Wednesday, May 15, 2013

To be or not to be...

Today the taxi driver taking us from Essaouira back to my village was speeding, even by Moroccan standards. I couldn't verify it because his speedometer was no longer working, but I could tell by the way the car was shaking and by the centrifugal force we were subjected to when we hugged the curves. Despite the horrible safety record of Moroccan drivers, I sat calmly in the back, wedged securely between two other passengers, and read my book. I was glad for the quick pace because I was late for the aerobics class I teach. I had been on a tight time schedule; I had planned to make the trip to Essaouira for the meeting and turn around and come back. But the person I was meeting with had been 45 minutes late because of a taxi-related delay. So this was poetic justice coming to my rescue.

I looked up from my book from time to time and watched the familiar scenery speed by. I suddenly saw it anew, as if for the first time. I had the surreal thought that this strange and exotic world that had become my normal, like the blurry scenery I had begun to regard with disinterest, would soon be a thing of the past, a figment of my imagination. It occurred to me that I was possibly already starting to pull away in my mind, preparing myself to adjust back to life in America by finding a psychic separation between me and this world I had come to take for granted. Yet that is the last thing I want to do - leave before I am gone. I want to drink it up, every last drop, before the cup is taken from me forever.

As soon as the taxi pulled into my town, all such thoughts were pushed out as I rushed up the hill to class. Soon as I was jamming to the music with my four faithful attendees, throwing myself into the rigorous dance moves that had become our tri-weekly form of exercise. Enjoying the connectedness with the women in my class as we moved to the music, leading them yet fully together with them. Feeling their energy, their affection and respect, enjoying their laughter and feeling the inexplicable bliss, in those moments of comprehension, of truly laughing with them. I was fully back in the present and there was nowhere I would rather be.

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