I’m back in Buenos Aires after saying my tearful farewell to my life in this city a little less than a year ago. Return visits always seem to be a wild ride of joy, nostalgia, letting go, and reflection. Coming full circle can allow us to see where we’ve been, and how we’ve grown.
To honor this moment, I’ve unearthed a letter I wrote in my journal while I waited in the Buenos Aires airport for my flight to Ecuador. This letter is to a special group of women with whom I met faithfully every Wednesday night for some time. We supported each other in our search for expression, freedom, and a life of integrity. They helped me to believe that the life I dreamed of was actually possible.
Early this morning I sat in the back of the airport taxi looking out the window at my beloved Argentina. The orange sun was just high enough to give off some heat and create an eerie layer of fog over the fields outside of Ezieza. Staring out the window, I thought about my new journal and what I would write in it when I got to the airport.
My thoughts drifted to a collection of Kerouac’s journals I had read before moving to Patagonia, called “Windblown World.” His journal entries were full of the anguish and ecstasy of the creative process: blurts and self-doubt, moments of inspiration, and a deep yearning to connect with the world around him and express what he felt.
I was reading Kerouac’s journals because I had recently read “On the Road,” and the “wild love for the world” (to borrow a phrase from Joanna Macy) that explodes off the pages of that book helped me to truly fall in love with America.
Shortly after reading “On the Road” and “Windblown World,” I sold everything in my San Diego apartment, drove across my great big country one last time to Massachusetts, and headed south for my first South American adventure. I spent many nights in Patagonia sitting by the woodstove, scrawling furiously in my journals, and listening to the wind howl against the thin tin roof. It was a difficult year in Patagonia and a long, cold winter, but I felt so alive and inspired that I loved every minute of it.
When the long days of summer finally arrive, I set off to make Tracking Patagonia, which was in many ways my answer to “On the Road” and my own wild love letter to the world.
And yet way leads onto way, and at some point after all of this I woke up working long hours at a stressful job, years passing without so much as a sentence scribbled in a journal. At that precise moment in my life, dear precious friends, I met all of you.
Within your circle of support, I began to cautiously record my blurts, self-doubt, and moments of inspiration in my morning journal. Page by page and week by week, the wild and windblown artist within me crawled back to the surface.
And now, as I sit in Ezieza with my cafe con leche and medialunas, I flip through the pages of this journal filled with all of your creativity and inspiration. YOUR wild love for the world. And it is clear to me how each one of you inspires me on this new journey.
If Tracking Patagonia was an answer to “On the Road”, this new adventure is surely an answer to all of the work we’ve done together.
It is clear to me now that any creative act, no matter how small, fulfills its divine purpose when it inspires even one human being to step forward and fall in love with the universe. A life lived for art is never wasted.
Sending so much love to you all, and thank you from the very bottom of my heart.
To those of you women in my special group, I love you all so much. And to those of you who are reading, find someone or something that inspires you to live the life you dream of. It is possible, I promise. ;)