Oh Dear, Is it Christmas Already?

December 24, 2009

Amigos latinos – lo siento que este primera parte es en ingles, pero la majoridad de la gente que conozco no pueden hablar nada de espanol!  Por eso, he escrito un parte abajo para ustedes.  Feliz Navidad!
Dear friends, lovers, compatriots, comrades, respectable citizens, drifters, bums, and those simply unfortunate enough to have landed on my email contact list –
It’s Christmas, and I’m almost certain that means it’s the time of year to send out a thoughtful message, full of meaning, good cheer, and hope, to ones we love and care about.  Unfortunately, in my family, that usually happens in February, so I’m not exactly prepared to do it today, and because of that we’re winging it – stream of consciousness is my strong suit anyway.  Here goes nothing…
It’s my first time “alone” for Christmas – not truly alone, of course, but none of the friends I’m here with were friends before this summer, before my life changed so dramatically and suddenly – for the better I wager, but changed all the same.  I’m in Nicaragua again, using my last minutes in Leon to draft this letter, and by tonight I’ll be in a little place called Los Zorros – you won’t find it on any maps, 150 people in a fishing community, a lagoon, and a wide-open Pacific shore.  In a couple of days I’ll be heading south again, on a frantic rush toward Columbia via Costa Rica, Panama, and a long boat ride over New Year.  It’ll be an adventure, I’m sure, because everything is an adventure if you make it one.  There I’ll be taking Paragliding courses for a month or so, living on a mountain, reading and deciding what to do next.  My money is gone, practically speaking, will be truly demolished after February, and so I don’t know the next step, except that it will probably be a good story one day.
Enough of that sort of thing – I can’t focus too hard on future or past because they distract me from the present moment, and in this moment I have a bus to catch, a letter to write, a beach to run circles on.  I miss you all terribly – every time I let myself, my mind floods with memories of friends and loved ones – It’s good in a way, because it lets me know I still care, tells me I haven’t changed completely.  If I still miss you, I must not be a complete stranger yet.  Yet – that’s the operative.  I’ve changed a lot in the past months – living on the road, out of a bag, in Spanish, does that to a guy certainly, but coupled with a burning desire to change my own world, to reform reality in my own image, to play god in my own life, has led me to torch myself, to rise from my own ashes over and over – I average a 3 month lifespan now – 3 months from new life to the next, 3 months with friends, 3 months before I flee, give away my belongings, and start over.  It’s been fantastic, this fall from grace, this shedding of veils, this desperate search for the truth.  I’ve found inner peace, a recipe for true happiness, love, a muse, my ability to cry again, friendship and human kindness at every turn.  Not bad, considering I left home in February for a job – a job that, incidentally, made this all possible, by throwing me out on my ass in the third world.
I mean, what was I supposed to do?  Take their plane ticket, their $50 stipend, and just go home?  Fail?  Never.  They taught me how to survive, corrected my awful gutter Spanish, tutored me in “how to live” and accidentally taught me “how to survive” in the process.  I owe a great debt to the US Peace Corps, and to Miss Trudy Jaycox especially – if not for her ignorant, intolerant, downright idiotic decision to throw me out, I would never have had the opportunity – nor the inner flame – to take this leap, shed baggage, burn bridges, and leap – desperate – into the great unknown.  I’ve had the time of my life, and I owe it to someone who called me a young idiot, “culturally insensitive” to boot.  How’s that for a lark?  I’m still smiling about it, but then, I smile about most everything these days.  I’m happy with my new life, with my freedom and ability to move, happy that everything I own fits in a backpack, happy that I can do the wild, adventurous things that make me happy, happy that I’ve found so many others – crazy, hopeful, loving, wild, joyous – people like me, in a world where I’d almost given up hope of finding anyone like that.  It’s never bad to find one’s values vindicated, one’s way of life functional in the world – better than sex, to be honest.
I’ve met so many amazing people, travelers, teachers, poets, artists, musicians of every stripe, retired university professors eloping with their former students, hippies unrepentant after a lifetime of love and peace, anarchists, rebels, troublemakers, jokers, ex-workers, Dutch people, beautiful women, mysterious strangers – all the outcasts, misfits, those who can’t, or won’t live a life in a society they don’t like – the dregs of society, if you will, but it tastes like the cream.
