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Posts Tagged ‘Life’

hazy like the heart

Hazy like the Heart

Escucha me, escucha me
Si el hecho de mi esta en mi al corazón
Dime porqué, dime porqué
De tal amor dentro a mi corazón

Yo voy caminando
a la montaña donde naci

No puedo vivir
A la noche del camino ir
Al del cielo
Yo miraba una estrella
No puedo vivir
Al lado del camino ir
Que no vivo
Pasa el tiempo

Listen to me, listen to me
If it is real, it’s inside my heart
Tell me why, tell me why
There is love like this, inside my heart

I’m walking to
the mountain where I was born
I can’t live
Going to the road night
To the sky
I was looking at one star
I can’t live
Walking aside the road
I don’t live
Time is passing

-GYPSY KINGS

The heart wants what it wants despite the facts of reality.  My dreams are ladden with visions of something I cannot and probably should not have.  Acceptance comes slowly.

Away from the city sounds. I wash my soul with the ocean waves watching them cliffside from the back yard.  On the edge of the precipice I watch the hawks rise and float on the wind, closing my eyes to feel the wind too.

The city beckons and calls, my oasis near  the water gives me the caress I long for……

 

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UnRequited Hearts

Image

I am completely enamored with the city.  I adore the architecture, the views of the ocean, the blush of flora and fauna, a different type of jungle. The ocean satisfies my soul and the opposing city satisfies my sense of accomplishment and learning.

My heart is torn and is rebuilt within the laughter of a three year old child. I know my decisions are bound by the greater good, though it doesn’t make the decision easier in the short term.

Life and love is transitory, but we are all in the same boat. I try to remember that compassionate acts neutralize sadness. It works, it really does. 

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Excalibur 2009

Excalibur 2009

There are some fates one cannot escape.  I once had dreams of living on a sailboat or an RV, traveling with my home.  I don’t know if I really expected it to become reality, but now it has.  I have made a conscious decision by purchasing this boat, that a part of my life will now revolve, flow, exist with the ocean.  A path forged, sown so long ago, beginning in my childhood has fruited many, many years later.  I played with the idea before, when I owned a 27 foot Catalina.  But now, I am playing with the big fishes…or whales, a 46 footer with a steel hull.  Blue water passages, here I come.

Near the mouth of the Panama Canal

Near the mouth of the Panama Canal

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Tracking

Tracking

I spent five days at the UNESCO world heritage site, Coiba Island National Park assisting with bird tracking research. The island is 46 miles offshore encompassing 150 miles of unspoiled beaches. It is the largest island in Central America, about the size of Barbados. Coiba island is also one of the last places in Central America where the Scarlet Macaw (Ara Macao) can be found in the wild and in large numbers. The sight of a flock of Macaws flying overhead was humbling, I was stunned, paralyzed and unfortunately was unable to fish out my camera fast enough. The island has three endemic subspecies, the Coiba Mantled Howler monkey (Alouatta Coibensis), the Coiba Agouti (Dasyprocta Coibae), a short tailed, plant eating large rodent, the size of a domestic cat. Finally, a bird species I helped the ornithologists to track, the Coiba SpineTail (Cranioleuca Dissita).

Greeting the morning sun from Coiba Island

Greeting the morning sun from Coiba Island

We woke up every morning at 5AM groggily fixing snacks and bottling cold water for our trip and arrived onshore  to meet a boat that took us to a remote area Coiba where we spent about 5 hours hiking through dense jungle along a marked transect.

Vine Portal

Vine Portal

The path was hacked with a machete through the vegetation, an almost impenetrable tangle of vines and bushes and marked with colored markers tied to small trees or branches. We walked steadily through the jungle, grabbing onto vines for hand holds, using roots, rocks, and small trees to steady us as we meandered up and down inclines following the Spinetail and Ruddybacked dove calls and searching for nests.

