Back home from a bit of a whirlwind trip to the UK to see the lovely Susannah, who kept referring to my life in the states as "life on your planet"...already the funny little phrases and giggles we shared are embedded in my consciousness, and from now on when I hear certain things and think of certain places, Susannah will be the one who immediately comes to mind.
I arrived at LAX Sunday afternoon, and it is taking me more time than I thought I'd need to get back in the swing of things. I don't feel particularly jet lagged - for some reason jet lag decided to leave me alone for the most part - but I do feel a tad spacey and lazy, so the beginning of this week is turning out to be one of those periods of time where I don't stop moving all day, but then I wonder what I accomplished when evening rolls in. Errands, laundry, dishes, sending out a stack of the snarky greeting cards I got on my trip (handy tip for the stationery obsessed: London = Fab Greeting Cards)...nothing terribly exciting or thrilling, but things that keep me moving when I might otherwise just sleep. Maybe jet lag did enter my bloodstream, it is just choosing to treat me a little more gently this go round.
What can I say about my trip? It was just about perfect, where I got to enjoy a big block of time with a woman I adore, where we let the wind take us where it wanted to take us and it took us to some lovely places. Walking down to the seaside in Bournemouth, eating noodles at Wagamama, catching a movie...then in London strolling on Bond Street, through Soho and around Portobello Market in Notting Hill. At any cafe stop I either had a Stella or a cappuccino in my hands and we gabbed like school girls at a slumber party practically non-stop.
Over the past year I have experienced an incredible bonding with creative women all over the world, a journey that has made me see with absolute certainty my place in the world. In Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert explains one aspect of Balinese culture like this:
"The whole idea of Bali is a matrix, a massive and invisible grid of spirits, guides, paths and customs. Every Balinese knows exactly where he or she belongs, oriented within this great, intangible map....(where someone) is only happy when he can maintain himself - mentally and spiritually - at the intersection between a vertical line and a horizontal one, in a state of perfect balance. For this, he needs to know exactly where he is located at every moment, both in his relationship to the divine and to his family here on earth. If he loses that balance, he loses his power."
I have tried to explain to many of my friends my experience of finally - after four decades on this earth - precisely locating my place in the invisible grid that covers our existence, which has happened over the past year as a result of connecting with them as well as continuing to nurture connections with friends that have been in my life for many years. I have found an exquisite balance between friendships that began long ago before I knew much about myself, the world or what my journey in life might be and friendships that are now developing as I forge my path more confidently, passionately and, dare I say, wisely.
"Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony." -Thomas Merton