If I could open my arms
And span the length of the isle of Manhattan,
I’d bring it to where you are
Making a lake of the East River and Hudson
If I could open my mouth
Wide enough for a marching band to march out
They would make your name sing
And bend through alleys and bounce off all the buildings.
I have to stop. I can’t let New York haunt me in the same way South America haunts me still.
Recently, during relaxation after yoga, my mind almost immediately jumps to visions of South America. Maybe it’s because I was at my most mystical/sentimental/meditative during those 11 months of traveling. I feel the same green light that was so prominent during my ayahuasca excursion and behind my eyelids I see an entire movie of moments from that time; thankfully, all the positive ones. I’m supposing that my brain associates meditation with some of my experiences over there. This in itself strikes me as interesting because I’ve had much more powerful meditation experiences since then.
I am by no means deeply into meditating…it’s almost impossible for me to empty my mind and think of nothing. Especially recently where I haven’t been working, my mind is on fire. It churns thought after thought. Sentimental and useless crap that I fixate on due to a lack of anything else to occupy myself with. So to be “still” I follow the mantra “let it go” and repeat that to myself over and over again until really it’s the only thing my brain is thinking of…but it’s still something. Interspersed with agitated whispers of “let it go” I find pictures and sensations, both interlinked. As I said, recently those have been snapshots of my time in South America. Once I have realised that this is what my brain is focusing on, I try and manipulate my mind to focus on one short-lived moment in particular and I breath in so deeply, scrambling to recall the scent of the ocean. As I exhale, I feel sad that I can no longer recreate the immense calm I felt at that precise second.
Tayrona National Park, Colombia. I stand out on balcony of the shack on the hill where our hammocks are strung. The sun is setting in such an epic fashion that I’m sure I will never be this blown away again. There’s a fuschia streak laced around a purple hued cloud that dips into a sea of orange. It’s marvelous. Next to me is my new Kiwi friend, who at the exact same moment as I glance over at him, turns to look at me and smiles. Both of us shake our heads because neither of us have words for…this. This perfect combination of sight, smell, breeze and friendship.
That was my little Eat, Love, Pray moment. Although I like to think that I’m slightly more eloquent than she. I’m always amazed by what gets published these days. Granted, the lady who wrote Eat, Love, Pray was already a slightly celebrated journalist. A career I turned down. She was also absolutely crazy…a personality trait I’m not entirely lacking in…so maybe I still do have a best seller in me…?
My biggest regret? I didn’t get to talk to my granddad about his family history. There’s a novel so rich, intricate and fascinating within the branches of that tree. I want to write it. I want to pour myself into it and through my research discover and re-live all the secrets of the Colonial Indian subcontinent. I’d be paying homage to my ancestors and of course exploring the vastness of the lands. So many people have been inspired by, traveled and written about India. (Not so much Pakistan) So many white people have done it that I feel like it’s a complete cliche going to the country(ies) of my heritage. It would be akin to 100 Years of Solitude or The Moor’s Last Sigh, 2 epic family sagas.
Ah, goals. Somewhat unachievable? Maybe..but I guess what’s most important is that you keep dreaming becauase otherwise you have no material with which to create a reality. I’m going to keep New York close- it was a dream that I made a reality and to dismiss it would be to set myself up for future failure.