…the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww! ~Jack Kerouac, On the road”
“Marianna te quieres a venir con nosotros?”
Angela – the housekeeper of our casa- wanted me to go out with her to celebrate “el mes de San Juan”-again. She looked really nice. I’m so used to see her in her working clothes that I barely recognized her all dolled up in a nice dress and a lot of pink make-up. I was just lounging in my yoga pants and didn’t really feel like putting in much effort on appearances. I’m not really here to impress anyone anyway…
“Well, porque no?” I yawned. It’s weekend and I probably won’t be able to get any sleep tonight from all the party noise in the streets. So I better join it.
Oh San Juan! You are a town that just really celebrates absolutely everything in life. Most people here have really little and life is far from easy down here and yet… every day and…night is a ongoing feast.
If it’s not dia del madre, dia del muertos, semana Santa, or Hipica carnival, then they sure find a another ‘dia del God knows what’ to blast loud reggeaton music, dress up in colorful clothes and dance all night.
Last week it sure was ‘dia de Marianna’.
Exactly a year ago I spent my birthday next a hospital bed praying to all the gods for not taking my sweet grandma away from me yet. This year feel so lucky because EVERYONE I love is healthy and still alive.
I sipped too many pittaya margaritas (read 2) in an infinity pool, surfed until my arms fell off, went horseback riding in the jungle, saw dolphins, saluted the sun from a sailboat, had fun crazy times with Stephanie, took ukulele lessons, salsa lessons, laughed until my jaw hurt and danced, danced, danced all night long under the almost full moon.
Thank you San Juan, for reminding me that EVERY day is to be celebrated, that there is always something to be happy about, and most of all to not take things so seriously all the time. This is a third world country and last night I fell in love with everyone in town, having so little, but yet celebrating so hard. Valuing happiness over money, prioritizing time with the community, friends and family.
When our final days eventually arrive we won’t reflect on the long hours we spent at work, we will remember family, the places we travelled, inspiring people we’ve met, the mind blowing conversations till sunrise, the hysterical laughs, the carefree dancing under the stars…
I only get to live this life once. If I’m lucky enough to make it to age 90 I have less than 800,000 hours between the time of my birth and the time I’ll die to cherish and enjoy all the things that make up this crazy dream. One third of that time I won’t even be awake for, so why not make the most of the remaining time, right?
As I was dancing to the music, swaying my hips to the sensual rhythm of this life I realized that my troubles aren’t as big as they seem. I gazed up to the black night sky and a warm cleansing rain came down kissing my cheeks, purifying my soul. There she is, our big mysterious universe, larger than I’ll ever be able to imagine. Filled with burning balls of gas, galaxies and solar systems beyond counting, and thousands of other civilizations fighting their own wars and facing their own challenges.
In a very real sense:
I. am. insignificant
What better reason could there be not to take your life too seriously?
Intoxicated by existence I smiled a million “thank you’s” back at her, thank you for this beautiful mysterious creation! Aaaaah yes, these are the moments when my bottled up wildness wants to break free and I get sparks in my eyes that send out electric currents as strong as lightning bolts, just looking to create a little bit of trouble here and there, the delicious pleasure found in interrupting the stagnation that occurs when we simply just drift our days away.
The only thing that really matters is enjoying this crazy ride as much as we can and helping other people do the same.
I looked over and realized that, of course, I already lost Angela in the dancing mass. A stranger approached me and pulled me away from the crowd.
“Come, I know a fun place where we can go.”
Soaking wet, laughing and slaloming between the tropical raindrops, we disapeard into another night of fun in San Juan.