Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's not me, it's the Matrix

I swear I did write blog posts in the last 3 months, it's just that the giant computer that runs the software program we call "reality" failed to upload them from my brain into your optic nerves. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

In short: I stayed in Nicaragua for about 7 weeks, I loved it a lot, and sometimes I think it would be nice if I were still there. We left Nicaragua and flew back to the mother country in late June to see Sam's family, as they were having a small reunion in Northern Ontario. We spent a couple weeks in Toronto, a few more up north, and then it was time for me to come home to see my own family. I've been in Victoria now for a few weeks, laying low, doing a lot of reading, and contemplating my next move.

With several months left of the year I've allotted myself, I found myself a bit foggy about what I wanted to do with the time. The options limited only by my imagination and to a certain extent by money, I realized that I had absolutely no inclination to make any decisions about anything.

The Universe, being the benevolent consciousness I believe it to be, gave me a nudge in the right direction about 10 days or so ago, when I read the introduction (ok, the first three sentences of the introduction) of a book called "When things fall apart: heart advice for difficult times," which a dear friend received as a gift from another dear friend. The author, Pema Chodron, wrote that in 1995 she took a sabbatical and basically spent a year doing nothing. The hallelujah chorus sang in my head. Note: for those of you out there who think that traveling is "doing nothing," you're wrong. It's quite a lot of work. Anywhoooo... after reading that, it seemed to me that a sabbatical sounded darn appealing and that is why I am moving to Galiano Island for the next several months.

That's right, Galiano Island. I have always wanted to be an earthy, hippie Gulf Islander, and now I am realizing that dream. I'm renting a small cottage on the very north end, as far away from the island's civilization as I can get while still being on dry land. I move in at the beginning of September. No, I'm sorry, but you probably can't come visit. I'll let you know, though.

I'm so excited about this move I can hardly sit still. This is my chance to be a hermit. I will live in the cottage in the woods, just 20 minutes along woodland trails to the beach, which can only be accessed through private property (like mine!) or by boat. There are about a million trails in the woods to walk on. The cottage itself has a loft and a woodstove and a bathtub, and who needs anything else?

I will be spending my days, unscheduled and without routine, participating in varying activities, including but not limited to:
-doing yoga
-eating again
-playing my flute (that's right, I have a flute.)
-playing my guitar (yep, one of those too.)
-writing (maybe even the blog from time to time)
-dancing in my living room
-dancing in the forest
-playing with the faeries


As you can see, I will be far too busy to entertain guests. I have a lot of spiritual growth to accomplish, not to mention books to read and fun to have. Eventually, I will need to go back to work and I plan to cram in as much of the good life as I can before that day arrives.

It turns out that I'm feeling rather impatient for my hermitage. I found the transition from Nicaragua to Toronto interesting, but not particularly overwhelming, largely due (I expect) to the fact that I wasn't yet "home". And while I have kept a fairly low profile since coming back to BC, I haven't found that transition too difficult either - until now.

The truth is, I've changed rather a lot in the last 6 or 7 months. Actually, I'm starting to think that I'm the same, but the rest of the world has gone a bit screwy. It's hard to tell sometimes. At any rate, I no longer see things the same way. I personally think this is a marvelous thing and am rather pleased about it. However, it does have an effect on how I relate to the world around me. Frankly, I'm getting edgy and restless. I would like to blame Mercury (being in retrograde and all) and I am perfectly prepared to accept that the movement of the moon, stars and planets does affect me. (And for you skeptics who think this is hogwash, I would remind you of the effect the moon has on the ocean - the tides occur for a reason, you know.) Right, where was I? Yes, Mercury retrograde. While this might well be part of my restlessness, I think that to be fair to that maligned planet, quite a lot of my mood is just to do with me. I've been "back" - (no, those are NOT gratuitous quotation marks - I can hear all my relatives muttering).

Geez... rather a lot of tangents in this. Ok, right, so I've been back in the country for nearly two months already, and after all those experiences - spiritual, emotional, physical - I understand that there is no going back. I can't return to where I came from - spiritually, emotionally, mentally and even physically - because that would undo everything I've lived through (I hope that explains the quotation marks).

So... I find myself feeling a bit at loose ends. I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing the friends and family I've seen since being here, and am having a wonderful visit with my parents, who are absolutely the most generous and hospitable parents I could have asked for. I've won several Scrabble games, which is very gratifying. But now it's time to move on again. This time, moving on isn't so much geographical, but it's no less important.

For the last 15 years or so, I've struggled with bouts of depression. Some of them were more serious than other times, but they were fairly constant. I spent a lot of my time alone, as many depressed people do. I hid from social interaction, sometimes acknowledging the depression and other times blaming being an introvert. It occurs to me that there is a very significant difference for me in choosing my Galiano hermitage. I'm not depressed. I'm not hiding from social interaction, while feeling left out of all the good things happening around me.

This time, I'm consciously choosing to explore my inner world through solitude. I'm happy with my life and myself and I want to enjoy it. It's like being a newlywed on a honeymoon - only I'm reveling in the joy of being with me, not a spouse.

I am extremely lucky to be in a position to take this time for myself. I am so grateful to the gifts of the Universe that have gotten me to this particular intersection of time and space. I have a very supportive family and group of friends (that's all of you!) and I've been fortunate to have a job that allowed me a) sufficient income to save money and b) a leave of absence. I do believe, though, with all my heart, that it's ultimately a matter of choice. I've made choices regarding my lifestyle, income, etc to take this opportunity. I'm willing to live very simply, with no income for a time, in order to have these experiences. I'm so glad I'm doing this for myself!

And while I was at least partly being facetious about not wanting visitors, I was partly serious too. I have chosen the Gulf Islands to be close enough to my loved ones so that if I want to seek company, I can - either by leaving my hermitage or by inviting guests to join me. There will undoubtedly be times that I want to share my space with friends and family, but there will be other times that I will be out of contact - just like when I was traveling and had no internet access. Thank you for understanding.

It's good to be home.

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