The vagabond inside of my heart has led me to a grass ocean in Uruguay. These days I find it best to do whatever the vagabond in my heart says. Wherever it tells me to go, I go. I go before tomorrow is today. I go. I go consumed by wanderlust. I go. I go on a wing and a prayer. I go.
I traveled a little over a day to get here from Hawaii; 22 hours by air, two by bus, and one and a half by truck. It was 4 a.m. by the time the truck made its way to the windy dirt road that leads to the ranch.
A thick perfume of wildflowers and eucalyptus floated in the air all around as we drove further into nothing, beneath tunnels of trees, with dust flying.
I could feel the sea salt shaking off of me one km at a time. I could feel the faith as we passed handmade signs that read “Aleluya!” I could feel the eyes of the woods watching me, like fortunetellers with a silver clarity.
I couldn’t see much of the farm when I arrived and I slept well past sunrise. When I awoke, I was just north of the garden of Eden.
The farmhouse belongs to a cowboy doctor who is also a friend of the wind. We met just before I set sail from San Diego.
I was walking down Shelter Island early one morning, when the cowboy pulled up beside me on his bike and said, “I heard what you are doing and I think it is really cool.”
His accent was thick and the morning carried a cool breeze. I looked slapped together in rags- messy hair, teal pajama pants, a dirty white t-shirt, and gold orthopedic sandals. Behind me was a wagon filled with two containers of oil that I had pumped out of Juniper’s bilge. I was on my to properly dispose of them at the fuel station. I looked so unusual that earlier that morning a sailing buddy saw me, took a photo, and sent it to everyone that we race with along with the message “Please help feed the homeless.” I didn’t care what I looked like, I was in a tunnel headed towards a dream, my brain had no room for thoughts of fashion. My eyes fixated on a fastener that laid on the ground between me and the cowboy. A boat is always in need of a fastener.
I picked it up while I asked, “What am I doing?”
“I hear that you are sailing by yourself to Hawaii, that is so cool,” He said.
“Oh yea that, how do you know about that?” I asked
“Nick told me,” he could see my confusion so he went on to say, “you know he owns the shop over there.”
“Ok,” I shrugged. Who was he talking about? My brain had no room for proper names either.
He told me that he was from Uruguay and that his name was Mati and then he said, “I have passed you three times today and your aura is so beautiful that I could feel it from across the street, but your heart, it needs healing. God told me to come and help heal your heart. Would you like to have dinner one evening this week?”
I am sure this sounds ludicrous to most people. A line a man feeds to a woman who looks “spiritual” or “hippie-like” in order to get into her pants. But this wasn’t the first time a man has come up to me on the street saying they have a message from God that I need healing. The last man who had done so was the former head of cybersecurity under the previous two presidential administrations and he was also the former president of ICANN. Beyond his ability to protect the cyber realms, he was a powerful healer who had studied under Carolyn Myss and the like. I will call him The Spider. Anyway, The Spider spent four days doing energy healing for me and there was absolutely nothing sexual about it. It was like reiki mixed with prayer and I released a lot of heavy shadows while gathering a deeper perception.
So anyway, when Mati said this, I didn’t bat an eye. I am always cautious, but open to healing work. Besides, whose heart doesn’t need a little healing?
I invited him over to my boat later that week. He placed a hand on the back of my heart, moved it in a clockwise motion and said “Don’t worry I am here.” I don’t know what happened or why that touch was so potent, but I started crying really deep, hysterical tears. I was choking in search of breath, hyperventilating, succumbing to the light. Mati left, and I fell asleep to the sound of my own tears. When I woke up the world was spinning, my head was pulsing, I couldn’t take a single step without falling. That’s what I call the healing hangover.
I saw Mati each day that he was in San Diego, and when he went back to Uruguay we both cried because it is rare to meet people who connects with the world the same as you do. Someone who drinks fire with the spirit and floats in the clouds. Or perhaps not. Perhaps what is rare, is to meet someone like this and also feel a spark of romance. That part was new for me and confusing.
It was worth traveling to the other side of the equator to explore.
Mati’s farmhouse was built 200 years ago and has three rooms. The entire house is made of pine, horse shit, ornamental tiles, a tin roof, skylights, cement and stone. Cement and stone. Cement and stone! The walls are all windows and the world is a fish tank. Everything around me bubbles.
Waking up in a new country often feels like I am an alien who has just fallen to earth from a planet that is infinite light years away. My senses thrive in the new galaxy, for they crave novelty and fall like stars without adventure.
Sometimes it can feel really overwhelming on the new planet, because I can only understand a small portion of words that come from every mouth that I encounter. Sometimes I accidentally respond in French, because it is similar but not the same, and my brain knows the words of it better. Sometimes I flip the language around in my mind until I reverse the meaning of things, because on my planet it is “the honey mermaid” not “the mermaid honey.”
So here I am, just a “sapo de otro pozo,” toad from another pool.
And this toad also fumbles her hellos, by actually kissing the cheek instead of placing her cheek on theirs and creating a kissing sound. I should touch cheek to cheek and make that kissing sound to everyone in a familiar room, both when I enter and when I exit. This, I sometimes forget. So not only am I giving far too intimate greetings, I am also rude to the majority of a room by accident.
This pool is hardly the most foreign that I have been to. I was once so deep inside the amazon of Ecuador, that I was almost to the border of Peru. And there, on that remote Amazonian planet of; muddy waters, pink dolphins, pet monkeys, parrots, blow guns, jungle juices, and naked humans adorned by tree-nut tattoos and feathers, I was the strangest stranger of all. So strange that the women touched my hair and grabbed my breasts, then touched their own, to see if we felt the same. One even licked my skin like a lollipop. If I truly knew their language I would say, “Honey, the difference between the shape and color of our shells doesn’t matter, beneath it all we are both just salt and blood and bones and water.”
On the Amazonian planet, I witnessed a partially blind man catch a wild baby monkey by using his blowgun and vigorously shaking a tree until the mother monkey dropped it. The blind man used my sock to make a leash for the baby monkey. We kept it with us in our canoe and fed it bananas as we motored further into the jungle. Our journey was serenaded by the heartbreaking screams of the monkey’s wailing mother. She followed us through the tops of trees and shrieked until she had no air left in her body.
A few days later we left the baby monkey as a gift in one of the villages that we visited. I do not agree with thieving the monkey, but it is not my place to interfere with the way another community chooses to live their lives- that is how societies crumble and knowledge gets lost.
I later let the partially blind man give me a tree-nut tattoo on my face. There was no mirror so I couldn’t see what everyone was laughing at. When I left the Amazon and stepped onto the streets of a heavily populated city in Ecuador, some boys yelled “Indian” while moving their hands rapidly in front of their mouths and laughing. When I finally found a mirror, I saw that he had tattooed cat whiskers on both sides of my nose. My eyes watered, it was a joke but some part of it seemed so cruel.
Anywho, on these other planets there is a forced severance from certain elements of the world. I crawl inwards and spend a vast amount of time in observation. Hovering barely above the dirt in my tiny flying saucer. Pretending I am invisible. Existing without expectations. Folding sunsets into memories. Colliding with the riptides of my mind. Wandering in existential realms. Devouring the true essence of life.
When I must communicate, I do so like the animals, insects, and plants that surround me. With primal signals, which cannot get distorted or lost in translation. And because of it, I grow closer to that which is wild. Finding comfort next to the four-legged ones, the ones with tails, the leafy ones, the two-legged ones that are so fresh they crawl, or the two-legged ones that are so close to departure that they almost crawl.
To be continued….
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