Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Scene
Last day in Cancun. And wouldn't you know a tropical storm named Ida stopped by to say goodbye. What a bitch.

All week the folks at the Ritz had assured us that a tropical storm is not a hurricane. Um, ok, not so reassuring when you appear to be bracing all outdoor areas for more than just a passing rain storm. Gulp.

But they seemed to be right. This morning, there was no rain. And the wind was actually calmer than yesterday. There was only one thing that was different: the ocean. It was pissed and someone was going to pay. F.

My mom said she'd never seen water this ferocious. While I checked with the airline about our flight home, she was transfixed by the water, by the immensity of it all, by its undenial rage, by its spellbinding beauty.

Eventually we felt reassured enough that we tore ourselves away from the window and enjoyed a leisurely final breakfast.

Then we worked out and hit the spa. We even hit the pool and jaccuzzi. By that time, the winds had died down considerably but the ocean hadn't. My mom wanted to see it up close so we walked around outside.

Chatted up the lovely lifeguard. My mom asked him what seemed like every question she had ever had about the ocean. 60 years worth of questions. And when she had run out of questions, she shared with him how she's always avoided the ocean precisely because of its power, its unpredictability.

And yet today, she told us, she felt its overwhelming energy. She felt it in her bones. And, well, she liked what she felt. She felt emboldened by it. Empowered by it.

It made me so emotional. Hearing her say that. I instantly thought of the passage in Eat, Pray, Love when Liz has a dream she is on a beach with massive terrifying waves. Suddenly her guru's guru is there and he asks her sternly, pointing at the approaching waves, "I want you to figure out a way to stop that from happening."

Ever the writer, she picks up her notebook - a notebook!!!! - and tries sketching out inventions that would stop the ocean waves from advancing. Finally she gives up only to find the guru doubled over in laughter at her frantic flailling. He points out to the colossal, powerful, endless ocean, and says to her, "Tell me, dear one, how exactly you were planning on stoping that."

Today my mom in an instant realized she doesn't have to control something to enjoy it. She can appreciate the beauty in something incredibly terrifying. And that feeling the fear and processing it can often be the fastest way to eradicate it...if not forever, for now.

It took her 60 years but she did it. She unlocked one of the greatest secrets to living. Better than most people.

And just as the sun began to emerge (Tropical Ida having lost much of her steam over night) our plane took off and we headed home to L.A. Headed back to reality. Back to the beautiful people and not so beautiful problems of day to day life. Back to all there is: eating and praying and loving.

The Outfit
Forever 21 dress

The Accessories
Fashion District bangles
Marc Jacobs purse
Stuart Weitzman sandals

The Grade
A is for Awake and Alive

The Commentary
I've never spent so much of a vacation in work out clothes with a water bottle as my number one accessory. My ass has never needed it more than now too. Funny how life just has a way of taking care of you ;)

Also funny how purple does make one feel like royalty. Invaluable when you're schlepping your way through customs close to midnight after a long day of heavy life lessons.

The Addendum
So this seems like a fitting post to acknowledge that I have clearly fallen behind on the blog. Waaaay behind. Not sure how that happened.

At first I was anxious about it but then I remembered the blog has been my way of dealing with anxiety. It was never intended to be a source of anxiety.

For almost two years now, I've chronicled every single day of my life. It's been a writing exercise, something I needed to do for myself, to build discipline and commitment. It's become my primary creative outlet. It's morphed into an instantaneous way for me to connect and document and experiment. It's been the reason I wake up many mornings. Sad but true.

So I've let go of the guilt over falling behind, of letting myself down, of falling short of the goal I'd created for myself. Instead I've embraced this as an opportunity to reinvent the blog, my creativity and my commitment to expressing myself.

Not sure where the road ahead leads - blogging-wise and life-wise. I imagine it will be funny at times, heartbreaking at others. You can be assured it will be fashionable and fabulous if I have any say in the matter ;)

The only thing I know for certain is that I will be forever grateful to all of you who have read my words and shared this path with me. You have helped me find my voice. I'd been afraid I'd lost it forever.
You cannot imagine what it's all meant to me (AND my mom) to feel like my writing it touches hearts, might even influence how you see yourself or live your life.

