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Monday, March 26, 2007

On What Possessed Me To Go To Mexico: A Year Ago in Retrospect

It must have been exactly one year ago. The pollen was beginning its unholy tirade of a plague. Not even nature can go through a rebirth without her birthing pains. It always jabs me in the nostrils and the eyes…as I am experiencing this very moment as I write. My pain, however, was not focused on anything that had to do with birth or renewal, or laughing, singing springtime. No, it was not the green tidings of a beginning; it was the green waving of an ending. It was the early spring, but the autumn of my day; the harvested fall of a good thing. My pain had its own leaves to shed. My pain…was a pain that owned me. I could not just cast if off has though I owned it.
And why should I open up a valve of a cracked heart for you to peer in? Why should you care about MY pain? There is enough of it spread throughout the world already. Facebook and blogs are designed to divert us from our pain…not introduce us to more. Who really advertises pain these days? We’d rather forget it exists and go nose-diving into our pleasures. But there is every reason to believe that with every pain comes rebirth and with every thawing winter, the bud-yielding springtime. And those who distract themselves from the pain miss its magical renewal.
My purpose in writing this is to surmount the churning digestion of an event; it tastes bitter to the tongue, but pumps iron to those blood vessels. Writing is a catharsis; an audience is a group of surgeons; your reading eyes, sharpened scalpels that though, cut into me, connects the severed tissues into some sense of coherent form. So my pain was there as it always seems to be, lurking around an event, ready to show its froggy eyes at the first hint of a soul’s nighttime.

Also, the thing that you must know about dramatically-inclined people is that they particularly attract dramatic situations, as though they go out of their way to be dramatic. Maybe even to the point of improvising on an otherwise dull situation until it is exactly to their taste, downright dramatic. But one thing you can bet your own pity party on is that if a dramatically-inclined person actually goes through a real dramatic situation, he or she will replay that experience again and again in their own heads. It’s the movie that the dramatically-inclined person can never tire of. For he or she is the star and the director and even the writer, to rewrite the script in that film set, that Hollywood of the Imagination: Many times, he or she will write the script even more dramatic than it actually occurred, making everything entirely over the top. However, there are times when everything is already over the top, and all the dramatically-inclined person has to do is replay a phrase or two and the entire stage set is seeping in drama. This the dramatically-inclined person will air as mental reruns for about a year and then he will try to give his very own version of the dramatic situation in full novel fashion detailing every foul look and every rolled eye. Ahem…

However, the “clever” dramatically-inclined person who is different than just the dramatically-inclined person will almost entirely omit the dramatic situation to give it an air of intrigue. He focuses on the after effects of the drama, thereby making the reading more curious of this particular shroud of dramatic mystery, and therefore to the ambivalent reader, makes the whole piece half-concocted in their own imaginations as to what happened, which renders it that much more dramatic for them and for the writer. I, my good people, happen to be a dramatically-inclined person. And I will stake a limelighted stage performance, that I am also clever.
The drama had occurred. I will not mention what the fight was about, or even her name, or who she was. If one is a Christian, one should strive to not write about someone they had a falling out with. When you no longer speak to a person, you should not speak too much about them. Do not give their memory too many words. This will deliver two things. No stabbed backs and no lasting effigy that they meant that much to you. You wipe your hands off, keep your head up, and walk away whether or not inside you are all broken. I wish that I could add that that which is not spoken of is soon forgotten…but this would be a lie.

Perhaps the biggest let down in love is not how little is really out there, but how little you, yourself hold within. To speak that glorious 3 word phrase should hold us to more. Perhaps, that was my biggest disappointment. How one month I could love…the next, I could hate. I wanted to run from this realization that maybe that is all there is. The flimsiness within myself and the flimsiness of others. I needed something solid and constant. And all the while with the job I didn’t like, and the town that I seemed to be trapped inside of…a dazzling new idea fell on me. It was those types of ideas that fall from out of nowhere…that for the less crazy, we pass off as absurd, but for the half-mad, we consider invigorating. It was a desert whiff of Mexico. It was that scorched slab of fierce sunlight from below the border in an otherwise dark corner of suburbia America with its crumbled hopes that set this mind at ease. It was the search, the test of putting myself out there to see just what God would do. If he actually listens, if He actually cares, and if He actually does provide for us. My faith needed some sort of transplant. It needed livable examples. And I, and here I admit my immaturity, needed escape. And a little adventure on the side could never run wrong with me, either. As a lover, I proved poor. But as an adventurer, I always prove superb. Give me some of that desert air, some of that lime in my taco. Let me hear God’s name sung in Spanish once more.

I think in images. Perhaps, that is the only true way to explain my reasons for going to Mexico. I’ll picture something in my head and if I can just seek and find out that perfect picture than I am happy. I like to paint my own pictures of paradise because reality always seems to far short. The image crept up on me and like many very strong images…they are just as symbolic as they could be actual. Somewhere far away, I would be walking in an isolated desert. That fiery Mexican sun vivifying the ground on which I trod, mountains, and dusty winds. -An ancient cathedral in the background. And this feeling that I have been traveling, wandering through many, many things. Sun-scorched and thirsty, so thirsty…but journeying and knowing that there’s water out there, knowing that even in the midst of loneliness and isolation that there is community. And knowing that even in the appearance of abandonment, there is presence, perhaps the most intense sense of presence. This is why I went to Mexico.


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