Thursday, June 16, 2011

Now is the time

"There are two kinds of positive thinking. One kind is thinking that the future is going to be all right, which is based on panic and concerned with security. The other one is not living in the future but living in the present. The present situation is open - you could almost say solid - and real, definite, and healthy. There is an appreciation of the richness in the present."
~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."
~ Helen Keller

During this trip to Guatemala I was having a hard time with something, and I caught myself thinking, "Yeah, I'm going to have to figure that out one of these days." Then it hit me - fer Christ's sake, Davemo, you're almost 55 years old! This is it - you're not in your 20's where you (might) have a long life to sort things out. You need to act, now, out of your best intentions and to the best of your abilities. But this hazy fog of looking into some indefinite future for your answers? That's not happening. You have the answers. You just need to dig deep and act out of that deep place. It's not the I-don't-know aspect that's troubling. It's the indefinite someday-I'll-resolve-this that is so limiting.

That got me thinking about what other things in my life I'm putting off, and how easy that is to do. That SOMEDAY mentality is so comfortable because we don't have to do anything. We can be filled with misty-eyed hope and plans and intentions, all sprinkled with pixie dust, which might just be dried bullshit and glitter.  

When I first started my travels I looked into going to Peru, because "I've always wanted to go to the Amazon." When the fear of going by myself grabbed me by the throat, I had to come to grips with the big question: do I really want to go there? Or do I just want to SAY that I want to go there? The decision to go was painful, fraught-filled, horrifying, and ultimately, incredibly invigorating, enriching, and liberating. To quote the teacher on my last retreat, "No breakthrough without breakdown."

I invite you to look into and question your list of "Someday's." Why are they on your list? Where do you get your "juice?" And do you REALLY intend to make that dream a reality?

Much love to you all,

This set of photos is a mix of my five months in Guatemala.

Liz and Lauren in a church in Santa Cruz la Laguna, on Lake Atitlan.
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This little sweetie really charmed us.
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An enthusiastic game of basketball played by the Mayan girls in their traditional dress.
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An orange popsicle, it seems, and a lovely child, for sure.
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The pueblo of Santa Cruz, high up the steep hill, where all the indigenous people from this village live. There are many houses down near the water, but they're almost all owned by extranjeros, or foreigners.
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We saw this kid on the trail walking down from the pueblo.
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A church in the village of San Pedro, a 20 minute boat ride away from Santa Cruz.. They were having their annual festival on this day.
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I have some nice close-ups of this cutie, but the soda crackers in her mouth are a little distracting!
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Did I use this photo before? Maybe, but she's worth it.
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A religious procession. It's pretty low-key compared to the grand processions in Antigua that I wrote about before.
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A giant snake of firecrackers, which are perfect for commemorating, well, everything. I doubt that a single day went by that I didn't hear them going off somewhere. And the gentleman must be a HUGE hockey fan! "Hockey is Life!" I'd bet that he has no idea what hockey even is. Spanish is a second language in these villages, and few people even speak English, so he may not even know what the shirt says.
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Cute old guys watching the festivities. The one man is wearing traditional woven trousers, which you don't see as often as you do women's clothing.
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An interminable dance slog, er, performance. It's a reenactment of the conquistadors coming from Spain, which is what accounts for the pale faces and blonde hair you frequently see in these dances.
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You can't hear out of tune these guys are. The Gods are smiling upon you!
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These two are having so much fun on the trampoline.
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Child labor is widespread in Guatemala, though I mostly saw it in the form of family farming and chores. Education and literacy is pretty abysmal, and even malnutrition is a big problem, leading to stunted growth and lower IQ's.
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This is inside Liz's beautiful home that she designed and had built 10 years ago. It's a 15-minute walk along a narrow path through the jungle to the nearest transport, which is the boat dock. There are no roads into Santa Cruz. She and her son Myles are on a plane to Asheville, South Carolina for a year.
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When Lauren and I left the lake and were forced to fend for ourselves, we luxuriated for two nights in the beautiful Meson Panza Verde hotel in Antigua. It was cool at night at the end of January, and we had a fireplace in our room. Sweet. (Suite!)
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The famously colorful streets of Antigua. I read that in 1770 Antigua had a population of 60,000 people.
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Look close and you'll see the Domino's pizza logo. It wouldn't be cool to admit that I had their pizza quite a few times. So I won't admit it.
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A beautiful door/gate to what I think is a private house.
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A scene from the shore of Lake Atitlan. The decaying boats in the foreground and called cayucos. Those are two volcanoes in the distance - they line up and it looks like there's only one.
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A rugged-looking boat driver on Lake Atitlan.
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This regal-looking woman was the mother of the bride at a wedding I went to in Antigua. An American man, John, married a woman from Guatemala City, named Blanca.
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A wedding guest. Is she reasonably attractive, or is it just me?
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Blanca and John.
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My friend Kris surrounded by the local rugrats that she's befriended in Antigua. Every one of them, except the baby on the left, works selling something on the town square almost all day, seven days a week. It's a complicated relationship, because even though they do really like Kris, they also always want something. If I was in their place, I'd want something too.
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The arches on the government building on the main square in Antigua.
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Yeah, I like kids, but this one really makes me melt.
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When I came back from an earlier trip, like 10 years ago, I realized that while I found myself enjoying a lot of the photos, I was really gravitating to photos of people. So I made a point of taking more people photos. Lovely child, this.
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Wow, what a beauty.
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Positively edible!
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There was a big food giveaway that I took pictures of for a non-profit that Kris worked with.
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These women are in line for food. Such diverse woven clothing.
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This lovely old woman seemed genuinely curious. She was happy to have me take her photo.
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It's amazing the loads you see balanced on women's heads.
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Curious about me - but not too sure. Get in line, kid - you're not alone.
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This cute American girl was on a volunteering holiday with her family. She's a doll.
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This is one of the wider streets in Antigua. This photo reminds me of the posters of little fish getting chased by progressively larger fish.
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A free music concert in Antigua. The band was from the U.S. It's the same square where the food giveaway was held.
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(The End)