Trinidad de la Selva (Excerpt)

2.8.2019

Below are the first three and last three journal entries from my travels to Ecuador in March of 2018. 

 

QUITO, ECUADOR  

 

03.07.2018

Landing

Delicious Chilean wine is being served at dinner time in the dining room of Hostal la Rabida. I spent my first full day in Quito near a little pocket of hotels where the experience still feels Americanized. There's a black bunny named Brownie that lives on the grounds, a small comfy bed, and golden lighting. Heavy sheets. The beauty of creaky wooden floors.

 

I am remembering the satisfaction of traveling to faraway places, listening and observing the world with uninterrupted open senses.  It feels most productive to do this either alone or with company who also knows how to be alone, which I've learned is a rare type of person.

 

People must run off to the mountains (or the rainforest) simply because they are tired of hearing one another’s complaints. We all need a break from that. Sometimes it feels lonely swimming upstream in the flow of pure joy, without commentary, without questions.

Above worries about things I may have forgotten for the journey ahead and the sloughing off of feelings that no longer fit, I am also reminded that what matters most is giving my body exactly what it needs. It's the greatest feeling in the world.

 

03.08.2018     

Cuerpo Abierto

 

Jetlag is working itself out of my body. My cells are starting to settle into this place and begin to take everything in.

I commit to practicing my español while getting around in the city.  

The taxi driver chants “Ay dios dios dios dios” between smiling kindly. We got lost many times.  

At the Museo de Guayasamin, the feeling hits me as soon as I see a violin in an open case with electric blue velvet lining: I am happy in this body; she has done so much. She has been through a lot. I promise to take her where she must go to open more freely in every moment.  

Ahoy from the mountaintop, little lady. Ahoy. Buenas tardes, mi amor. Mi cuerpo abierto es una bendición.

 

The quality of the sunshine here lights everything up differently. I am walking through a painting.

Dogs bark from the rooftops. My eyes enjoy the shape of sprawling homes on the mountains, the variations of light and dark that the clouds make on the hills.

 

Trinity, remember all that happened in the empty gazebo in the park, the horses named after booze running home, the resounding sound of hooves all around you while you a wore a smile that would break the average human face.

 

03.09.2018     

Tamarillo All the Time

Breakfast time:

Brownie the black bunny keeps sneaking into the kitchen. It takes dodging two giant swinging doors to get in. The people working in the kitchen gently guide him out each time.

 

There's a tamarillo jam that I wanna spread on everything I eat. Today I'm meeting the taxi at 10am to see  the winged virgin, gardens, cathedrals.

I woke up this morning with realizations about how I used to be and how I'd like to live from now on. With all the best intentions, I used to live life giving others more than I had, unknowingly feeding a pattern of belief that doing so made me complete, or a "better person". Sometimes as people, we talk a lot about the things we yearn to learn or lessons we just recently discovered, before our own process is complete.   

Outdated conversations with myself are quieting down, ending.

Now I look for next steps and affirmation.

I see now, after much experimentation, that cultivating one's own life allows us to share true passions, talents, knowledge in a meaningful way with others. The phrase "mind your business" has been redefined, minding my own business takes up my own time and my own energy, and then something different comes alive. Actions from a self-created quiet place are more sustainable in the long run.

 

I can't get over how much brighter the sun shines here. It makes the flowers look brand new all the time!

