Before we move through Thursday, I have to take you back to Monday and Tuesday, and also through yesterday, Wednesday.
On Monday, Diana, Michael, and I took a walk together in search of an elusive patch of grass that Diana had seen the day before and that had inspired her as a location at which she wanted to photograph me, surrounded by hibiscus and other flowers that we had collected off of the ground during our walk. It took much longer than expected to find this grass, but it was truly remarkable grass – it looked like tiny mountain ranges and had a sort of Icelandic feel to it. The grass was soft on the feet, but like pins and needles when I lay down. During our walk we talked about love, and what does “normal” love even mean? What is normal?
Diana managed to bring snow to Mexico, and I was also the subject of this photo shoot, which created some very cool images. Michael was our main snow thrower. After snow showers in Akumal, we headed to La Buena Vida, and ate lunch together on the beach. I had an amazing Sopa de Lima (Lime Soup). At lunch we talked of aliens, ghosts, and whether heaven and hell exist. You know, just casual Carribean conversation.
After lunch, I took a walk on half moon bay, in search of plastic for my project. Not too much to be found, but I picked up a few more pieces of dead coral for painting inspiration.
I worked on another coral painting, with orange and purple, which I really love. It is so freeing to be able to spend as much time as I want in this creative mode, just exploring and discovering.
When I arrived to yoga on Tuesday, I found a gorgeous yellow bird who had died on the doormat. We placed this lovely creature in some flowers, and during my practice I thought about how I wanted to photograph this bird. When else could I get so close to a bird? So, after class, I returned with Diana (who I imagined could make some really cool images with this subject), and we photographed the bird, and then gave it a proper burial between to large leaves.
Michael, Diana, and I also took a walk together to the local library (I think this was on Tuesday, but time is melding together), and met about 30 wonderful kids from the pueblo there, who were eager to speak Spanish with us, and to show us their drawing skills on a dry erase board. We were able to find some interesting books there, and then headed across the bridge together to the pueblo of Akumal.
In all of my visits to Akumal, I had never been to the pueblo, also known as the “jungle” side of Akumal. We went to the pueblo in search of a paint store called Comex, where I needed to pick up sandpaper, a face mask, primer, and sealant for my tiles. Success! The tiny store sold about 12 things, but 4 of those 12 things were exactly what I needed!
Our walk through the pueblo offered many interesting sights, and many friendly people. We scoped out some possible mural sites for Michael, and came across many fierce looking guard dogs who were rolling around in the dirt in sheer happiness, and not fulfilling their guard roles at all (luckily for us). I saw lots of potential places to photograph, and made a mental note to return soon with my camera. Michael, Diana and I ended the day sharing two pizzas and blackened brussel sprouts at Turtle Bay Café.
Yesterday (Wednesday) after the amazing swimming with Marta and the turtles experience, the weather changed dramatically, and resulted in a downpour that lasted for hours. The strong steady sound of the rain was really soothing, and even the sound of thunder is somehow relaxing here. It reminds me of a cassette tape that Trever Felder and I used to play that was just rainforest sounds. We would set up a tent in the living room and pretend it was raining in the jungle. But now I am really here, recording the real sounds of the real rain in the jungle!
I spent Wednesday doing Hatha Flow in the morning, and then editing video of sea turtles, playing with the use of shadows to trace the intricate lines of dead coral, and participating in Kim’s writing workshop in the evening. There are currently 30 kids from Peru sharing our studio and kitchen space, which has made things interesting, but they seem very interested in my work, which is fun. I invented this amazing contraption yesterday, where I placed a dead fan coral overhanging a cup, and then placed an old and much taller PVC pipe next to this cup. I rested my iphone, in flashlight mode, on top of this PVC pipe, and it created the perfect shadow of the dead fan coral on the tile below, so that I could trace it!
After a meal of tacos and brussel sprouts with Kim, Michael, and Mary Jo, I returned to the CEA dorms, and hung out in dining room with Alejandro, Michael, Diana, Diana’s friend, Marta, Laura, and Sarah. Marta and I had a really wonderful conversation, over my citronella candle, about love and the importance of dreams, and reiki, and being connected to the universe. I will miss Marta so much when she leaves on Saturday, but I am so happy that I was fortunate enough to meet her during this brief time. We talked about a lot of difficult things that had occurred in our lives, and then Marta said, “But imagine, if all of these things did not occur, we might not be here together, sharing this important conversation, in this moment.” Ah, and again, everything feels like it is falling into place. I feel, finally, like I am on the right path.
I returned to my room at around 11pm, and opened the door to go to the bathroom. What I saw next, I cannot describe in words. I had been in my bathroom just an hour prior to this, and it was clean, free of bugs. But at 11pm, it was literally INFESTED with ants large and small. I had been told that this may happen – that army ants (the size of spiders), could potentially move through rooms in epic proportions, but just like I didn’t think I would have a tarantula, I didn’t think this would happen in my room. But it did. Thousands of ants, congregating in my shower, working hard at something? Eating something on the wall? Creating large pockets of black nests? I took a shower in Diana’s room, returned to my room and sealed the bathroom door shut, and finally succumbed to sleep at 1:00am.