We took a wonderful vacation this year. 2 weeks on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Sweet towns, beautiful beaches and surroundings, incredible food and lovely people. Despite the fact that I don’t like traveling at this stage of my life, I supported this adventure because it is something that G needs desperately. It is precisely this subsistence on heat and saltwater that he turns to to define summer. And I understand his need to pass this definition on to his children.
The kids loved every minute. And I love the simple messages that can be conveyed by just existing in an environment so different from our own. The richness of landscape, the fuzzy distinctions between rich and poor, the fluidity of culture and language. I adored watching them take it all in stride.
But now that we are back it feels like I passed through a geomagnetic storm that wiped out all of my navigational equipment. I can remember clearly marveling over the realization that all of my precious routines and schedules became irrelevant after just a few days away but like a toddler I’ve been scrambling to regain the comfort of their structure since the moment we returned.
I feel a bit ridiculous. Like most of us, I have a simple awareness of the privilege of my condition on an everyday basis but leaving it behind for a few weeks disrupted my capacity for comfortable acceptance, further complicating my already difficult relationship with this home town of mine- one of the wealthiest places on the planet.
In reality I’m grateful for the renewed perspective. I think that awareness is a good thing. It’s the inability to do anything about it that upsets me. I know that there are numbers of people who work tirelessly to synch the lyrics of their livelihood to the soundtrack of their values. And there are many more who exist naturally among the contradictions and compromises that are necessary to get by. It just so happens that right now, I can’t seem to manage either. And I hate it.