Monday, October 09, 2017

not knowing which way is home

Thomas Wolfe and I must be stuck in one of those eternal grapples that pass themselves off as intellectual chitchat.

You know the model. Like Robert Brown's dual role in that Star Trek episode, "The Alternative Factor," where Lazarus and Anti-Lazarus are forever stuck between universes battling one another about -- well, that was never quite clear. But it gave us budding philosophers a classics illustrated introduction to Manichaeism -- with a bit of yin slathered on our yang.

For Wolfe and me, it is the conundrum of home. And I am facing it again.

A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted to apply for Mexican citizenship. One of the requirements is that the applicant can travel outside of Mexico only a limited number of days during the two years preceding applying for citizenship. I would be in the middle of that internal exile period right now.

But, I have decided I am not yet ready to be a Mexican citizenship. For many reasons. One of them is that I want to travel as much as I can while I still am capable -- and before someone shoots me. (But I guess the modifier is a redundancy, isn't it?)

And travel I have. My clock started ticking in March 2016. Since then, I have been to Colombia, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Oregon, Nevada, California, Washington, and several other places I cannot immediately recall. And tomorrow I am heading off to London, Denmark, the Azores, Bermuda, and Florida.

Even though I will be boarding an airplane to Mexico City in less than 24 hours, I am reluctant to start packing. The reason is easy. The central garden of my house is so inviting, there is no place I would rather be right now, than sitting here enjoying the day and writing to you good folks out there in the darkness of the eternal ether.

The landscaping around my pool would please a minimalist. There is just enough to give the impression of greenery.

Two of the planters are filed with heliconia -- often confused with bird of paradise. They do not bloom all year, but, when, they do, their exhibitionism would shame both Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump. The stems are clown-bright, and they last for weeks.

Unfortunately, the lot will bloom for only those few weeks. And then they will be gone until next rainy season. Here, that will be next summer.

Sitting here in the shade on a warm summer (despite what the calendar says) day with a cooling breezes backed up by the heliconia showgirls, I am seriously tempted to tell Queen Marghrete she can do without me, and sit right here for the next month.

I may not have moved to Mexico for the weather, but I do live here for moments like this.

Stephen Sondheim says it best:

Let the moment goDon't forget it for a moment, thoughJust remembering you've had an "and"When you're back to "or"Makes the "or" mean moreThan it did before

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