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Weekly Log #76: There and Back Again

My weekly ritual for looking at the week that was.

I have returned from my trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, also known as “The Motherland”.
I had to stop logging because I was quite literally offline during the month I spent at the beach. And instead of fighting the flow, I decided to go with it and take a break.
Now I’m back to the UK, so it’s back to logging.

  • The beach! I didn’t remember much, it’s been so long, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Something remains of the little girl who couldn’t get enough of the sea. Also, pastries! Tarta de Ricotta! “Mate” at the beach. Wearing the best swimsuit in the world, possibly. Daily naps. Reading “Women Who Run with the Wolves” and learning about archetypes. Watching “He-Man” in Spanish, because time has not gone by all that much in Argentina.
  • I spontaneously got into doodling. Let’s not jump to conclusions here, because I only watercoloured one thing and doodle another thing, and they are all subpar. But worth pointing out that I can still do it, and that this still holds the quality of “possibility” for me.
  • Travelling with Dad to the beach, then spending two weeks with him. Challenging in a heart wrenching way. Like being torn apart again and again. And also, deepening, in the sense of carving out my soul so that I can contain more.
  • Not writing. It just didn’t happen. Also, no yoga, since I had no mat, and I could not get up at 8 in the morning to yoga at the beach. So yes, mea culpa, I spent a month without yoga-ing.
  • I also spent a month without internet. And without my computer. It was challenging, but not as challenging as I thought it would be. It put into focus just how much e-mail I get that doesn’t add anything to my life, and how many hours I spend on social media not actually. So much energy and so much time for nothing. I wish I could say this cured my social media addiction, but sadly, it didn’t. I am clearly distracting myself with the illusion of “busy”, to add a substitute sense of “meaning” to my life. A breath for this being what it is.
  • All the Beach Flat Drama, involving a broken water heater, a sub par oven, and a tv that didn’t work. Nothing like being at home, as my Mum says.
  • Getting angry at the new Argentinian government. Parents watch the news a lot, which meant I would swear at the tv a lot, while cooking. I cannot bear the thought of these self-serving arseholes selling off Argentina piecemeal to foreign nations, for a cut of the profits. It’s colonialism by another name, namely “economics”. The expression in Spanish to describe these bastards is “vende Patria”, i.e.: “Fatherland sellers”. That is exactly what they do, common people be damned. A breath for the world being blind, and for not being able to change things for the better. And a breath for me, for learning to put up with it all without losing my marbles.
  • Hanging around Argentinian people and finding it not as “clash-y” as before. Also not missing English as much, and not being so anxious about not speaking English in such a long time. Progress!
  • Also, hanging out with family not as challenging. We are all adults now, so that might be it. Spending time with family has its own kind of beauty that is impossible to explain. It’s like… love diluted into the every day life. The minutia of life is where everything happens, and it is particularly useful to be present for it, because that’s where love is happening. Diluted into the minutia of everyday life.
  • More teeth drama. Do-not-get-me-started. And a huge bill for my parents, which they graciously footed without a word. A breath for all this trauma, and for the love that is present in such an act of generosity. May I never forget that I am loved. Amen.
  • Going to the theatre to watch Jorge Bucay, a psychotherapist. Did you know that Argentina has the highest rate of psychotherapists per person? He’s also an author, and he used to have his own tv show, back when I was a teenager. Anyway, it showed me that it is possible to be on stage, talk to people about “internal stuff” and also, subtly, talk about politics and the world, so long as you don’t use the word “politics”.
  • Went on a tour guide on the Teatro Colon, the Argentinian Opera House. It is stunningly beautiful. I had never been there before. I also went to the beach house of a wealthy Argentinian publisher / memoirist from the beginning of the previous century, and I found it fascinating. Dad and I had scones with coffee in the veranda of the English styled bungalow.
  • New website! I have been wanting a new theme for ages, so I just… did it. It was challenging, but not as much as I feared, and now Widdershins is looking very sleek. Yay for new website!

Moments of Insight

So many insights. I think my insights have changed, now they are “wider”, and less “focused on a single, sharp issue”.

  • It’s actually a relief to find out that nothing can be as bad as I imagine it to be. Knowing that I have a natural tendency to make things worse, and letting that be the case without judging it, allows me to act. And now I can say, like a mantra, “It cannot be as bad as I imagine it to be”.
  • All I need to do is find people who are attracted to me, and let those who don’t just… don’t. Ha! Obvious, right? But I know feel it on a deeper level. I have to find, say, men who are attracted to dark haired women, rather than obsess about those who prefer blondes. Some men, like Charles Eisenstein, are attracted to women who are “merciless”, i.e.: awake women who call on his sh!t, who are good at pointing out when men are out of integrity.
  • This insight is actually quite priceless, though it showed up in a sneaky way. In essence what happened is that I didn’t write on my journal at all during my time in Argentina. This was challenging, because I identify with the label “writer” and as everyone says “writers write”, so to not be writing is very hard on the ego. It was a balancing act between the self-loathing and berating on the one hand, and the self-compassion and “acknowledge and allow it to be” on the other. Now as I get ready to leave, my journal painfully empty, I realised this: I am now far more comfortable with change and with travelling than I used to be. It’s hard to describe, this sense that “this is not the last time I’m visiting, this is not the last time I’m doing this, I don’t need to record everything out of fear”. This to me is huge, because I realised some time ago that I would never be able to travel with as much fluidity as I wish, if I’m in a state of very-mild panic and urgency.
  • This insight is similar to the one above. It sounds… unimpressive and it goes like this. “You don’t find the perfect life anywhere”. I know, right? I mean, duh! It’s all related to how people ask me “are you having a good time?” when I tell them I’m at the beach, and I have to make stuff up because I’m not having a “good time”. What I’m experiencing is much bigger than “a good time”. And that’s the whole point. Because life is bigger than “good” or “bad”, and the goal is to experience it all. And we can’t experience much if we are forever hankering after “perfection”, which doesn’t even exist. Perfection is “other people’s lives”; perfection is always forever “out of reach”.

    I also discovered that I’m not a “tourist”, I am a “traveller”. I travel in order to experience things, not to have a “perfect experience”. I travel because I want to experience something that changes me, even if I encounter tons of grief in the process.

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