Our red eye flight from DC touched down sometime around 9am this morning. The time difference from the East Coast is minimal (only 1 hour ahead of New York), however that was the easiest of the things that came with our arrival here. Over the course of the last 44 days Annie and I have gotten used to the change in scenery, the change of living quarters, the change of people. When it came down to it though, in a sense, we were always home, traveling within the country our roots have been burrowed in for so long. Where maybe we were dancing around the rabbit hole before, today I feel like we have truly fallen in.
What does it mean to wake up in a new country, a new world and simultaneously have the word 'vacation' completely absent from the definition of what we're doing. For me it is an amazingly beautiful and overwhelming idea to try to initially grasp. The pictures paints itself something like this: We step off the plane into Argentina, our new home, and the language is not our native tongue. We're in the Southern Hemisphere and suddenly we find ourselves in a winter climate, mild may it be, yet still the sun goes down now at 6pm rather than the late evening like we had been accustomed to. The setting of the sun brings a wind that holds an eye-opening bite and most likely any store or product we took comfort in the day before is now non-existent. All of our friends and family are thousands of miles away and we have no idea when we will see any of them again. Nearly every street is new and my mind holds no memory of which direction the sun will rise on us tomorrow. But it will rise. And that I take comfort in.
"Inhale. Exhale.," says the chalkboard at the restaurant we ate at this evening. We scribble it down in a notebook as if it was some great advice we must not forget, passed on not from a chalkboard hanging on a brick wall in a cafe, but rather from some wise sage whose old gray beard nearly touches the floor. Regardless of where it came from, we heed the advice along with a solid serving of patience and laughter, our two most powerful tools.
All of it makes things easier. As the day draws to an end for us here in this enormous city, I don't feel as small as I did earlier. And for a brief moment my humbleness flickers off, and I wonder if this place is big enough to hold me, and all that Annie and I want to create here together.
For as long as I can remember I've dreamt of the "rabbit hole", and wondered what it would be like to live there. I cannot begin to explain what it means that tomorrow, for the first time in my life, I will wake up there and have it be my new address.
Peace and love,
Danko in Wonderland
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: A Memoir of Life in Death
by Jean-Dominique Bauby