I don’t recall exactly when or where it happens, but at some point between the fishermen and staring the other end of the horizon, I have an epiphany.
Walking this wild sand beach, as close to Mozambique as I’ll get on this trip, staring at the South Pole and into the Indian Ocean, it dawns on me that the space in which I personally learn the most is the space between people, in relationship. Here I am, literally on the other side of the planet–and please don’t think for a second I don’t realize how fortunate or lucky or educational or didactic of an experience this is, too–and all I can think of is how having a foil, a human mirror, is a gilded gift for perusing the hollows of my being.
Being in relationship, as in, relating with someone else, is a whole universe onto itself, a device of spiritual proportion, I see, one that can be just as astounding, just as revolutionary as seeing a surfer get torn to shreds by the white sharks that frequent this corner of the globe.
I can choose to flee this space, this amorphous void of goo uniting me to you, putting up boundary after boundary for fear that if you peer too far into my soul, you might find that like the universe, it’s mostly empty space.
Well, so what.
Life is too short, and if I take a cue from the Indian dude I sat next to on the ride back from I-can’t-remember, you are in my life for a reason and me in yours, and the longer I play hide-and-seek between my ego and my id, shuffling between constructions of identity, forever the thespian, the longer it will take for me to contribute to your journey and you to mine.
So, I propose we drop the bullshit and the pretense and dish up a dose of harmony, two people in sync, connected from our solar plexus and heart chakras, strumming a melodic tune of karmic proportions.
I wonder, dear friends, what would happen to our plighted world if we do like they do on the Discovery Channel–kidding! No, in all seriousness, what would happen if we do as the Asian dude I met on the train on my way to Agra and live with our hearts open, poised to embrace instead of retract?
Maybe we’d be a mess of magnetized beings, chest bumps galore, free love personified, although perhaps minus the long hair and tie-dye, not that there’s anything wrong with it.
I don’t know, but it’s high time I head back to return the rental car or risk being charged another day, and a shower might be a good idea before Loretta comes to pick me up at 1 PM.
Budget Backpackers, here I am, ready to hop into the shower, flip-flops on, of course, because you smell like the dorm bathrooms from my time in the Buckingham of Kittridge, and I actually find it quite nice to be warp-sped back to a time when my days consisted of academic philandering and socializing.
It’s brunch time, which means I get to go back to the cute little coffee shop I found when I first walk the St. Lucia streets last night and get to know this seaside tourist town with a reputation for its chillness and beauty. There, I stumble upon an older French couple from Toulouse who barely speak a lick of English and tell me a misguided story about the fever tree and how it causes malaria when it is really the mosquitos that frequent the swamp in which it grows.
Then, because my St. Nicolas Day epiphany still demands attention and resolve and contemplation, I remember that once upon a time for my thirtieth birthday–when, I make an appointment with a super duper eastern masseuse astrology lady where it just so happens that her only availability falls on my day of birth in a year of auspicious reckoning, the big 3-0, a fact she totally didn’t know until I show up at her doorstep for a little introspection, which, I tell you, is entirely too well orchestrated by the universe to be mere coincidence …
Back to the point, which is this–the little lady introduces me to a little something called a northern and southern node, and believe it or not, I found it to be uncannily telling of my trials and tribulations, and on this day of revelatory proportion, this memory resurfaces to remind me that Leo is my north node and therefore comes a knocking on my door in the form of a lover–my interpretation–to guide me out of the dark recesses of humanitarian work and self-sacrificing travails to the limelight, a struggle for this nose-to-the-grindstone double Capricorn who would much rather be behind closed doors than front and center.
And, as luck would have it, my Leo lover has a North node in Virgo, an element of my astrological make-up, so maybe, just maybe, we are cosmically destined in ways I can’t even fathom.
Fire and brimstone, indeed, and while I’m not quite sure how I feel about having lived a thousand lives and yaddy, yaddy, ya, I am, however, intrigued by this twist in perception, this fresh perspective on the intentions behind our actions, the idea of nodal direction, the lessons to be learned in our lifetimes.
It’s back to planet Earth, for Loretta is fifteen, then thirty, then an hour late, and I fret, thinking my older companion suffers an accident, but no, just severe traffic delays, and instead of arriving at 1 PM, she pulls up like a rockstar at 5 PM, still fresh as a daisy despite a half day of driving in hell.
Let the adventure begin.