So that's all a longwinded way of saying: I guess we'll just wait and see how the rest of all this unfolds, m'kay?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Scene
Whisked away bright and early by bus for a guided tour of the Mayan ruins in Tulum

Was sunny most of the morning but the minute we reached the actual ruins, the clouds rolled in. Of course. F to Chac, the Mayan rain god.

But a little intermittent drizzle wasn't enough to keep us from getting our Mayan on. Our tour guide was a fount of knowledge about the Maya culture: their art, architecture and of course those uncannily accurate mathematical and astronomical abilities. Particularly fascinating in light of all the anxiety around December 12, 2012.

Here are some of my favorite nuggets that I learned today:

  • Despite popular belief to the contrary, the Maya civilization was not completely decimated by the conquistadors. It is estimated that there are as many as 7 million Maya living from the Yucatan peninsula and into Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

  • Mayans are born with a birthmark at the base of their coccyx which fades at puberty. This is believed to trace the origins of the Mayan people to the Mongolian empire.

  • The ancient Maya considered flat foreheads and crossed eyes beautiful. To achieve these effects, children would have boards bound tight to their heads and wax beads tied to dangle before their eyes. The elites sharpened their teeth to points, and made incrustations with Jade and Pyrite, another mark of wealth and beauty. Interestingly, most of this confoundingly precise dental work was done by women

  • The Mayan view of the afterlife consisted primarily of a dangerous voyage of the soul through the underworld. The majority of Maya, including the rulers, went to this underworld. Heaven was reserved for those who had been sacrificed or died in childbirth. It is important to note that historians believe the times when human sacrifice was common were times of stress upon the society, times of drought or severe pressure from outside.
  • Maya architecture spans many thousands of years; yet, often the most dramatic and easily recognizable as Maya are the stepped pyramids. Though city layouts evolved as nature dictated, careful attention was placed on the directional orientation of temples and observatories so that they were constructed in accordance with Maya interpretation of the orbits of the heavenly bodies.
  • The ancient Maya are also known for having had the only known fully developed written language of pre-Columbian America, and the most advanced mathematics and astronomy. Inscriptions show them on occasion working with sums up to the hundreds of millions and dates so large it would take several lines just to represent it.

  • The preclassic Maya independently developed the concept of zero by 36 BC. That the Mayas understood the concept and value of zero is extraordinary because at that time most of the world’s civilizations had zero concept of zero.

    Sadly when we finally got some free time to wander around on our own, the wind and rain picked up. Time for fancy Mayan princesses to skeedaddle.

    Headed back to the hotel for some sustenance, yet ANOTHER work out and some spa time.

    After a little nap it was time for a champagne dinner at a Cancun legend.

    Beautiful day filled with some of my favorite things: my little mom, Latin American history and cajeta crepes.

    The Outfit
    Fashion District romper
    Brass Plum sweater

    The Accessories
    Handmade necklace
    Tory Burch flats

    The Grade

    The Commentary
    Knew the torrential rains might hit today during our Tulum outing. Had planned on wearing my very Mayan maxi for photo opts and to combat mosquitos. But in the end opted for a romper and lots of bug spray.

    Felt very strange wearing shorts in the rain. But unlike L.A., Cancun doesn't cool down when it rains. Never dipped below 80 today.

    The two hoodies I brought were the perfect call for the rain. The Tory Burch flats not so much. The leather bled all over my feet and half an hour of scrubbing only got my feet 70 back to normal. Ughs to being a smurf.

    This little girl in our tour group had the best outfit. Please note: this is the one and only time I will condone Crocs.

    But walking around half naked in perforated shoes is really best left to kids and Victoria Secret models.

    Though a shocking number of designers like Alex Wang, Marc Jacobs and D&G seem to believe women should embrace the pantless look this Spring.

    Blame it on Gaga. Ooooo lala.


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin