Monday, April 07, 2008

Traveling Light

A funny thing happens when you decide to let go of all your material possessions. You realize that they were never really yours and that those things you do own -- your heart, faith, purpose and love -- are the things that no one person or circumstance can take away from you.

An even funnier thing happens when you decide to let go of your attachment to place. You realize that as a spiritual being on a human journey, being rooted anywhere is just a temporary illusion. The most important anchor you have is yourself.

I'm getting a divorce and having an affair all at once -- separating from places, people and things that no longer serve me and falling in love with all that truly matters. This is an interior place of peace that only exists within. It doesn't have a name. It's not on any map. This is the place we should all be so lucky to find, no matter where we live on this earth.

When I first began this process, I let my ego talk me into seeing this as a step backward. But in reality, being 40 and free of all obligations is actually a blessing. No divorce, no mortgage -- in short, no personal or financial baggage -- is a really good place to be in our country this year, all things considered.

This is also a good place to be as a writer. It's a blank page full of possibilities.

I have to be honest, my life in Miami Beach never supported much stability for me, even though, ironically, it was boot camp for spiritual growth. Growth isn't a glossy tourism brochure. Growth is struggle, wasted weekends, one night stands. Growth stumbles on the sidewalk. Growth smells like piss on the bathroom floor at Finnegans 2 on Lincoln Road.

See, the funniest thing of all has happened -- the thing I never expected to happen. Miami isn't Miami to me anymore. Nor is Miami Beach. Here on the mainland, I'm now navigating streets I've known since childhood, but I'm not attached to them. I am perfectly suspended in that peaceful place between love and detachment.

I pass by my old elementary school often, where as a little girl, I stared in awe at the big trees on Sunset Drive. I was a child and it would be many years before I would learn who I was. I still love looking at those trees -- the giant green canopies all over this part of town. But now I know who I am and I stare in awe at the boundless pages of my future, of things I have it in my heart to write.

My face smiled then. My heart smiles now.