Traveling again…

21 04 2021

2020 began innocently enough. I had a trip to San Francisco planned for some R&R. Just prior to that a friend suffered a dire accident and had to be medi-vacced to Boston from Nantucket. I happened to be going to the Boston University hockey game with a few of my college roommates from 301 Bryant. I was lucky enough to have some time to go and visit him in the hospital. I picked up some towels at Macy’s for his girlfriend who’d been stalwartly at his side for most of the week while he lay in a medically induced coma to get through his intense injuries. I also grabbed some dim sum in Chinatown and got some egg custard bites for her. Friends sent some cash for her to use and I got it and bought two cards with mushrooms on them at a shop near Mass General to wrap it in. When I arrived she warned me of his condition. Nothing like the cardiac ICU to bring up memories of past hospital bedside visits and departures, but I steadied myself and went in, bravely I might add.

She told me I could touch his hand and I did, thinking briefly of Covid, but it wasn’t even a thought to most back then. I came back the Monday after, and honestly can’t remember which visit it was, but I was there when he was waking up. He is a normally ornery guy but he was combative upon reassuming his body. No blame but he was fighting and confused as to his predicament. His girlfriend was frustrated and left me alone in the room with him. I said, “Hey man, you gotta be calm, because these nurses have got you so you gotta be nice to them… you’ve been out sedated for a while so it’s gonna take a bit to come back.” “Sedated?! SEDATED!” He growled. “Sedated for how long?” He probed incredulously. Not knowing whether I should tell him and with no one else in the room I told him, “10 days.” He seemed confused but also diffused. I was happy to see him alive and With the same brain function as ever.

But I headed out to SF on a frivolous journey, dim sum and wine and honey mead abounded, but just as I was scheduled to go home we got word that my husband’s father was dying. He hopped a plane to Phoenix and I drove down visiting Megan and Phoebe in Santa Barbara, and Greg in Palm Springs. I got the news that he passed as I was stopping at a crystal shop in Quartzsite.

So we spent some days cleaning his room from the nursing home, staying with family and regrouping and eventually made the trip back north to SF where we could then fly back to Nantucket. The generosity of our friends was great. Trupiano and his family welcomed us for happy hour and Treg and Shannon let us stay in Santa Barbara and get to know their amazing kids. We saw Raj and Nina on our way out of town. We hopped on the plane for Nantucket not realizing this would be our last journey for a while.

So the lockdown happened very soon after our return and a new normal began, masks, sanitizer, distancing all of it. I ran my business The Hungry Minnow the best I could in this different paradigm. And in the fall my traveling ache just could not be squelched and I headed to SF again and zipped down to Arizona to help the United Farm Workers Union turn Arizona blue. A week down there and then back to SF and back to Nantucket for the winter. Spring found me longing for sun and the other ocean and so I spent a lot of time out in SF regrouping mentally for the coming summer season. I got the vaccine (2 doses of Pfizer) and now I’m really to hit the road again. I’m heading back east but this time by car. My friend Ali today spoke of the magnetically charged road the cord that drove us during our magical walk in 2018 on the Camino de Santiago in Spain. She reminds me as much as our feet and bodies ached how driving the pull was. That’s what this journey is as well. I’m feeling the pull to step out of my comfort zone yet again and hit the road. My course is plotted but the coordinates are not firm, there’s always forks in the road. I’m guided by intuition and feel that I’ve discovered my purpose at least for the short term. I’m a writer. I’m a songwriter. I’m an artist. I’m a healer. I have been denying these truths but know I now must embrace them. It’s an unconventional lifestyle but I’m going to come to terms with the fact that I’m bicoastal. I have two anchors that are across the country from each other. It may seem crazy, but I’ve spent 7 or so years trying to come “choos” and I can’t. So the truth that I’m finding is that the coasts are my anchors or moorings and the country is my ocean. It’s my job to navigate and by taking on the task I am weaving a web of interconnection between the two.

I always said that my songs really speak about what I’m meant to do if I’d just listen to my own lyrics… almost every song I write riffs off this theme.

“Like driftwood I long to be weathered, but please keep me firmly tethered to your moors, like sea glass I need to be tumbled, to strengthen sometimes you must stumble, but oh, when I’m ready, moonlight on the jetty will guide me back safely, cuz to grow, you gotta go to sea.

So I set sail via car tomorrow. Would you join me?


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2 responses

21 04 2021
Roxanne Macel

So nice to see a post from you. I loved your journey on the Camino you are a wonderful writer My husband and I relive our journey quite often, one of the best things we ever did.

I’m a A little sad though that you can’t seem to find some inner peace somewhere. You don’t see yourself sitting in a chair looking out over either coast and saying, “I’m home, this is where I want to be this is where I belong. “. As soon as the world opens up, my husband and I are off again but there is no feeling like coming home, my safe, secure sanctuary.

I look forward to reading about your journey.

Roxanne

21 04 2021
rebeccachapa

Hi Roxane! So great to write to you again! Don’t be sad for me, I’m finding a way to be very much at peace in both places. I know a lot of people can’t relate but I am embracing it, and as soon as I do that the angst of not being everywhere at once goes away! I’m always coming home and at the end of the day I’m always where I’m supposed to be. Can’t wait to see where it takes me.

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