Monday, September 9, 2013

Yesterday, today, tomorrow

It seemed like yesterday my cousin was leaving to live in Barcelona, my best friend was graduating with me in Sydney, my friends and I were reminiscing about that time we lived in Spain. Today my cousin is back home after over a year away, my best friend is living indefinitely in Shanghai and my friends are in between coming and leaving Sydney for Thailand and New Zealand and Spain once again.

And me? I'm here in Cocha, really being here in Cocha, not on buses every weekend or plans on plans to go somewhere where I am not. Occasionally though I find myself slipping between the portals of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

I think about the past because it was and is so golden. I get to scrap book images in my mind, culling the tiresome moments and framing all the too good to be true times. The what happened then sucks you in because it is a sure thing, you make it a solid wall to lean against when the confusion of the future or the frustation of the now has you wavering and unbalanced. The past won't let you down. You reconstruct it with all the nostalgia you can muster, the magic photo-shop brush of your imagination and the conjuring of all the places and people that are no longer. The past is all the nights you stayed out dancing until your eyeliner ran and the sun rose, the conversations and connections with strangers and friends whose words stay with you and echo in your mind and all the travels that made dots on a map come to fleshy, breathing life. Yesterday never looked so good.

Then there's tomorrow, the promise, the great perhaps of calendar days soaring past. I fall a little in love with the future too, mostly because I imagine it bigger and grander than the past. While yesterday is comforting glory, the future is pure adrenaline, thrilling and limitless possibility. In the future I can speak to my parents in their native tongue, I speak spanish still and maybe Portugese or Arabic too, I talk about my job with eyes lit up and work like there's a fire lit under my ass, I've lived in the Philippines and all over Australia and perhaps again in Latin America, I have fabulous dinner parties in a small but awesome apartment that is decorated with souvenirs I've bought from India and Bolivia and Mongolia. I can afford expensive imported Chilean wine and treat myself to fancy eco-hotels when I travel, I have a garden where things don't die, I know how to cook in the way that means you don't follow a recipe and I have a room with wall-to-wall shelves full of books that make me feel smarter than I am. It's all my ambition and dreams melting together. The future couldn't get any better.

Though as good as being a tourist in Yesterday and Tomorrow is I've made peace with where and when I am, today. Here, now, today in Cochabamba where I divide my time between children who teach me more than I teach them, where I roll balls of bread while I listen to music in the bakery, where it is almost watermelon season and the end of papaya season, where I am trying to make time to finish my online course in Community Development and where there is always a shared dinner, a new volunteer, an old one leaving and my heart that is constantly being tested and told to open up, again. Today where I am in Yesterday's Tomorrow and Tomorrow's Yesterday. Today where I am as equally far away from where I used to be and where I want to be. Today where I am exactly where I need to be. There's nothing more real than now. 

1 comment:

  1. Breathtaking. Some cultures do go forward by walking backwards, someone told me once that's how the Japanese view things.

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