May 7, 2009

Day 3 New Friend- Last Day

I spent most of today in the Hills of Marin County. Hiking past raucous waterfalls and streams, which I am told is a fairly rare experience. All this rain has meant the lake is nice and high, the forest exceptionally green and the company I kept was chomping at the bit to get outside. We swam naked in the lake, a swim that washed away much that needed to be let go of. We sunned ourselves on the rocks with the salamanders. The conversation while often heavy, felt safe and as cleansing as the lake water. Once we got back to Fairfax, I felt like my day was done, full, I could ask for no more....I was wrong! Had I not have had to release a journal out to a stranger I may have gone back to the cozy room I have been staying in, snuggled under the lambskin covers and drifted off, but I had a commitment. I had bought a ticket a few days earlier to an event known as Free Range Sweat, where ecstatic dance is taken out into community events. Last night, and every Thursday, members of the ecstatic dance community gather at the California Academy of Sciences, Night life event, where the museum is opened up to exclusively the over 21 crowd. There is music and libations all in the most grandiose of settings. I arrived alone but knew I would find a tribe. I had not been in the building a minute, when I found a friend. One who lives in Bali no less. He was in the States for a very short time on business and was in fact leaving back to Bali that very night. We found a group of ecstatic dancers who we knew from various events and communities and danced...hard...till the shirts came off and the place was as lively as any dance club. The music ended but not the night. My Bali friend and I decided I would take him over to the airport in order to be able to connect, something we had never really done because of the group settings we had found ourselves in before now. It was at this point that I realized I had yet to find my stranger. As we walked back to his friend Melissa's car, we spoke only briefly, but I knew this may be my last chance. I asked her if she would take the journal. She agreed, a little confused, I explained that she just needed to read the front cover and she would understand. After hugs and good-byes we drove off to the San Francisco airport. It is amazing how intense things can become when there are time restraints. I explained this experiment and told him that 12 days journal # 24, which had been given to his friend Melissa, contained the question “If today were your last, what would you do with it?”. Without knowing I had touched on a topic which had been very much at the surface for him in the last 8 months. He shared his journey. We held each other in deep love. When it comes down to it in “real world” terms we hardly know each other. We have met only a handful of times, I knew his partner, a fellow Canadian, far better than I knew him, but it didn’t matter. We were experiencing an extraordinary circumstance; an Englishman who lives in Bali, meets up with a Canadian womyn on an unscheduled trip to the States, in a San Francisco museum, all with just 2 hours to explore this fantastic meeting we had manifested. As I kissed him good bye at security, it was 1:00 in the morning and I walked away knowing I had just experienced one of those events where life shifts, just like that.

I don’t often reveal what I write in each journal before it is sent out into the world. I do write in every one but I give myself the chance to be anonymous, and have yet to include it here. I am not going to break with tradition. But I am going to tell you that what I wrote in the journal, what I would do if the day were my last, was fulfilled. When I woke up yesterday morning I could have stayed caught in the web of murkiness that I have been stuck in these last few weeks, but instead I lived, and I did it big.

I received word from the recipient of the third Open Heart Letter and 12 days journal #12. He and his wife’s home is under threat of wild fire. So please keep them in you heart.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know. I'm torn between thinking I'd like to frantically try to cram as many of the things I've always really wanted to do into the day vs. just wanting to relax and be with my loved ones.

    Knowing it would be my last day would make it really, really hard for me to enjoy it. I would feel like I hadn't been given enough time in this life. It would be hard. The thought of living "each day as if it's your last" fills me with a kind of weird dread, and I get alternately paralyzed with indecision over what to do with it and trying to make sure I don't "waste" it and then filled with frenetic energy to try to cram as much as I can into it, which then gets stressful and not enjoyable.

    So I don't know. And I'm not ready to ponder that question. And I'm ok with that.