Thursday, June 25, 2009

Living for Today

Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett died today. Not that I felt connected to either, but they were icons, celebrities, and everyone knew who they were. Jackson was only 50 years old, Fawcett 62. When I was at the John Lennon-Yoko Ono exhibition in Montreal, I was stunned to learn that Lennon was only 40 when he died. He was such a significant figure when I was growing up, and my impression was that he had contributed so much memorable and meaningful music, which we still hear regularly on the radio. Of course we hear Michael Jackson's music too, but he was so odd and unseemly, it was difficult for me to understand his fans and their devotion to him. Fawcett was odd too, and not a great actress, but has been in the news alot lately with regard to her struggle with cancer. The deaths remind me of the fragility of human existence. Life is now, it makes no sense to live for tomorrow. I am so lucky to be living my life day to day, to be taking advantage of this opportunity to live in Ecuador.

These last three months have been entirely geared toward our year in Ecuador. I am still getting our house organized, closing the offices, waiting on my passport, arranging for our flights, getting my papers in order. And moving to Ecuador has been at the forefront of my mind for so many weeks. I suppose much of the pleasure ought to be in the anticipation, but my anxiety about everything has obscured the joy of looking forward to this incredible year. I am not always sure what I am supposed to be looking forward to. I am so accustomed to telling people what a wonderful opportunity this is, but I am not always feeling that. So my extensive preparation will be for a year that will fly by and before I know it I will be back and preparing to move into life. Except that I am feeling that I will never return to the life that I have had. I will be forever changed by this unusual year, and I will not 'fit' back in the mold of my prior existence. It feels that I am moving away forever, that there is no going back. I may be in Baltimore again in a years' time, but nothing in my life will ever be the same. And I am fine with that. The planning and preparing and organizing and purging of this life of mine compels me to move forward.

Leaving our relatively secure existence in Baltimore has been painful and exhausting. Every aspect of the move has been perceived and interpreted as a loss. Losing the dogs and the house (albeit to renters for just a year), losing my work and my patients and my identity and my purpose, losing my friends and my hobbies and my acquaintances and my habits. Losing my income and my security and my sense of control. Letting go entirely of who I am and how I operate. I could go on and on. For weeks and weeks I fought the sense of loss, and then one day it was absolutely fine and I no longer feel loss ( at least most of the time), and now it is anticipation and eagerness. Time to get on with it - no delays- just do it! This is my life, this is me, let's go! I want to live now, in this moment, I want to live for today.

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