles drawing imaginary lines in the water… I was amazed, they were so small and so fragile as paper boats the wind can blow them off. And yet it was possible…

 

Drums inside

I’m back in Polynesia. Over there, onland,  one can see the guys rehearsing for the dance competition. Drums and ukuleles. I see the rehearsal as a neighbor watching over the fence, but I’m onboard of one of those boats that were sailing in San Francisco.

What happened from the day in the bay  to the moment of now that connect them like parallel universes?

2. When I worked in Geneva, I went to visit some friends in Germany.  Pao married Daniel from Berlin, I spent a week with them.  During the dinner, almost by chance, Daniel mentioned that he was crew on a sailboat for 6 months in the Caribbean.  He quited his job as an architect, left his house and all. His former colleagues had placed  in the office a photo of him sailing in the Caribbean with the footnote: “Best Employee of the Month” while they were living one of the coldest winters in Germany.  I felt again a feeling in the stomach. I felt closer. Now knew someone from the “real life” that did it.

 

Hungry for something

It’s lunch time? Here in the boat you know it’s time to eat when you are hungry. There is not shedule.  And,  what does it matter if it’s weekday or weekend ? I heat the leftovers of yesterday’s dinner and return to where I was …

3. During the time in Europe I was finding what to me seemed small signs, those traveling coincidences that one tries to read as gypsies read hands. I visited Marseille, a city where the sea is very important, being the largest port in the Mediterranean. I was walking around the boats and I met a guy who found a crew position on the Internet. Then Olesia said in Ukraine she had been certified for  sail small boats, and Ola from Poland too. I asked them so many questions; I wanted to investigate more. Now I was feeling real the possibility.

 

The sun comes to the island

We’ve been waiting for “weather.  It is the windy Polynesian winter. Out there beyond the reef, the sea is rough. If onboard the boat the day and time don’t matter,  here the  Weather God  is who has the last word. I haven’t been ashore in several days.  There is a litte sunshine, so I take the dinghy and head to the dock, jump ashore and do a quick shark knot.

4. I’m going into other gap. I remember being in Czech Republic in the kitchen of a very old house where I lived with my friends Maga and Rami from Argentina. We were laughing and doing whatever on the internet, when I said – I know what I’m going to do next! As I wil  live on a sailboat, right now I’ll learn to do knots. With a serious attitude, I opened Youtube and looked for a tutorial… 5 minutes after quited. We laughed.  However, that day, “I had a certainty” as Maga says. I was sure that one day I would do it. I didn’t  know when or how, but I was sure.

 

Going out of the path

Walking around the island and heading to the mountains, -Ia ora na! -Bonjour! I came across kids saying ” good morning ” in Tahitian and French. I start going up and I feel like going out of the path marked with little stones. I turn left. I get lost among the trees.

5. When I returned to Mexico people asked me what’s next… I then replied with a tone of normality: “Ho well, I ‘m going to live in a sailboat.”  I’m from the central part of Mexico , I had never been before on sailboat, neither in Mexico sailing is common at all. It seemed crazy then, but I had that confidence. January came, I made my backpack, I left and went to the coast of Mexico. I decided to take a different path, “create” my own way of experiencing, and jumped into the void.

 

I Am Here

Moorea
Photo: Tom VanDyke

 

Back to the boat, I’m playing guitar. I look around of these square meters of wood in which I’m floating.

I love this feeling of living floating in the water, water in movement.

 I feel light, mild, fleeting, momentary …

Like the foam of the waves.

April 16 / French Polynesia

Waking up,  the sound of the sea crashing on the reef is the first thing I’m aware before I open the eyes.  Ha!…   it takes me one minute before I remind myself :   I am  in an island.  I live on a sailboat in the Pacific Ocean. My name is Tulia.  I sailed for months to get to this side of the world.  It’s been six months since I started this adventure without knowing (in every sense of the word) the direction it would take.

Today I’m in French Polynesia. I’m taking a break ashore,  a break from the constant movement.  Today I wake up in a house facing the sea, grass-smell and crickets-sound. Is now when I’m waking up and realizing what I’d  happened…  and it’s happening.

I tried to explain (not helping that was in French) what it means to live for a month on the open sea, as a result I had to change the subject , even in Spanish (my mother tongue) there are things that can not be explained just like that… maybe if  I write a poem and I run out of words that could somehow express the vastness , the deepest blue, the TRUE silence, and the infinite of an horizon. One day I may find meaning in those journals I wrote in the ocean, now it seems that everything was as deep dream as the Pacific itself.  Because a month on a sailboat of 31ft, in a space that becomes your little planet, is not just a month … is every week of the month,  is every day of every week, and every hour of every day of the month, is every-moment… on the sea… an in constant motion.

Since some time ago I wanted to write about how is to live… hmm…  on board? Not, I would rather said on the border… of countries, islands, and worlds. When I lived in Europe I wanted to write for friends, family, people that asked me a lot.  But I put it off because I wanted to “do it right ” my perfectionism  is (or was)  related to my love for “scientific research”.  I was obsessed with details that never allowed to get ready even a page. Also because in the “Professional Life ” I had been considered as serious people and seriouspeople do not write about islands or travel neither worlds … serious people do publish articles in research journals.

Today I do not care.

Today I woke up with a strange indifference and tired of ” decisions ” tired of keep thinking what’s next: which trip, which island, project, person,  work,  language … well, today  I can dance and be the queen of the absurd.

Photo by Tom Van Dyke
Photo by Tom Van Dyke

I’m in Raiatea , called the “Holy Island ” for be  the most mysterious Polynesian island.  A day and many years ago it was the center of culture and religion of the” Polynesian triangle” including the islands close to Tahiti (now French Polynesia), Hawaii, and New Zealand. As the writer Paul Theroux mentioned in “The happy islands of Oceania” rather than an ocean, the Pacific is like a universe, and a map looks like the portrait of the night, as if heaven and earth had inverted … so it is peaceful , like outer space, a vastness of empty spots filled with clinking islands like stars.

Raiatea. Here’s where I reached again an edge. A need to sit down, sit on the ground and smell. I had a need for solitude and stay idle, quiet for a moment; because  live on a sailboat has been many things: games, people, languages ​​and landscapes… but above all, as been movement. So much movement that I haven’t went inside and see what is changing. Although I have periods of silence while sailing from one island to another… I’m mesmerized bye the ocean and its deepness, and when I wake up I’m already in another island… in another world.

I was thinking to write about how I ” decided ” to go on a boat; when I thought it was impossible, when one day I grabbed my backpack and went to the coast;  about how we made ​​the preparations and provisions for the trip;  or when I discovered this kind of life and the great stories and people I’ve met. I wanted to tell it from the beginning, in an order as my

accustomed

brain to the methodology was telling me. Then I knew that not.  That my life is much more (or actually less) complex than a beginning or an order,  that sense of time was vanish on the waves.  So I start with this moment.  Now.

Today may not be an article with references, neither a validation of experts took place, and I’m full of “Bias”.  This time it’s only the first word. One word I write and I share about this extraordinary journey in the small island that many call “Earth”.