little sarah Big World

Tag: chaos

The Beginning is the End is the Beginning

So we’re back to the present tense, more or less, or at least my present location (Salt Lake City), with a hazy, somewhat disconnected focus on a frame of time spanning about a month in either direction, with the possibility of South America reappearing for one last gasp at any moment.

And what can I say? Time and meaning have blurred in my life, coinciding intriguingly with my current novel, The Time Traveler’s Wife (by Audrey Niffenegger). I stretch my days out by doing less and less, reading in bed, dreaming of a daughter named Calliope, of a relationship breaking apart, and severed limbs, and prose.

I’ve often described myself as an “intensely chronological person,” yet recently I find that falling away, like snakeskin. There’s more chaos this way, more confusion, and yet somehow it’s simpler. More real.

Turns out time does not march steadily forward, like a tin soldier, but rather spreads out, like a release.

Like a long sigh.

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Family Dinner

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The Absolute Best of What CouchSurfing is and Can Be

Valpara√≠so (or “Valpo,” as the locals call it), is a crazy place. Chaotic, bohemian, grungy. And our CS stay here is like a microcosm of the city itself, with 3 hosts/inhabitants and SEVEN surfers–a german couple, an Italian, a Brasilian, a French girl, and then me and Brett.

When we first got here, I was feeling quite overwhelmed, unsure of what we should do (turns out: relax) or where we would sleep (turns out: the couch). People who’d been surfing for a while were making dinner, and seemed so at home. I wasn’t sure which would be more rude–assuming that we could eat some of their meal, or going out to eat, even though they were cooking.

Giuseppe’s dad (in Santiago) said that the world is supposed to end May 20th. Even though I don’t believe that, I had a low moment, thinking that I could be potentially spending my last few days on earth traveling somewhat aimlessly, spending money on trifles like food and buses, surrounded by strangers.

Then I remembered that, if I can’t be content and peaceful in the here and now, then life has no meaning for me. So I immersed myself in the present, opened up my heart to our hosts and fellow couch surfers, and had an amazing time. With fajitas.

This is what we call communal living, and it is equal parts chaos and beauty.