with the wind of Boquete, I am
23 January 2012 § 2 Comments
Went to my first real yoga class today. Took a test at Habla Ya, the local language school, and felt awesome on the pre-test because I knew almost all the answers – that is, until the cute teacher took me into an upstairs room to give me a private ‘demo lesson.’ Of all the times for my Spanish to fail me. At least I understood everything she said, which was quite a bit. After that five-minute infatuation, which I knew even then I wouldn’t follow up on, simply because I don’t have $250 a week to drop on formal conversation and the tendency to be corrected every six and a half words, I met the lady whose property I’ll be working on for most of my volunteer project. The family from Vail and Martha’s Vineyard haunted the pretty coffeeshop in the Floridaesque plaza, friendly as bees and birds, buzzing on four-dollar cups of chocolate caffeine.
I’m in this place. I am a “volunteer” in an organization not so much bent on trying to change the world (not even Obama can do that, apparently), but more focused on people changing themselves, so they – we – can go out into the world and “be the change,” as the saying goes.
I’m in this place, and subject to people who have reached a higher state of being than I. I’m in this place, and joining in the activities that young money and yogis live daily. I feel like I could be one day friends with these people, who I think occasionally miss my cynicism but call me cheeky anyway. I am friends with these people, who seem to know that the way to my heart is a thought-provoking film followed by Lebanese food and hookah and Farkle, which is a strange dice game played by people who like each other as human beings. I am in this place, and I want nothing more than to be in this place.
One of these people, whom I realized then was of the generation I always vibed with best – the 20-something crowd from the mid-nineties, who are pushing forty now and showing no signs of ever having hit thirty – said that now and then he has the thought that “wow, I live in Panama!”
Nevermind that 25,000 other US Americans can say that. Mind that I kind of want to be one of them. I’ve been in Boquete a week, under the guise of exploring Central America with Heather, with whom I’ve weaved life since last summer, lifetimes ago, but also living up to a promise I made myself in Zadar a year ago: travel with intent. Learn where you are, and learn why they are they way they are. Speak the language, wherever it is, and Be There. Be Here. I’m doing that. Absolutely intentionally.
Today I thought: I’m living. Here. Now. I am here, and I love what I’m doing. It feels like I’m high and I’ve come to a realization that no one’s ever figured out before. That I’ve never thought of, and that when I come down from this, I’ll realize it was a stupid and worthless thought, and it was just the drugs talking. Right.
But I’m not on drugs. And for a big change in my travels, I feel that maybe I can accomplish something for myself. That “wanting to be a better person” idea doesn’t have to be one of those bullshit thoughts which seems as revelatory as Jesus Christ frozen on a popsicle, sucking the life out of the party. Whatever. This feels right. And whatever the future is or becomes or wants to be, it can be, will be. But I’m not there now. I’m here, and happy for it.