Monday, July 27, 2009

Ecuador &c.

I'm back from Ecuador!

I've been home for 8 days, actually, but I have been avoiding the computer. It feels unwholesome. And a few blog posts absolutely cannot capture 6 weeks worth of trees and Spanish and people and mountains and almuerzos and waterfalls and rain and mud and solitude and bus rides, so I have been putting off my I-am-back post, because there is so much to write about and yet I already wrote about all of it in my travel journal. I bought this notebook right before I left, and it's full now. 120 sheets of paper, all covered in my handwriting. Loops and lines of blue ink, swirling and tangling all over the pages. I also took 590-something photos, so I don't feel compelled to describe the layers of leaves in the cloud forest, or the rush of the river below the bridges I jumped off of (with a harness and rope), or the barrage of color and texture at the market at Otavalo. Having written it all down once, I am reluctant to write about it again.

Instead I shall post 4000 words worth of pictures:

I had a lot of adventures, learned a bit of Spanish, had many lovely mornings waking up slowly and writing down dreams, got good at hoeing around coffee plants, and lived in the present for the vast majority of those 6 weeks. Life is good when you're not fretting about the future and wondering how else you could be spending your time now, or what you're going to do next. I want to live like that more often. Be less distracted. Not worry about finishing my sentences properly. Or doing things quite right. Or seeing all the people I "should" see. It's okay if I spend a week lying on the grass in the backyard reading and drinking tea. It's okay if I wait another 8 days to update my blog, and it's okay if I never type up my adventures for the world to read. The world doesn't really need to know. Even if I don't write about the experience, it is still real. More importantly, even if no one but me reads my writing, I still wrote it.

My life was simple when I was in Ecuador (not to say it wasn't exciting or eventful, though), and I don't want to lose the peace that simple-mindedness brought me. I don't want to be in a hurry, and I don't want to be eaten up by a to-do list. I don't want to budget my every minute. I want not to catalog every sensation, but to feel it. I don't want to ponder the past but to drink in the present.

All that to say: if you want to know more about my trip, you'll have to ask. :)

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