Thursday, October 28, 2010

Now That You've Caught It

Yesterday we spent our first full day in Cuenca. In the morning we still had to deal with lodging for the night, but we got that taken care of and then…then…

Watching paint dry
Then what?

Now if you had somehow got the idea that our family are not planners, let me correct your impression. We have lists of things to do here, lists of things yet to tie up at home, and lists of thoughts that pop up randomly during a day. We each keep several lists in different places on different topics for different purposes.

These are called "systems." Excellent systems. And we each come up with better systems than our previous systems almost every day. Very efficient. Very.

And now we are here having gotten done what we needed to get done to get here. And now we…have to…said we'd…dreamed of…couldn't wait for…

I wonder if this is how Noah felt. You have tons to do in addition to your regular life (just build a gigantic ship to carry every living animal, you know, on lunch breaks or something) that completely consumes you. Till the big day. Close up the doors, and…wait. “Shem, break out the cards. What? What do you mean? Shem, we’re stuck in this smelly, noisy floating zoo for, what, two days, two years? I don’t know. This much I don’t know. I ask. What do I get?  I get ‘…very disappointed in my people…great shame…starting over…you will bring them to a new land, Noah.’ It’s like talking to your mother. So we’re here for God only knows how long, and you forget the cards. Sure, we play Mumblety-peg again, your brother loses another toe. Ham, you are a great carpenter, you could rebuild Heaven from a single tree; for grace you got bupkis. No, we need cards. What are we going to do in here? Shem!...michugena, oy!”

Of course the first day we’re excited to wake up, have breakfast at the hotel, get all ready and go out into our great, unexplored new world. We step out onto the busy Cuenca street, and…which way do we turn? There’s this church plaza right here. Yeah, OK. Nice. Very nice. OK…so did you bring cards, Honey?

All right, maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but there is certainly an unexpected feeling you get when trading one M.O. (the one we’re all familiar with: too much too do, too little time) for another (almost nothing to do and ages to do it). The rush of adventure, the excitement of new sights and sounds and tastes, the reading of poetry while hanging in a hammock…these things don’t just happen to you. You forget that exploring the Undiscovered Country still requires a plan, a map, or at least a decent pair of shoes for walking incessantly around.

So we’re letting the overstuffed life disability wear off so that we can learn again to live again in the moment without a plan, and also learn again to plan, not just to do, but to be.

And we’ll learn some nice new card games.

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