I’m dreading the return to Minnesota. I just spent such a lovely time with the international crowd in Mexico, the divers, the doers. They don’t work too hard, yet the work they do, they do incredibly well, and with pleasure. I like that lifestyle.
It’s not the city I fear. It’s not the people, it’s not the job, it’s not even the cold. It’s the oppressive history of the place, the lack of awareness of the past and present. The knowledge that all those around me now are looking around themselves, are seeing the world both for what it is and for what it could be, and those where I’m going look to the temporal, the painful now, the ardor, the ugly, the dead. It’s the comfort of greeting someone with a smile and having it returned thrice over.I miss the warmth in all senses of the word.
But oh, I have learned! One never forgets the sound of the ocean! Nor the culture it carries. “The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson. I’m not the same, inside or out. If I slide into old habits again, it’s just a temporary lapse in reason. Put me back in the right environ and I’ll sort it out. And I’m actively seeking out those places now. And that action is paying off. I’m revealing myself, and I think, encouraging others to do the same. I’m finding the good ones, because that is what I need to do right now. I’m finding the good ones, and they are finding me, too.
I am leaving what I know as paradise. My senses are free to explore here, there is no if, there is only now. But I think, beneath the ugly and the slag, there is paradise hidden everywhere. Paradise is not a location, but a state of being, a state of mind. Perhaps, in being stretched this way and that in this beautiful place, I have made a return to paradise inside myself. I plan to carry this paradise home.