This place might be the most remote and wild place I have ever been, certainly alone.
There are so many sounds, I am learning them. The geckos laughing on the ceiling, the different buzzing of mosquito versus wasp, the wide guttural holler of the monkeys (smaller in person than their big roar suggests), the choral pulse of the crickets.
At the grocery store yesterday I watched birds in mating ritual. Last week I watched iguanas have sex, bats traverse an underground cave. A family of doves visits the poolside every afternoon. Massive bugs and spiders like to hang on walls near me, katydids near the door.
There are a host of creatures to keep an eye out for, tarantulas, scorpions, snakes if I want to walk too far, an aggressive jungle twist on a raccoon.
Here and in Mexico I have been pushed into much closer communication with the natural world. The soles of my feet are changing from the time spent directly on the earth. The sun has changed my color, in some places my skin peels from over indulgence in all that light.
I wake up as the sky gets lighter. The other night I sat around a ceremonial fire and watched the moon rise and orbit through the sky, stars falling towards me. Most nights I don’t make it an hour past sunset though, and I can’t quite believe the schedule I keep in the city.
I’m spending an immense amount of time renegotiating my love and fear of the natural world. I just finished Nalo Hopkinson’s beautiful Midnight Robber about a girl from a teched up future being exiled to a parallel universe where she has to learn to survive in the bush. Im not in the wild in that sense, but the beauty of moving closer and closer to the rhythms, cycles and processes of the earth feels radical to me.
I espouse love for this planet, but I don’t always practice it. It’s harder in cities obviously, all that concrete muffling the connection, anything wild fighting for its life and living off our waste.
One thing I love about Detroit is the way nature is encroaching on the city, working out a new balance of things. But it’s still so toxic. It’s been good to be in the minority of creatures, remember my respect and relationship with this world, in which my role often mindlessly vacillates from absentee lover to virus.
I sit and look at it. I wonder about these monkeys who seem to love each other, at all the mating and dying, I wonder if the inability to reason is true, I wonder if it makes things easier.
Im starting to imagine tattoos that reflect my sense of relationship with the world, all the ideas are bigger than my skin so far.
I love it out here, and I’m shifting beyond fear into love. How sad to think that I have been scared of the organic world and felt safe navigating the concrete and the thousands of human strangers. Out here I am beginning to understand, remember, that the world isn’t out to get me or hurt me. It’s just in constant emergence, surviving and evolving and changing and cycling through to the next moment, hour, day.
There are times when only nature can hold space for the healing we need. There are times when we are predators, prey, budding, blossoming, blown away, sucked under, still and taut and stuck, running for our lives, or completely at peace – we look like every aspect of this world in the course of any given day.
We all have a calling within that, a primal thrust. We are not apart, in spite of the walls and the pavement, that’s an illusion. We are, all of us, in and of the world.
I find a great comfort and spaciousness in that, so I offer it up to you, wherever you are.