Monday 12 December 2022

The end of a 30 year cycle

 I've never really been one to really savor accountability so I'm not going to say anything about making it a habit to write at this time everyday. But, as it's the second day in a row I've found myself sitting here writing at about the same time let's simply say that I'm doing it again today. Tomorrow....who knows. 

It's pretty windy today and my volcano friend never really made much of an appearance. I suppose everyone needs some time to themselves now and then, right? Hell, I've taken the last few years to myself and it's only recently I've started to poke my head back out in public a little. Sure, we had a global pandemic and we all hid away by government decree for a spell but I was glad to hide. I wanted to hide. I had to hide. I'd just gotten sober which was a bit more of an undertaking than I'd expected and then my Dad died (Covid). My Mom followed suit just over a year later. I pretty much welcomed the forced seclusion of the lockdown. Anyone who knows me knows I can be aloof and a bit of a space cadet sometimes but this was different. Everything and everyone outside of my house represented a danger zone in my not so balanced head. Rather than taking a few days to return a phone call or a text, I'm still making amends with friends 3 years later for unreturned messages, missed hangouts and awkward conversations. And at $0.25 a minute, which is the current rate here in Central America,  that gets a bit pricey. So if you're one of those friends and you happen to be reading this please accept my apology or simply know the next time I see you it'll be a lot less weird. My astrologer tells me I'm rounding a corner and have just ended a 30 year cycle and this next one is going to be something for which I've been preparing my whole life. So watch the fuck out people. Here I come....

 Anyway, I digress. The volcano has been shrouded in clouds all day. At one point earlier there was hardly a separation between the water and the pink/blue outline that is Tolimon. Even now the only way to see where the water ends is by watching the paths of the lanchas and they even seem to be battling the fog as they're all using the same stretch of water near the shore regardless of which direction they happen to be going. I could have slept a little longer this morning but the dogs were barking and that dark roast coffee was calling me. I got up to brew only to find the coffee grinder didn't actually work. Thank whomever for years of having to make do I found the blender and managed to get something in between a course and not so course grind that seemed to hold the water long enough to make coffee. Most of my mornings for the last while I've spent drinking coffee, writing in my journal and listening to Olafur Arnalds: an Icelandic multi-instrumentalist I discovered last year when I Googled classical music and trance/electronic. I'd gotten into trance music after going to a trance party in the Costa Rican jungle and dropping acid after a week long silent meditation retreat and I figured someone out there must have combined trance and classical as they both evoked a similar vibe in my head. But Olafur Arnalds, check him out. 

Now, I don't want to make excuses and I don't want to apologize even though they're things at which I'm really good. I've had years of practice. In fact, I've depended on them both for survival most of my adult life but the relationship has ended. I mentioned previously this getting sober bit and to be honest I've hardly talked to anyone about it because I absolutely refuse to preach or proselytize. Talking about it has seemed self indulgent, whiny, and pretty much unnecessary. But that said, I realized that I was on fire and not in a way like I was on a hot streak and unstoppable. Quite the opposite. I was burning to the ground and had been for a some time and thanks to the grace of the universe and my wife I was able to put the flames out before being totally reduced to ash. If anyone reading this wants to talk please reach out. I'm glad to share. 

So here I am in Guatemala blessed beyond measure, learning about the culture, learning to speak Spanish and relearning how to love music. I'm also learning a lot about stray dogs and hostel kids, both of which are very abundant here. They both bark all night but sometimes the dogs are super useful and form a great barrier between us and creepy dudes down by the boat dock. The kids, they just make a lot of noise down at the Free Cerveza Hostel.

Monday 24 October 2022

Coffee & Volcanos

 It's the 24th of October, 2022 and writing the date reminds me that it's my sister's Birthday and I need to reach out. Excuse me one second. Alright, mission accomplished. So I'm sitting in a house on the shore of Lake Atitlan in central Guatemala, it's somewhere in the 70's and the sun is still shining. I say still because if I've learned nothing else in the last couple weeks or so it's that it will rain today. The sun comes up around 5:45am and makes way for a calm morning with coffee, some journaling and a little guitar. The lake is typically calm and serene until about now, 2:15pm, when you can see the waves start to pick up a bit and the lanchas (boat taxis) start to run a little slower. The rain won't last long, just enough to cool things down and give the scenery a little drink. The volcano I have coffee with and watch appear out of the dark every morning is starting to fade into the clouds and the banana trees are starting to sway in the breeze. I read that back to see how many spelling errors I made and all I can think is man, I'm the luckiest fucker alive. 

We caught a lancha this morning over to San Marcos, a few villages to the west, and grabbed a few groceries as well as a waffle and some hot cocao at the Circles Cafe. We can take a tuk tuk here in Santa Cruz up the hill into the main village for necessities but the selection is a lot better in San Marcos and we even have the option of buying a 50Q bag of weed off Harry at the boat dock. Harry is the name I gave him the first time we met when he said we'd have to "hurry" and I mistook him for saying his name was Harry. I think he was wanting to hurry as there was a cop on the dock. The same cop who was there today. I can only assume Harry and the cop have an arrangement worked out in order for business to be conducted right there in the open and he only wanted to hurry the first time as it was the weekend and I wasn't the only tourist he wanted to talk to. Anyway, we didn't get any smokeables but we did find some nice avocados, a ripe pineapple and a red pepper. I also scored huge with some dark roast coffee beans and a fresh loaf of German style seed bread and let me tell you in a world of tortillas, a good bread find is good. Really good. 

As for the rest of the day Jess has some prep work to do for a busy work day tomorrow. I'm going to finish writing this blog and then I'll make some ginger tea, maybe toast up some of that bread and work on a new song. Once evening rolls around we'll make some dinner, light a fire and put some music on. I've really been enjoying the new Tina Dico record, Bitte Sma Ryk, and try as I might I haven't worn it out quite yet. Thank you Mark Whitcomb for the recommendation. As for that new song's been a long time. To be honest I'm not sure I've had a whole lot of interest in writing for a while. If I'm truly being honest, I'm not certain I've had much interest in playing music at all. For a long time. But, that volcano is a persuasive friend and if nothing else I have time. Lots of time. More now that I don't drink. In fact, it's been a little more than 3 years since I did and come to think of it that was probably around the time I last wrote on this blog. I've been pretty quiet about the topic and perhaps it's about time to share a little. But for now, we just caught a scorpion in the bathroom and I'm a little freaked out so I'm gonna go get loaded on pineapple. By the way, 50Q is about $7USD....