11 Sep 2010

eine kleine nachtfreude

A few of my secret nighttime joys on this jungle island that I haven’t shared with a soul before…

A mangy old dog who looks like a sack of pathetic little bones with a bumped-raw nose comes to visit me almost every night. He travels 45 minutes from his home to get here. I save scraps from my plate to fill his belly, sometimes I save him half my pizza. He falls asleep under my hammock. Sometimes he gets up in the night and bumps with his nose through the net at me giving me a hell of a startle at times. When intruder dogs come he barks at them. I luff my El Tigre. When he sees me he wags his tail by spinning it around and around in a circle, made evermore adorable by the white tip that makes it look like a sparkler in the night.

I used to be afraid of the dark until I came here. Afraid of the unknown stuff I could bump into and what would happen. When I came out here with the fiercest intention to pour light into the dark hidden secrets in my heart and mind, I discovered the byproduct was automatically losing the fear of the dark. The first night I slept here in the hammock in the temple, all alone, it was the first time in my life I have ever felt 100{a9f0d31f6175b3e4775e11a66c07db268fb74408d6095f6b46eeec420c0e9f62} safe falling asleep. I remember thinking that night, falling asleep with a huge tucked in smile on my face, how I would be purring right then if I only could. (Frolina would love it here, curled up on me, and she’d love the dogs, if only she didn’t have to be quarantined.) Every night I sleep alone up here in a huge area that encompasses the garden, kitchen, temple, and the rest of the residents stay down in the dorms, and Paul and Gaia sleep in their house. I LOVE this solitude. I feel safe. I get up in the dark all the time for water or to pee in the bushes.

One of my favourite joys is walking the long route home from El Zopilote — an extraordinary and beautiful permaculture farm and hostel — after pizza or a chocolate fetching expedition, without a flashlight, in the complete dark. Using the tiny bit of imaginary light left over after sunset or the moonlight. The route is very complex in the daylight, never-mind in the dark, where you have to take note of trees ad other cues. It winds over about 45 minutes of riverbeds, roads created by flash flood erosions and winding paths through grassy fields filled with cows or horses. There are a few barbed wire fences to cross. There are sections of the walk that are so forested over there is no moon light at all, and I can just make out the faintest outline of the path on either side of me by looking at the tops of the plants blackened out against the sky. I have to step so carefully, purposefully over slippery rocks and roots and treestumps. I’m very aware I might step on a big toad which I hope I haven’t done because that would be sad. Walking alone in the dark is a meditation for sure. I have been out here over a month and so far I have never once tripped. I’ve stumbled but never fallen over. A sense of balance I’ve never ever had before kicks in and woop! I’m propped back up again. Bizarre because before I was just the clumsiest girl ever. Every time this happens I am reminded that I am held. Protected. By an invisible ever vigilant force. One of the loveliest things about walking in the dark is that you can see all the colours of the night. Its a whole special spectrum that is rarely seen by us, because we love to light everything up. Funny humans. And you can see the stars. Everywhere. All your other senses are heightened too. Especially sound and smell. Mmmm its wonderful listening to the jungle at night. Smelling the wet mud and leaves.

The event that sparked this post happened tonight. I walked to our outdoor toilet area surrounded by tall grasses with my headlamp on and squatted over the 2 planks over a deep dug out hole. That is pretty much it. No roof. On rainy nights you need to squat under an umbrella. I think its fun to huddle this way and watch the water drip all around me like diamonds sparkling from the headlamp. Its also the most hygenic toilet experience ever. Unlike “modern” toilets, you don’t have to touch anything with your butt that has been on a thousand other butts, no dreaded backsplash, or smell or anything. Perfect. Plus you’re already sitting in the position we were designed to for the most effective experience instead of all crooked. Well anway, this giant loud buzzy bug kept thumping into my head because I had my headlamp on. (I found it’s important to use one going to the toilet – you don’t really want to fall into that.) Then a few moths joined in the party. Oh I can just switch off this stupid headlamp! And then WHOAH! WOW! Look at all the STARS! I don’t know how many times Ive sat there just looking ahead, so ordinarily. You know, looking at the bugs running around the plants or the living ecosystem going on in the pit. Tonight was the first time I actually looked UP! How crazy is that. After all this time. Its the best thing about this toilet, for sure! So I started to look up at the thick milky way and dream, impossible dreams, but now they seem possible, because here I am in a jungle, on an island in Nicaragua of all places on the planet, squatting over 2 planks purging old toxins literally, also letting go of pain from my old life, it will soon be gone, and I’m looking up at this endless ancient milky way. YES! These dreams are possible. Why not? Humans are incredible. Just as magical as we are destructive. We can do anything we put our minds to. I have a mind that wants to be put to all these things.

Is been a great night. We danced in the temple to exquisite music from around the world. My favourite rhythms were the ones from my African home, that brought out the kid in me and a primal craving to dance and shake. Beautiful free traveling spirited women just dancing wild and crazy and unselfconsciously all around me for hours… then we sat down for dinner and chocolates, all handmade from scratch, great conversations and a fat joint, which again I didn’t partake in. I just don’t need it out here. Seriously, why blow an already blown mind.

I keep wondering, every hour or so… Where am I going to be next? I have a month and a half left here and still no clue… not even the foggiest. And still no working laptop, or money. Yet. But, obviously, it’s all good.


  • Erika
    October 15, 2010 Reply


  • Beth
    September 12, 2010 Reply

    Wow my mind is blown too! I’m jealous because this is something I will never do.

    You are the most interesting person I’ve never known(and of those I have known too)!

    That dog is such a sweetheart! It’s an amazing feeling when love is all around you.

    • bird
      September 12, 2010 Reply

      Oh we can fix that! The next time I’m in Pittsburgh we can meet at Harris Grill. I love the stuff you post! We’ll have Fun. I’m a frozen cosmo and carrotcake martini addict too!! So beware…

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