The Way of the Snake

ruins
Ruinas Panameñas (Panamanian Ruins), Panama City, Panama

Silence.

I’ve managed to ride through the swells of life with beautiful carving. I’ve fallen into the ocean, the depths of the unconscious, and nearly drowned, more times than I can count. I’ve done it all in silence. I’ve turned ruins into cities. I’ve transmuted pain into fuel and alchemized sorrow into power. I’ve sat with trauma, have sailed through chaos, and have surfed through life toppled by currents of despair. I’ve done it all in silence. With a near unbearable flexibility:  The way of the snake.

On Sundays, regardless of where in the world I may find myself, I’m often overcome by a wave of gratitude and deep reflection. Through vagabonding and wandering, I’ve met many likely souls. I can see it in their eyes – the mountains they’ve conquered, the depths they’ve dived, the storms they’ve stopped with their own bare hands.  They always carry a beautiful sheen in the eyes with a dash of unspeakable sadness. Their souls carry a reverent silence, though often they’re vibrant, lively, and penetrating. Travel has been the greatest tool to my awakening – awakening to my surroundings, to the magic that resides on our very soil, to our interconnectedness, our need for interdependence, our collective agony, the truth that’s found between the lines of the veil, a vehicle to the realization of my own humanity. Travel has and continues to provide me with a view of the bigger picture. It has shown me a deeper truth of the human experience – from our capacity to birth seemingly impossible beauty to our desire to destroy the beauty we worked so diligently to birth. And everything in-between.

pv
Panamá Viejo, Panama City, Panama

There are days when I walk down memory lane and return to the once eager 15-year-old girl whom held a piece of paper on her hands with words that would change the course of her life. That piece of paper was a portal into a world of magic – little did she know. That piece of paper was a ticket into a world of infinite possibility, the world of science. She started working in a research lab thanks to the National Science Foundation (NSF), which led her to get into medical school at the age of 17, which then led her to her people, and eventually to travel – lots of travel.  Regardless of the shiny surface, in the 12 years that have transpired since, she has been to the depths of the underworld and back. All in silence.

Silence: her faithful companion, her constant guide.


These days,

I like large cities – their intensity matches the ferocity of my inner world. All dissonance is temporarily eliminated.

nyc
New York, New York

Suddenly,

Contrast. Dissonance, change, and entropy find their way to inject their presence into my reality. I suddenly find myself peeking at the world through the looking-glass: Unspeakable joy cohabits with gut-wrenching despair. Ancient city ruins become adorned by modern metropolis backdrops. Conquered peaks are accompanied by all consuming loss. The double helix always unravels to replicate life. Meteoroids fall into the Earth’s atmosphere and burn; We call them shooting stars. A beautiful bird, spontaneously combusts – burning itself to ashes to rise again anew. In summation, the paradox of the human experience.

I move the glass aside and come across a sign. Adorned by neon pink lighting, the bold lettering reads – “Welcome to Reality: Where Truth becomes truths.”

 


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