Tuesday, July 14, 2009

It's about time

When I'm out of the country, it's no surprise to find myself spatially disoriented. Far from my usual stomping grounds, my terrible sense of direction kicks into high drive, which is both a curse and a blessing. A curse, because getting from point A to point B can be frustrating, time-consuming, and stressful. A blessing, because getting from point A to point B can lead me to places unknown, to adventures more fascinating: to a hidden jewel of a building that doesn't appear in the guide books, to a short conversation with a street bookseller who kisses my hand when I take leave, to a tendril of a branch, heavily hung with vibrant orange blossoms that hint at the beauty hiding behind high stone walls.

When I've been somewhere multiple times (such as Mexico City), many streets and buildings seem and, indeed, are familiar, which creates problems of a different sort. I know that I've traced my way through this alley before, but in which direction? To what end? Shouldn't here lead to there?

But being lost in space or place isn't really so bad. Eventually I arrive where I aim to go.

Being lost in time, however, is a bit more serious. Should I wake up one morning in a hospital -- perhaps because I've been sucked dry of blood (see a previous entry) or because I've tripped over my own feet in a dance class -- and should someone ask me to identify the date or day of the week to determine my mental state, I will surely be committed to an institution.

There is the danger of missing an appointment with a friend or not realizing that tomorrow is the day to catch my flight home (although it isn't, is it?).

Despite keeping a calendar close at hand, I am unable to situate myself in time. That may explain why I am jumping from here to there in my blog entries, from last week to today and back to last month, from Oaxaca to Cuernavaca to Mexico City, without rhyme or reason. I hope you will forgive me for being out of order and, often, for running out of time.

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