last place in the priority race

I know. I know! What’s it been — three weeks without a post? It’s worse than when I was on Utila!

*slaps own hand*

BUT, in my defense, my life feels like the 6 – 8:00 slam session at In-N-Out. Monday thru Sat I am shooting from 8:30am often until 12:00 at night. And on my day off, all I can manage is to drag my weary body down the end of the beach where there isn’t a soul in sight, drag a chair into the water under a palm, strip down and CRASH for 6 speechless, motionless and blissful hours. But after that there is still the camera to clean, the next week’s schedule to make, the film to number, the laundry to do…..

E-mail and Blogs, unfortunately limping in last place in the “priority race.”

And although it IS work, I’m not complaining. Not only is the money more-than-sufficiently padding my travel savings account…but this pace of life is fascinating for me! Where do the days go? Where does life go? I saw Christmas and the New Year flash by through my viewfinder at a shutter speed of about 1/4000. And my birthday! Yesterday I woke up at age 26. I celebrated my last birthday Guatemala — which seems to have occurred around 500 BC. Since Jan. 3rd of last year I’ve traveled/lived/worked through El Salvador, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand and the Dominican Republic. Yep. 25 was a very good year. I’ll enjoy picking up that wine bottle from the cellar of memories someday when I’m 80.

And 26! 26 will be even bolder in flavor — because although I did NOT wake up feeling any “older” today. I DID wake up feeling wiser. On my first morning of being 26 I sat up in bed with a clear vision of what I’m going to do in the next two years. Now how often does that happen? Not very often. Not for me anyway. And although I always leave great margins of error for side spontaneous adventures — my general agenda for Sol 2003- 2005 goes a little like this:

May 2003 — Finish up with my stint at Club Med.

Although it’s been offered for me to stay another season, and although I love the work right now, I just can’t bear to see my life fly past me so fast for another 6 months. My learning curve is high right now. I’m LOVING being a “professional photographer” (if only they all knew I was nothin’ but a silly business major!). But once I know the ropes, it’s time for me to move on. And I think I’ll have those ropes unknotted and lasso-ed in 5 months. Besides, I can always come back and work another season next year.

June – August 2003 — Puerto Rico

I’m determined to get down this Spanish thing down. All that I need it total immersion. I’m thinkin’ that I’ll just find a family in San Juan to live with — and then I’ll spend two months studying and speaking Spanish during the day and salsa-ing through the night. Yea!

Late August – September 2003 — Oregon

I’m in one of my best friend’s wedding. It’ll be the first day I’ll be reuniting with some of my very best friends from high school. I’m so excited I could really cry. A month of down time for quality hugs and lovin’ from my family and friends is also enough to water my eyes.

October – December 2003 — LEAPNow

I have full intentions of leading another semester with LEAPnow. I’m in love with that company and its mission. And it was some of the most meaningful “work” I’ve ever had the joy to participate in. I don’t think THEY realize how serious I am about continuing to work with with them. But they will. 🙂

January – March 2004 — Buddhist Retreat Center

Sparks were flying in my heart and brain during my week at the Chenreznig Buddhist Retreat Center in Australia. Something is there for me, awaiting discovery — and I fully plan to go back and dig it up with a few month work-for-board internship. Lots of time for spiritual study and internal reflection. My soul craves it. And just in time for what’s NEXT on the agenda…

April 2004 — Walk the Camino in Spain

A one month pilgrimage in Spain. I’ve always wanted to do it. Now I’ve found the time and place in my life.

May 2004 – 2005 Live in Spain

The first time I went to Spain (July ’99) I took one step into that country, sighed, and said to myself, “Ahhhh. This is it. This is part of me. There’s no need to rush. I’ll be back.” My Spanish skin and blood remembers something there. And I want to find it again.

So I’ve sold my car. My last remaining material possession that tied me to some false string of an idea that I’d ever “one day” be returning to “the REAL world.” Cause if there is ANYTHING that I have certainly discovered over my last two years of travel, it is this; There is NO real world. There are THOUSANDS of illusionary worlds that different societies try to promote and enforce…or that individuals spend their lives desperately attaching their hopes and dreams to — but they are as soft and simple and see-through and breakable as the cobwebs that bind and date them.

The real world is however I chose to perceive it. And today I choose to perceive it here. Where I can smell the sea, and feel the sand, and bask in the sun, and bathe in a lagoon and climb a tree for a coconut. And THAT, is exactly my agenda for today. My free day. My free life. 🙂

So I’m off. And offline also. I haven’t had the time or opportunity to answer any emails for the last month — and continue to be limited in my keyboard access time. These fingers are at the moment, romantically involved with the camera, and are too caught up in that affair to devote their attention to much else. But as with all affairs, the honeymoon will end — and we’ll be back in full-typing-force again soon….(and some pictures ARE coming.)

The sun calls.



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