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Monday, December 14, 2015

The thought of an end to all flight is unbearable.

Two years ago this week, I bought a one-way ticket to Ecuador, with my life savings standing by, and the intention to purchase a little piece of land, where I could grow some food, and learn about living closer to the earth, surrounded by nature. I didn't have a clear vision of what the place would become, but I simply felt compelled to work towards realizing this project.

Tomorrow, I leave for Ecuador, again with a one-way ticket, but no real plans to return to the US. Other than, maybe to get my kitty, Chimney Sweep, if no one is able to bring her to me.

I still have no clear idea of what purpose Terra Nova will serve in my new community near the coast, lined up and down with fishing/surfing towns. Just some imaginings...

I am feeling supremely supported by a bunch of angels on the ground in Ecuador:
my fiends, Chris & Johnny, who recently moved to Quito from LA, with their 95 year-old mother;
Philip Baker (and his beautiful family), a colleague of my sister, who grows/exports chiles;
Rebeca, a friend in Salinas my mother recently adopted into our big, extended family;
Todd, my hero in Olón, who has made several trips to the finca, taking photos & videos to keep me up to date with what is going on on my land;
Noelia, my Argentine real estate agent, without whom I would've never found Terra Nova;
My first four volunteers for setting up Terra Nova - Mark (my buddy in Hollywood), Ted (retired builder moving from Vermont to Ecuador today), Kelley (like me, a former Angelina who grew tired of the Hollywood grind), and Kasijani, whom we found on The Poosh, and who shares a birthday with me (stop by Terra Nova January 6, if you wanna celebrate with us!);
Monica Rivendiera, of Eagle Condor Farm;
and most of all, Diego, in Guayaquil, who has taken 3 weeks off work to be of service to Terra Nova - serving as translator, driver, host, moral support & dear friend.

To those of you following this blog down in Ecuador, please drop me a line. If you're ever on the coast, I'd love to meet you all. To those in the US (I imagine I know most of you personally), COME VISIT! Best ways to reach me (in descending order): WhatsApp, Skype, text my 612#, email, PM on FB, phoning my 612# (a little spendy).

Gotta get back to packing, weighing luggage, cuddling my kitty goodbye, etc. It's cold here in LA this week (lows in the 30s and damp), so I'm looking quite forward to more pleasant climes...

“Yes, it was too late, and Sabina knew she would leave Paris, move on, and on again, because were she to die here they would cover her up with a stone, and in the mind of a woman for whom no place is home the thought of an end to all flight is unbearable.” 
― Milan KunderaThe Unbearable Lightness of Being

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

This time I made it back here in four months instead of five! Is triannually often enough?

Not much to report down at Terra Nova. No one has been living there since last fall. The family who was planning to stay longterm decided Ecuador was not for them. I'm out several thousand dollars on that endeavor, including an unnecessary (yet enjoyable) trip to Ecuador, and a new refrigerator that already needs to be replaced. But, we are living and learning as we go, aren't we all?

Since then, some international (U.S., U.K. & Canadian) neighbors in the area have been able to make use of the beautiful property for some healing ceremonies - some geared especially towards women. Our neighbor/gardener, Geovanny, has been watering enough to keep (most of) the trees alive. We did lose one big, beautiful coconut palm (our only one) already, due to lack of watering. Not sure how that happened, but it's difficult to monitor these things from thousands of miles away. Still open to finding someone to oversee the land for the rest of 2015, until those of us planning to do so (me, RaRa, Turtle, ??) can move ourselves down there.

When I tell people I'm moving to Ecuador (as I shared repeatedly last night, at our local InterNations gathering), people generally ask, "Why Ecuador?" Buena pregunta. The best answers I have come up with are:
Spiritual (/crazy?): I am responding to an inner vision, a calling, a compulsion to go there.
Pragmatic: Cost of living is low, while standard of living is high.
Psychological: I'm kinda over the whole living the urban life at the peak of empire thing.
Altruistic: I would like to be of service to the people & country of Ecuador, as they have safeguarded our Amazon all these years.
Emphatic: Because I can.
Honest: Um, I don't really know...yet.

What I am surprised by is the almost universal enthusiasm and support I receive, no matter what response I give. "Wow, what an adventure! That sounds like fun." "I'm so impressed." "I think you're onto something/ahead of the curve." Although, I did get a bit riled last night when a man said he assumed I was moving there because I had met an Ecuadorian man and needed to be by his side. Ugh.  Would he have assumed this of a man? He assured me he would have. I'm gonna call BS on that one.

The next question is always, "What do you intend to do down there?" Normally I respond with, "Prepare meals, do some yoga & meditation, ride my bike, read books, play some music...much like my life here in Hollywood." (Not really the answer they are looking for.) Other responses:
I'm going to grow food, raise chickens, go fishing and generally live off the land, to the best of my abilities.
I'll learn Spanish & be an actress, just as I have been my whole life.
I will be a Death Midwife* and assist transitions.
Um, I don't really know...yet.

Wait a minute - a Death What?! That's right, I spent 2014 getting my ministerial ordination and my midwifery certification, through *Sacred Crossings.

I call myself The Irreverent Reverend, Celibate Celebrant & Sacred Crossing Guard.
Good evening. How may I be of service?