Going Separate Ways

The Grim Reaper is never out to make friends with his human pals. Whenever he comes to snatch one from amongst our midst he leaves lasting marks on those who stay. Memories and haunting notions of missed opportunities linger for much longer than the most humble of reasons can justify. The scent of irreplaceable loss hovers endlessly and abandoned throughout the meanders of existence. Those who share the loss find solace in time spent together in physical closeness. Grief, I guess, never really ends. It just dilutes with time and becomes bearable, but the subtleness of movement takes a definite hit.

The unexpected loss of her brother during our grueling passage from Hawai’i to the Marquesas and the agonizing descent of her once stout mother during our stay in Tongareva both left a lasting mark on Beatriz. The remoteness of her remaining family’s struggle with life’s brutal heaviness back up on the Andes’ altiplano of Colombia’s capital stirred up her tender sensibility to a boiling froth and many an old wound started to silently bleed again. No longer present in totality the adventure of exploring distant lands became a growing burden for her, which she shouldered with immense courage but slowly losing traction against an invincible inertia.

So when the opportunity finally arose… A small sum of money freed itself from an entanglement of investments and made itself available. It was just enough to pay for a very expensive journey at almost the speed of sound, up above the very clouds that have been looking down at us on our watery journey. By the end of this merry month of April she will now hop across the mighty pond of the South Pacific from Auckland to Santiago, then from Santiago up the Andes along the cold Humboldt Current to Lima and on to Bogota, where she hopes to spend some quality time reconnecting with her heritage, warmly hugging her brother and sister, sharing tears and laughter, joining her far away stories with their rooted relentlessness.

Here in the land of the uneasy brotherhood of fierce warriors and stiff upper lips the Austral winter is starting to creep up on us, depraving us of daylight and tropical warmth. Me, who seem to have lost all intimacy with nostalgia, I will bravely stay behind and tend to the more practical things of life, like looking after Aluna. The pearly gates of consumer paradise however are starting to shudder, announcing their imminent closure and hordes of invisible scribes of officialdom chant notoriously into the autumn winds: Wean yourself off our riches, my friend and wanderer, you’ve set on enough lard around your waistline. Too many hurdles to take for now to stay in this land of wasteful inefficiency, too many bribes to pay. I’ll sail on to Fiji sometimes in late May or early June to continue the exploration of human settlements in different regions of our planet. After colonies, dependencies, kingdoms and constitutional monarchies why not a military dictatorship for a change?

Both of us, after having had our hearts set on common business for a good time, will pursue our own business for a while. By the end of the year though, it should all come together again. Beatriz’ return ticket to Auckland is booked for the end of November, just about the right time for me to leave the tropics once again and escape the sweltering heat, humidity and chances of getting seriously lashed by a tropical revolving storm of giant proportions, and head for the temperate latitudes of the land of the long white cloud. There will be a second round to our presence here, hopefully less naïve, more focused, more efficient, more hands on and down to earth.


Up in Whangarei on a trip with friends we happened to stumble upon this heavyweight piece of visual art. The impressive sculpture is titled: Waka and Wave. Two different entities that need each other, each defined by the other’s qualities, enhanced by the opponent’s strength and refined by its weaknesses. A frozen dance of complementary movement is cast in stone of violent, volcanic origin. Go figure! Read the signs and do the dance!


One Response to “Going Separate Ways”

  1. kim Says:

    Ah yes, the voyage is indelibly a larger voyage, incompletely seen.

    I send my love to you both: take good care of yourselves.

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