"My romance with time - a slow, sensual dance that I’d been enchanted by for weeks - felt like it was changing. It was taking on the edgier feel of a familiar partnership where expectations and demands creep in and the tempo changes."
~ Calista, Slow Dance to Santiago
It’s been incredibly hard to find the time to sit down and write this short blog post.
Since arriving back in California, I’ve only had a couple days without something on my schedule - lunch with a friend, contract work, medical appointment, Tantra workshop, book signing, or family gathering. I spend a lot of time checking my phone to see what time it is and to make sure that I won't be late for the next event in my calendar.
I've always had a bit of an adversarial relationship with time. I know that part of of it is me and my own patterns of creating a lot of "busy-ness" in my day-to-day life; but there is also an element of cultural conditioning. In the U.S. (and some other places in this world), I'm constantly reminded that "time is money." I'm immersed in media that shows me how to be more efficient. How to do more. How to get it all done and still have time to hit the gym on my way home to cook dinner for a family that may be too busy to sit down to eat together.
I'm noticing that there's a more-than-subtle difference in the way time feels here in the U.S.
The flow of time is erratic here. One hour gets stuck, and then the next pulls loose to lurch forward at the speed of insanity.
The texture of time is different too. It feels heavier and has rough edges that I keep rubbing up against. I feel pressed in by it. Uncomfortable.
I miss living in places where there was a slower cadence to life. I long for the softness I felt in the way that time flowed in and through me.
In Spain, I walked at my own pace along the Camino. The days stretched out along the coastline and I marked the passage of time based on my appetite. Instead of counting in hours, I knew only when it was time for a mid-morning café con leche and tortilla, lunch, afternoon pintxos and red wine, or a late evening dinner at the albergue.
Peru gifted me with long days that unfolded like my yoga mat, rolling out to give me time for practice, writing and a daily walk into the city for coffee or a meal. I spent as many hours wandering through the mercado or ducking into a cafe to wait out a rainstorm as I did sitting at my computer finishing my first novel.
The general lack of urgency that I felt in Huaraz and Tarapoto made for a natural transition to living on "Tico Time" when I landed in Costa Rica at the end of the year. In Nosara, I attended workshops and training which held to a schedule, but there was still a relaxed flow to each day. When I woke at 6 AM for morning meditation, the birds and howler monkeys showed up to watch and to join in when we chanted. Lunch breaks were long and sometimes sunset classes happened at the beach.
This past few months, time runs ahead of me, taunting me and laughing as I try to keep up. Each day, I push most of my to do list to the following day or the following week. Things take longer than I expect them. For weeks, I've barely stepped onto my yoga mat. I've neglected my blog and stopped sending newsletters. I feel tired and agitated and unsettled. I'm done trying to keep up.
It's time. It's time to slow down and invite time to walk with me. To dance with me. To breathe with me. And to meet me on the next leg of my journey.
It's time for me to step back out into the world again. I"m headed to Nepal in a week. From there, I'll travel to Tibet and India. I'm bringing my journal instead of my laptop, so it may be another couple of months until I write another post. And I'm okay with that. It feels good to let go of the doing and step back into being again.