 

~~~  Dinner Time  ~~~~

 

I'm eavesdropping on a large dinner party sitting behind me. Lots of laughing between buddies.

 

Simultaneously, a man and a woman are having what seems like a post-argument dinner at the table next to mine. They're trying to drink the tension away; it's not working.

 

I wanted more wine, but I spent my remaining budget I had for the day on a really great book that was recommended by the owner of a book store a few blocks away titled Red Dress for Dancing Boleros by Carmen Cecilia Suárez. Notes in my own writing have been making  their way to the margins.  I read it aloud in english and español when I'm alone in my room. There will probably be more of that tonite.  

 

03.10. 2018

Mirror-mender

Last night I dreamt that I could fix broken mirrors just by looking at them, fusing together the edges.  The showmanship of putting my hand out with extended fingers seemed to help people freak out less about it. My sister was in the dream, calmly witnessing.

 

I feel another strong pang of missing family and friends. I missed the sensation of touch. I breathe deeply, rub my feet together under the bedsheets and begin reaching out to friends by sending them messages while watching telenovelas and movies in Spanish.  

 

Suárez writes about the types of affection she missed the most, the kinds that made her feel alive from head to toe. Holding hands. Tucking your face into someone's neck. Being held on purpose. 

 

**Moments after writing this last sentence, a few ladies who are a part of the group showed up to the hotel. I arrived here several days earlier than the rest of the group and now my travel companions trickle in.
What timing: the antidote to loneliness. Familiar faces are prayers answered in faraway places.**

 

 

 

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AMAZON RAINFOREST, ECUADOR

 

Last Full Day in Náku

Morning dream and vision share. Laughing remembering the nighttime creation story of Sápara. Hugging circle. Last dip in the river when the Spirits were sleeping. Sharing of culture and routines. Baby cayman. Giant turtle. Dance of the women. Dance of the Jaguar. Manari give us necklaces. The last dinner. Passing around the bowl of chocolate. Choosing to stay looking up at the stars for as long as we could instead of sleeping.

 

 

Last Night in theJungle

As if I could scoop it all up with a cup, my entire body drinks the air and as much as I possibly can of the sounds of life.  

 

Many changes are afoot in this bodymind.

 

As certainly as I can hear the breathing of my tribe and the creatures of this forest, as sure as I have danced and cried in the torrential rain, as sure as the humidity and the footsteps of something wild over leaves, the swing of the hammock, smoke from the fire, and the river on my skin, that though it is almost impossible to share what we have done these past days, our power lies in living from our new beliefs. Our power is choosing to be a living testament to the victory of slogging through the mud, of falling in love with ourselves and one another, of living unparalleled bliss despite missing our loved ones, of looking into the eyes of those whose daily existence shrink our imaginations to the size of city-dwelling ants relative to the true immensity of the jungles that we are within ourselves.

 

Manari advised me to remember my power, my ability to help those who are ready, those who are asking for this Trinidad, Star Woman, one with the jungle, one with the Spirit of Time.

How wonderful, the pure body of experience we have become, that “I” have come to know.

All as a result of falling in Love, the Love we fall into as ourselves, with or without another.

All as new criteria for future lovers and fellow connections. The agreement that love is the the force that initiate growth. 

 

Fireflies have offered questions: Are you willing to breathe and traverse your own existence? Are you willing accept that the creepy crawlers are not after you,  even if they’re ten times the size you thought they were and have sprouted wings? Are you willing to breathe and accept that we all actually exist to guide the balance and to make things better? To die and decompose in order to make what follows bigger and brighter?

 

I wonder. And while I wonder I accept the splendor of the challenge. From this day forward, I accept what is actually in front of me. I accept the realness of reality while I continuously choose to create one for myself that allows me to thrive. I will live with so much joy and beauty, love, precision and tranquility, that others will beg to know the secret.  The secret, dear friends, is a choice to live my life as a testament to who I became in the jungle: Life on life on life. No more, no less.

 

P.s.

The beauty of now is my little red headlamp light, the pencil’s flow, and the fireflies. I hear my human jungle friends breathing among the owls, cicadas, monkeys, the river over rocks. Dreams wake me yet no rest is lost, blending so much with reality that life is nourishment enough. Reality sure is something.

There is actuality, a new found freedom to cultivate the bridges of spiritual connection and personal awareness.  There is immense comfort in knowing that what I have been feeling in my heart is Truth, not imagination. Truth is proving to be much more beautiful, much more fun than the imaginary, and the realest of the real in the best way possible.

 

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HACIENDA TAMBILLO ALTA, ECUADOR
 

It is 5:30am. I woke up singing a song my new friends shared with me. I forget some of the words but I sound things out and it works just fine.

There is too much quiet; longing fills my chest. As slowly as my travel companions arrived, they have gone away. I write in this little book as a way to connect to the jungle and the partnership I felt with all things.  The primal one is still alive in me. The romantic is still alive in me.  Body is aware that we must climb back into our own respective jungles.

 

Realizations rush in like the rain:

There is a bar we have set for ourselves about how we want to be witnessed and seen. As sure as the evolution of humanity needs our attention, as sure as Mother Earth needs our loving action, the dream that needs to be changed first is the sense of Self and Great Spirit that we bring out into the world.

 

The motivation to live the brilliance of our Truth at every moment might take all the living things in the jungle to remind us.  And truly, My Dears, it now lives in our hearts.

How did it get there?

Through the blessings of tobacco ritual smoke, through dancing with a people of pre-Incan lineage, through the sound of the rain beating the drums of our superbly thatched huts and hitting the cymbals of the forest canopy, through knowing what prowled in the dark, tiny things that nibbled on our skin, laughter in the hammock, tears, and purging, through friendships forged by headlamps and canoe rides after sloshing around through the mud, through hands held while crossing over fallen moss-covered trees, the passing of walking sticks, stories by firelight, and singing while holding one another while the earth went dark.

Through realizing that  as much as everything can hurt, everything can heal.

Voice of the matriarch sharing the history about the walls of her home, summing up the chakra map of our bodies, and discovering how we all dream. Discovering that if we are alive we dream. We got to know ourselves through feeling what it’s like to ride a reluctant horse in the rain, sharing how we have fallen in love with too many people, and trying to figure out how to hold it all in these magnificent and complicated bodies.

 

How do we hold it all?

 

I believe the answer is: we don’t.

Instead, we let it change us at our molecular core. We remember well and breathe deeply enough that our minds do change as well as our beliefs. Followed by actions, experiences, impact.

At some point in life, after a deep experience that shake the others loose, we start to feel things differently. Bit by bit we change our own individual world through a thousand mini-decisions we make along the way. When life is carried out with intention and purity of heart, we begin to carve a pathway for others making the same kinds of decisions from the same kind of internal place, even despite the details and excuses we used to come up with in order to feed our dark imaginings.

 

When we actually embody--depth of breath from head to toe, heartbeat to heartbeat, enlivening the currents of our electrical mind, we indeed carve a path just by example. We evolve ourselves cell by cell, molecule by molecule, build new things, and play in the intercourse of sensory input while feeling the feeling of true partnership with the moment.   It’s a force we have named “time”, and it rolls along. Breathing time in, harmoniously with our experience of change, allows us to grow. We have called this growth force “love”, Arútem, Náku, Ua, God, Great Spirit, prana, Hashem, Alo, Ashe, Qi...plus all of the names of those who have rocked our worlds so hard that we’ve faced our deepest fears with a shake of the heads and a phrase like “Well, let’s just see what happens next…”

 

After feeling all of the emotions possible, I want to share it immediately.  

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned on this journey is how to join others in their space.   

When I see someone sitting alone, even from several feet away I ask permission to approach to join them. Not for lack of feeling worthy enough, but instead out of the deep regard for the sacredness of their process, careful not to interrupt their feeling of aliveness, their feeling of home.

 

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