These past months, 10 of then, as of 2 days ago, have broken me, reduced me to a heap of human rubble, and reforged me into someone stronger – they say that without constant challenge, the human spirit can never reach its potential, but I never imagined it would be so painful, so all-consuming.  The work is paying off though – I’m a better, stronger, lighter, more certain person then I ever was before.  I worry that those people I left back home won’t recognize me when I come back, but that’s a silly fantasy – this curly mop is pretty much unmistakable, as is the goofy grin beneath it.  What I mean though is that I’m not who I was before – more intense, less passive, much surer of myself – I might look the same, but I sure don’t act it…  Out here, in this world, it’s great, but when I try to picture cramming this self in to that life – well, it ends in fistfights most times.
This is rambling at its worst, because I’m talking too much about myself – its Christmas, and nobody is going to sit in front of a machine and read it when there are cookies and presents to be attended to.  What I really love, looking at this email, is the list of people I’m send it to – half the world seems to be represented, at least 10 or 15 languages, each representing a life, and each life conneected to mine in some way – people I’ve kissed, people I’ve cried with, friends from childhood, friends from last week, drinking buddies, people I want at my (never happening) wedding, people I’ve ridden around in trucks with, others who have really saved my ass when I needed it most.  You’re all a part of me, and I’m just honored to have touched your lives.  Thank you all for our interactions, our small melding of lives, and may you all find what you want under the tree this year.  Merry Christmas to all, and if me and my dirty bags come barreling into your life again someday, I expect we’ll just have to celebrate.  Kiss your loved ones, smile like you mean it, and tell everyone I say hello – if they don’t know me, well, they ought to.
I love you all deeply, and no, I’m not just saying that.  -k
Y finalmente… Feliz Navidad a todos mis amigos espanoles!  Lo siento para todo ese basura arriba – algunos personas de este mundo no pueden hablar el Espanol!  Imagine…  que loco no?  No tan loco como mi gramatica terrible y falta de accentos en este correo, pero, la realidad es que mi compu falta teclas para esos, y he olvidados las combinaciones para hacerlos – es como “alt” mas una pijasa de numeros, y a mi no sirve.  Si algunas palabras son confusandas, la mas ofensiva probablamente es correcta.
Pues, es la Navidad, y todavia estoy en Centroamerica.  Hoy salgo de Leon, Nicaragua para la playa al norte – un pueblito superpequeno se llama Los Zorros.  Una amiga vive alla, y su casa es menos que 20 metros de la playa!  Porque estoy incapable de planificacion, estoy un poco solo este Navidad, pero ojala que todos ustedes sean con tus familias y amigos – no te preoccupes en mi, estoy acustumbrado a este situacion, y si no tenggo amigos mios, pues, necesitare conocer a nuevos, no?
Me extrano mucho a todos ustedes – de mi familia anfitriona de Honduras (Gustavo, porfa diga mis saludos y Feliz Navidad a todo tu familia!  He perdido el correo de sus papas.) a mis amigos de Francia, Mexico, Catalania, Guatemala, y muchos mas!  Todavia no creo mis suertes  – conocer todos ustedes ha estado un de las cosas mejores de mi vida recentamente, y planifico mantener contacto con todos.  Vivan en un parte magico del mundo, y si puedo, continuare mi vida aqui por tanto tiempo que es posible!  En serio – antes de entre Centroamerica, tenia pena que los gentes del mundo eran muy separados, solitarios, y antipaticos, pero hoy se que ese fue solo una caracteristica de mis gente, de mi pais, porque aqui todos me traten como familia. Tu amablidad y carino me importa muchisimo – no hay las palabras decir que te debo, y por eso solo puedo decir gracias para todo – son un parte de mi vida, y mi corazon siempre.  Si puedo hacer algo ayudarte, o mejorar tus vidas, simplemente digame.
Que pase un feliz Navidad, y que toda pase bien en el promixo ano (si, te puedes reir en ese error!)
Con mucho amor -k


One Response to “Oh Dear, Is it Christmas Already?”

  1. renee Says:

    Did’nt know you had a blog. Got it sent to me from Nancy Caras.Your family and mine and the Caras’s went camping out to the mud caves after Christmas to the desert.. Did some mud caves, hot tubs and Ed showed your mom and the boys how to target shoot..fun was had by all.Kenny was quiet but talked to me a little more then he usually does..
    I enjoy some of your journals,,It would have been some of the same kind of rambling I would have loved to have done when I was younger, but its easier to travel alone when your a fella. A lone woman always catches a lot of attention.
    Your dad seems o.k. but your mom looks anxious a lot.I don’t think it was in her master plan to have to worry about all her boys so much at this stage.
    Its quite eye opening to be on your own day to day and make no plans farther then your next meal and just have your brains to get you by,,, a great adventure,,,please just remember that there are some bad situations out there in the world that you may find yourself in that you may never be a able to extract yourself from.You can find love in the hearts of most but also find a cold true evil that has flourished for years walking down the road side by side with death, a smile on his face.
    “Rather than love, than money,than faith, than fame, than fairness…give me truth” HenrybDavid Thoreau.

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