So I went to the centro today with Katherine (the other exchange student in Paraná) (God it was so tempting to stay in bed and sleep siesta but alas I am glad I didn´t) and we stopped to drink coffee at a place called Havana and I have to say it completely knocks Starbucks out of the park. I never thought I would say that about any other coffee chain but I swear to Gaga the coffee was so so so impossibly good. I may have to move here permanently because that coffee is definitely going to become a habit. Anyways it was nice just talking and before I caught the bus home I went by the bookstore and bought two books, one of which was a book of poetry, Odes to the elements, specifically, by Pablo Neruda. I had read a bit of his poetry in English before I came here but reading in it Spanish was so new and beautiful and pure. Neruda has stolen my heart completely. I started reading the book the whole bus ride home and I just could not stop. I had forgotten how much I love poetry. Reading the Odes, so pure and deliberate and beautiful I felt as if my heart was floating in the Pacific. It just felt so good. So yes folks it looks like I have found the author of choice for my nighttime bus rides home. I love you all and hope you too read poetry that makes you feel enveloped in love and the warm hugs of words.
post script: It´s the little moments like this that I have learned to appreciate so much and am going to miss when I go home. Reading Chilean poetry on a public bus in 50 degree weather on my way home for a friday night get together with friends. Just lovely.
So I initially signed onto tumblr to write a blog post about the lovely weeked I spent in Buenos Aires with Cathi and Hayley but after reading Cathlin´s latest post I cannot help but want to share my feelings about these last months here.
It is 20 past midnight so I suppose today is now june first. Eleven days until my birthday. Forty seven days until I have to say goodbye to my life in Paraná. Fifty one days until I am in LAX. A lot can happen in 51 days. Right? But maybe I don´t need a lot to happen, because to be honest a lot already has.
I used to think that home is wherever my heart was. But sometimes it isnt so easy to know where my heart is. I used to think that home was where there was love. But there is love in so many places and home in so few. I used to think that home was something geographical after all. I used to think that home was familiarity. I used to think that home was the ocean. I was never wrong. Home is maybe all of those things and more. Home is the safety of arms that hug you tightly even though you are so flawed and whiny and you sing off key. Home is when even if everything is wrong , everything is right. Home is a feeling not a place. So this weekend when Cathi and Hayley and I were in Cathi´s house in Buenos Aires washing fruit and scrambling eggs and flipping pancakes I learned. It was when I stepped out of the kitchen and the tenth floor sunlight flooded the dining room and the musky smell of maple syrup mingled with the autumn air gently warmed by the heater and the soft lullaby of jack johnsohn and cars rushing by on the highway I felt it. Pure, utter bliss. It was like love. I opened my eyes and realized to myself “there you are, I have been searching for you all along.” And then we sat down to eat and none of us spoke. And then it started: “These pancakes! Theyre so good! And ohmigosh! The scrambled eggs!” “Wow.” “Its just… so right, so peaceful” and then “Thank you.” And we all just kept saying it to each other. Thank you for the pancakes. Thank you for making the eggs. Thank you for making coffee and cutting strawberries. Thank you for giving me the best morning in nine months, possibly my life. Thank you for bringing me home.
So maybe I don´t need anything at all to happen in these last 51 days on Argentinian earth. Because my heart has stopped searching for now. I havent found what I was searching for but I havent not found it either, it is all just one big quest. A quest for more, a bigger picture. I was chasing that thing, that wild glowing celestial being that lives in my chest and dances chains around my beating heart. That thing that first sent me searching for more. But she´s quiet now. And I suppose that´s okay. I already feel so conflicted and heart broken about having to leave behind my family and friends here, but it would be so much worse if I felt that I hadnt discovered. But I have. It´s impossible to turn back the clocks so I won´t even try, but just know that this heavy heart, that drags behind me when I run for the bus and kisses the pavement with every goodbye, was worth this summer. This whole year. Just the chance to live life.
So as I burn into my memory every sidewalk crack, buttery bakery smell, and giggle from my little host brother I keep in mind that I have 47 days left until the hardest first goodbye and hopefully not the final one to the city and family and beauty that were all mine for eleven months. Forty seven days to hug and sleep and procrastinate and laugh and cook and try to help around the house and have my host sister repeat everything that I say to teachers becuase she is the only one that understands me when my spanish gets garbled in my throat and caught on my lips, forty seven days to enjoy what I have come to know as normal- what I have come to know as home.
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