PJ said it to me on the plane ride home from Costa Rica. He looked at me from across the aisle and said it simply and plainly – as is his way -- trying to commit it to my memory and his own.
"Let's not forget this feeling."
It was the feeling that we were leaving a place that had changed us for the better. The feeling that we were closer, calmer, quieter -- happier somehow. It was the feeling that we had clued into a secret: that a simpler life isn't an easier one, but every challenge comes with a reward. It was knowing that Santa Teresa had been good for us, as difficult as it was to live there sometimes. Maybe because it was so difficult at times.
Now I’m searching for the feeling again.
I've forgotten it somehow. I can barely make it out in the haze of my memory. But it’s there, somewhere, like an itch you can't quite locate.
It’s been replaced with feelings I wish I could forget. They've hung around me my whole life and I wish they would get the hint and hit the road. Indecision. Guilt. Fear. Enough already.
We've been back in LA for six months and it’s been really wonderful in lots of ways. Being back with friends and family. Watching a friend get better. Celebrating Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Going to the movies. Enjoying the amazing, irritating, beautiful, bloated, ridiculous bounty that is life in the US.
We planned to go back to Costa Rica in January, but we’re still here. Part of the reason is financial. But I have to admit a bigger reason is something much more difficult to resolve. Namely me.
Sometimes I think I can just stay still and my perfect life will happen without me doing anything. Not so much that it will happen in spite of me – but that it will happen in some dream state and that it will be good enough.
So here it is. Again. A choice. Stay or go.
Then I think of other feelings I've lost or can’t quite manage to take hold of again.
That feeling of skating down a hill in Central Park – scared to death but exhilarated at the same time. Linda skating -- and screaming – by my side. The feeling that anything is possible. That life is easy and sweet. The feeling that life is full and open and new.
How did everything get so heavy?
There was darkness in the past, to be sure. But from where I stand now it seemed a lot lighter.
Where do I stand?
PJ wants to go back to Costa Rica and be all Viking about it. Hit the beach and burn the boats.
"Let’s not forget this feeling."
I'm trying to believe the feeling is real. I’m trying to believe that it will be enough.