Tropicalia

I’ve been struggling with this post. Truth be told  I’ve been struggling with posting in general. The last few months of 2011 were kind of dark for me. There were lovely highlights,  lots of truly sparkly moments but underneath I have been trying to sort some stuff out. For as much as I naturally seek the beauty and the joy in everything, for as much as I see the glass always half-full, a part of me leans heavily towards the blue and nostalgic. The stuff I have been working through has to do at it’s core with trust. There is a conflict of emotions that I don’t know yet know how to put in words. I can’t yet connect it to the narrative of my life. I need more distance before I can write about it. So before everything gets smooshed up I’m just going to post what I’ve got.
I just got back a few days ago from two weeks in Puerto Rico. It was a very mellow Christmas by Puerto Rican standards. There was a lot of crime and violence this past year. More than there has ever been. I think that probably contributed to the quietness of the holidays.  Of course, mellow here could be considered full of reverie in most places. Christmas season isn’t completely over until the feast of San Sebastian, which starts this weekend. That said, after staying in and spending New Year’s eve with my mom, I woke up thinking my days of being wild and young were officially done. (Let it be known they did not go down without a fight.)
This vacation was really good for me. I feel replenished. I feel different than I did before. It’s was good to be home, to spend time with family and friends. It was also the perfect place to embrace all the experiences of 2011 and step into 2012 with an open, valiant heart. It is so beautiful there- breezy and warm. The skies clear and full of fluffy clouds. Cumulus clouds, my youngest sister, who will turn thirteen next week and is now as tall as me, reminds me. There are large iguanas, one sadly dead in the middle of the road, and tiny lizards. Everything is lush and green, and like clock-work at least once a day, if not twice, the rain rolls in and washes everything clean, and then making you aware that you are in an island, promptly rolls out.
Each day home was its own sort of lovely. I took a twenty-four hour Brady bunch-like trip to Saint Thomas with some of my younger sisters, my dad, his girlfriend and her daughters, and went snorkeling for the first time. I walked with my mom to the ocean early January 1st. I went to the beach with my sister and then after drank sweet, cool papaya shakes made with coconut water, cinnamon and vanilla. I went to the beach with Anouk and drank lots of mojitos while we talked about life and love. I bought tuberose on the street and filled my room with their perfume. I ate my favorite breakfast, a baguette toasted on a press and cafe con leche, with my sister Lili, played with my niece, saw most of my cousins, had long, lovely meals with girlfriends that I’ve known almost as long as I’ve known myself, and sat in the glow of multi-colored Christmas lights on my mom’s balcony talking late into the night. I heard lots of Puerto Rican Christmas music, ate all sort of fried things filled with cod or crab or beef, and drank plenty of Medallas, the world’s best shittiest beer, alcoholic water really, and the absolutely perfect thing to drink in the hot, humid weather. I baked for my family, read Joseph Campbell, and got lots of rest.
The end of last year had me climbing walls. Since the moment I decided to move to Paris things seemed to move at a snail’s pace but now that my departure date is getting near time is really speeding up.  I started this week a little heartbroken (more on that later, I think) and jet-lagged but at the same time I felt very light and full of love from my trip. Today I keep getting jolts of excitement and also waves of sadness for all that I love that will stay in LA. As I finish writing this I am sitting on the floor with the entire content of my closet around me. I’m sorting out what I will take , what I will sell, and what I will give away. All the paperwork for my visa is on the bed waiting to be sorted and a long to do list, that includes selling my car, looms somewhere in  my bag.  The coming weeks are going to be crazy but in a good, exhilarating way.