Kona, Hawaii: I begin my day with my morning meditation, facing the following foliage.
"Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment."
Nashville, TN: Yesterday, some of my friends (and former boss) flew from Seattle to Australia to start another leg of their tour. They will arrive on March 20. So what happened to March 19? Literally, where did the time go? Does that day simply not exist anymore and if so, is there anyway you can ever get it back? There are times that I wish I could erase a day and jump ahead to the next one, but I suppose if I had that choice, I may miss out on some of the unexpected moments of sweetness or baby steps in the lessons I am trying to learn... that would just so happen to occur on the day I wanted to skip over.
I suppose that's true of rushing through a day just to get through it... instead of simply taking a moment to just BE... in THIS moment. So, on behalf of my friends who will miss today, I will do my best to simply be.
And for the record, even if I were in Oz with them and missed the 19th all together, I would still be 33!
Asheville, NC: What's the best background music to have while creating art in the middle of the day, sitting on my best friend's living room hardwood floor, watching the rain drops hit the tree limbs outside? Something that will fill the room with inspirational melodies but won't get my head caught up in memories of the past based on lyrics that rouse reminders of certain someones? I found it on iTunes' radio -- chanteurs.org -- where their tag line is: "french songs since 1890 of the dead artists." Oui!
Paris, France: Just hours ago, I was having a glass of afternoon wine in a cafe in the middle of Paris, looking into the eyes of a man I have known almost my whole life. I have heard his voice before, trying to pronounce my name correctly (carrr-oh-leen?) and I blush at the smile he gives me, for I have gazed upon it many times before in photos. Yes, I have known this man for 20 years, but this is the first time we are meeting.
His name is Nabil and we have been pen pals since I was 12. Our written correspondence would take place every 3 months or so and consist of questions/requests like "what kind of music do you listen to?" "do you have any brothers or sisters?" and "please send photos!" Receiving those letters in the mail was such a thrill for me... a completely different type of stamp (from Algeria at the time); pictures of places I have never even dreamed of before and the knowledge that someone on the other
side of the world wanted to know me, wanted to see me, wanted to have a connection with me.
It was hard to share the deep, meaning-of-life events that happen to all of us... mainly because of the time lapse between letters and the language barrier (he spoke fluent French and Arabic, a little Spanish and was working on English), but I just knew he was there for me... a supportive friend who had my back no matter what.
Time went on, we got busy with our lives and lost touch. But when I discovered email as a daily communication tool, we found each other again and began connecting a bit more frequently. Once again, he would be provide me with that feeling that someone out there really cares about me. In the midst of post-college life choices, broken relationships and the daily mundane to-dos, Nabil was there... to just bethere.
This week, I find myself in Paris, a mere three hours from where he now resides. We plan to meet for the first time and the anticipation is overwhelming. I stand outside the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, searching the faces of passerbys on the street. Suddenly, I hear a voice and spin around to be greeted by the one who has been a part of my life for so long. After an embrace similar to the prodigal son and two kisses on each cheek, we make our way into the city for our first meeting and reunion, all in one.
The afternoon is filled with exploring the views of Paris and reminiscing on letters of long ago. With the help of his iTouch translator, he tells me he still remember my parents' names and still has the New Kids On The Block cassette tape I sent him (ha!). The day fades into night and he turns his Translator into an iPod, laughs and shares his headphones with me to hear "Red Red Wine" by UB40. I'm guessing it's his attempt at using English language music to connect with me (we are, of course, drinking another glass of wine). I laugh at the absurdity of it all, but realize as old and overplayed as that song is, it is somehow perfect... sitting in another cafe, in the middle of Paris, with this person from my past, who, although really knows nothing about me, seems to know me at the deepest level.
It is getting late and we hop on the metro to return me to my hotel. In the courtyard of the Hilton, with a view of the Arc de Triomphe in the background, we hug again, not knowing when we will see each other again... if at all. In this romantic city, I wonder what life would have been life had we met 10 years earlier, before he was married with 2 children (and twins on the way!), before my career had flourished, before, well... now. But as I kiss his cheeks twice again, I know that we will continue to live our own lives as they are. Yet, there is a connection that has been there for 20 years... and will still be there... until we meet again.