Knots

Knots

The ground was packed with leaves and rotting foliage in certain areas, careful not to slip, each step measured for reliability. It was intense, and I loved it. With each deep breath, I filled my lungs with a variety of smells, sweet and fragrant from the newly blossoming flowers, since the rains began just a day or two ago.

Hungry Honeybee

Hungry Honeybee

Yet, as the day progressed the humidity and heat rose so our clothes were drenched,we sweat as much as the water we drank. Invigorated as we neared the end of the transect we sat in a clear patch to eat a snack, comparing our observations.

I learned so much on this journey, met some brilliant ornithologists and feel closer to the natural world around me.

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diamonds

diamond

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Memories are revered guests in the temple of my mind and like a welcoming host, I entertain them and listen to their stories. Each visit I decipher a different detail, recollect missed quips of conversation, bask in certain emotions and colors they evoke. Sometimes they require a nightcap, other times they only stay for tea. I try to invite positive ones and they may bring presents of longing perchance regret, I try not to keep the regrets. Here, on the island, where the hustle and bustle of the outside world is missing, I have space for centered thoughts, for deep breathing, and also for appreciation of the past, to recognize and acknowledge what I did not notice before.

Joy

During my daily hikes I always try to find an idyllic spot to sit, either by the ocean or in the dense forest surrounded by non human inhabitants. I watch the daily comings and goings of insects and birds, I cannot fool the other mammals, like the skittish Agouti or called Nieke by the local Panamanians. Each source of life taking their turns to inspect me. A variety of Leaf-cutter ant scouts foraging for tidbits, a black species of stingless Bees or tiny yellow Wasps hover around deciding if I offer nectar, Buho butterflies whisk by and I am surprised to find that I am the only one sitting still and quiet. Every other living organism is going about their business, concerned about living or being eaten this day.

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milkyway4

MilkyWay

The Island of Dreamers.

The name crept into the conversation one of the many starry nights during the last weeks of the rainy season this November. There were no visitors at the lab, only a handful of the long term residents spending an evening alone together. We opened a few bottles of delicious red Columbian wine, brought by an animated and gregarious Columbian, Jorge. I like to call him, the philosopher. Everyone was in a pleasant mood, enjoying each other’s company, discussing our day and various work projects. The milky way stretched out across the sky like a diamond studded charcoal cat. I could almost hear a purrr from the sky as we popped open another bottle, but maybe that was the soft hummm in my ear from the wine. We snacked on large juicy grapes, the size of golf balls, from the lab’s organic farm on the mainland, accompanied with cheese and crackers, yet very informal. We are all friends, have become unusual companions through the course of our stay here. Our group represents several countries. Panama of course, Columbia, Mexico,United States, Puerto Rico, India, Italy, France, and Russia. Between all of us, we have trekked the globe. We are seasoned travelers converging, bringing our unique experiences to the deck under the starry starry night. I love it when we have nights like these, when we share our very different and varied stories, in several different languages. Two of the Columbians are well traveled and are wonderful story tellers. Their stories are laden with detail and prose, told with flair, encouraging laughter from the whole group. I am there, within the story,whisked away to Cartegena, Bogota and the wilderness that makes up Columbia. I listen carefully, trying to capture the essence of their voice and characterizations, hoping to one day capture dialogue style and perspective. Then one of the Italians, Aldo, adds his point of view to a certain country in his sing songy English, slipping in a few Italian words, some of which I am familiar with from my University Italian classes, many many years ago. My belly hurts from laughing. We all argue about the best country in the world and I realize how much everyone is proud of where they come from. We are all here on this island for different reasons with dreams in our heads and goals in our hearts. We share our obstacles and listen to the advice that others give. Jorge exclaims, “we are the island of dreamers!” I wholeheartedly agree. “You are the writer, Alpana, write a story about the island and we’ll make a movie. I can’t wait to accept an Oscar!” he claims prematurely. How can I resist his enthusiasm? Who am I to disagree with that?

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