I went to a remote beach in Mexico once when I was 22 years old. I met a beautiful boy from Veracruz and swam in the ocean at night. The time seemed magical – I remember running my hands through the water and watching it light up (actually caused by bioluminescent marine bacteria) but I’mma call it magic. I floated in the warm gentle ocean letting the waves and beautiful boy’s hands guide me as I watched the stars (so many) above.
I went back a few years after that. My magical fisherman’s town in Mexico was not quite how I remembered it. That was largely due to the hurricane that had torn the town up the year before. The beach wasn’t as clean and the sky was grey and cloudy. A change so drastic I began to wonder if this was the same beach I stared at the stars in. Beautiful boy had moved back to Veracruz and gotten married and the ocean was too rough to swim even in the daytime.
I learned an important lesson staring at that ocean: you can’t go back to those moments. Every moment is that moment. What is here now can never be captured again – the mistake I keep repeating is to thinking that it’s all the same when it all has changed, including me.
I’m a huge sucker for the American way, that is – instant gratification, happy endings and the pacification of any and all pain. This notion that it’s never okay to not be okay. This overriding desire and need within myself to constantly want to make things okay and happy despite the fact that it’s really not my job to do so. Yet all that I have learned I cannot unlearn – I cannot go back to living at a more superficial level out of ease or comfort. Either I master my lessons or I keep repeating my own mistakes.
It forces one deeper to asking the hard questions of why is the desire to go back ever present? What feeling are you trying to recapture or mimic and even harder…what’ so wrong with now?