Zia says slowly...
24 October 2011 | still in Valdivia
by Zia, it's sunny!
I have come to this place, Valdivia, Chile for a boat, for love. Here it rains more often than not raining. Here the sky keeps the blankets tucked over a lush greenness, so many verdes to get to know that I can not absorb them all. Here I learn Spanish. My profesora, Denise is patient and kind. She doesn't know that even in English I search for words. That often I go to a place of no words, a place where there is only feeling, sensing, knowing but not talking. The place where the little wren's tail, short and pert or the four baby Cisnes, the color of heavy clouds, riding on their parent's backs delights my soul such that no words suffice. Or even the woman who spoke to me with a catch in her throat who asks me without uttering a word, "life has been hard for me, for you too?". I am in trouble if like the so many greens, the so many new sounds leave me helplessly mute. Out of the meaningless noise, Denise teaches me what to pay attention to, and slowly the sounds are becoming words.
And slowly we pass the days not doing much, but being here. My garden now is in a bowl and a jar. A bowl of beets in water sprouting roots and green leaves and a jar of lentil sprouts. The millet we tried and tossed. It was inedible even after soaking and cooking. The Chilean goldfinches, even they are a bit greenish, and the sparrows with their perky pointed caps and rusty scarves love the mijo seeds and we delight in their joy. Another bird lives here, The buff-necked ibis. They have long slightly curved black beaks and a buffy orangish colored neck. They eat off the ground and roost in the tallest tree tops announcing dawn and dusk each day with quarrelsome squawky conversations. Nancy, our artist who painted Hekla's floor, was fascinated by these birds, so timid that we could never get a close up photo of them. There will be more on Nancy and our paintings, but for now they are covered with cardboard and not visible.
The Cisnes, which I mentioned before, are a swan. They have black necks and heads with a white body. I've only seen them floating on the calm edges of rivers amongst tan colored reeds.
Much of our time here has been spent provisioning. Just finding places to buy what we need has been a challenge. Where can one find a magnifying glass, for instance? Then comes communicating what we want, how much, and for how many pesos? These shopping episodes leave me exhausted even though mostly they are less than a couple of hours. We went to the local market, mercado fluvial and bought lots of vegetables. I made a batch of sauerkraut with three enormous heads of cabbage. It is already oozing juices and making the air lock splutter. We won't know how it is for a week or so, I'll let you know then. I also froze some spinach, broccoli and Swiss chard. Seven weeks to Puerto Natales is a long time to eat rice and beans and the occasional fresh caught fish or crab.
I've been eating an avocado a day which reminds me of Kati's first year of college. She went to Boulder, University of Colorado and became a vegan. She and her roommate lived on avocados for the year!
Hekla is a beauty, sleek and racy. She is bright and fills with light nicely. The last few days have been sunny with a blue sky almost rivaling Colorado's, almost but not quite, and Hekla gets warm with the sun pouring in. This is encouraging as we are planning on sailing south from here which is closer to the pole, so colder temperatures. There may even be ice floating in some of the waters we sail. Hekla is taking her time. Slowly she becomes ready to sail. Maybe Jeff and I will be able to move onto her this weekend. Maybe.
And for love, I am here. Those of you who know me know that this is not my dream, so I am here to live with Jeff his dream. Maybe sailing around the world will become my dream too, but for now I struggle to define my own life within Jeff's all consuming passion. I have been proud of him for his patience with Hekla taking her time, with me needing to learn so much, with the slowness of everything Chilean excepting their rapid fire speech. I will admit that there are many times when I question whether or not I will be able to learn all I need to, to be a competent sailor. Jeff has been giving me dinghy lessons, for goodness sake, but really when had I, a land lover, gardener like me, ever had the chance to drive a dinghy? It's not that hard by the way. And Jeff is also a patient and kind teacher.
We are learning also how to love one another in a small space all the time, well almost all the time. On land we had our places and things to do when we needed a break from too much of each other. The cabaña we are staying in is small, just slightly larger than Hekla, still even here Jeff can go to Alwoplast and I can stay put. Yet more often than not Jeff and I are together and so far we are enjoying our company. We are trying new things; meditating (new for Jeff), dancing, reading out loud to each other, exploring restaurants, fiestas, places, beaches, and experimenting with what food we can make with what we can find here, for instance green smoothies! We even shared a nasty little flu bug last week and survived. Slowly we learn to be more able, considerate and helpful mates. Slowly we learn love more deeply.