“Yo miraba la luna de Rasquí, tumbado en la arena blanca. Y la luna me hablaba sólo a mí.” Jorge Drexler, La luna de Rasquí
Every night that I slept in the District of Columbia I listened to this gift from a dear friend. She is a woman like no other on this green Earth. I deeply admire her. I have learned as much from her in the moments we have coincided in time and space, but I have learned as much from her when this has not been the case.
I can remember those days so vividly and with a strange nostalgia. I wonder long and deeply if the friends who have just started this same journey, that I began to walk on four months ago, will remember those days with the same unprecedented admiration.
I could remember her, a teacher of many lessons, as I sat on the shore of Lake Michigan two days ago, imbibing the pinkest sunset this person has ever witnessed.
“Luna, luna, luna llena toma en tu mano la mía”.
With the easiest of spirits and a carefree movement, six human beings of the Great Lakes state brought me, the strangest of visitors, to dive in Lake Michigan in the tiny Laketown Beach. Part of this entourage consisted of Jody, the Rottweiler, and Pedro, the Italian Greyhound. Needless to say, they were like fish in the water. Me, a popcorn stall on the peak of a mountain.
The Michiganders marched on in front of me, with a rhythm that reminded me of a singing acoustic guitar playing Bossa Nova, the music my father gave to me as a gift when I was younger. He gave me so many things, and Bossa Nova was one of them. Perhaps the woman and the man waltzing up the stairs, challenged by the two European dogs, are somehow connected to this gift of this earlier stage of my life. Perhaps they are connected with my father. Whichever the answer, he was there with us as well.
I systematically and calculatedly escalated the sandy wooden staircase. The top was yet another gift from these people I now know as Michiganders. When I stood on top of the towering sand dune, I looked down the strait, formed by years of wind and storm, into the end of it: the Great Lake. For me, the greatest of lakes. With the wind blowing the hair I no longer possess, I knew Michigander meant “friend and teacher”. Perhaps they are connected to her, too. Perhaps they gave me Bossa Nova and La luna de Rasquí in earlier moments of my life. Have they been present all this time, but only now do I realize their presence? Perhaps. I wonder.
A small observation: when the little Italian bag of bones by the name of Pedro swims, an unparalleled sense of joy overcomes this world.
It is this light-spirited state of being, this harmony in all fronts, and it is this identity, which blurs the lines between people and nature, that truly admires me of the human beings of the state of Michigan. I had never seen childhood and adulthood inhabit simultaneously in such equilibrium. It made me wonder how much we strive to push our childhood into a photo album. It made me wonder how we lament the loss of innocence and the attainment of adulthood. Disequilibrium.
But this painful vacuum is non-existent for the human beings from the state of Michigan. I see it in their eyes, and I see it everyday. They are the mustached man holding the balancing pole as they walk the tightrope between skyscrapers. They are child and adult cohabiting the same body. One does not demand something from the other one. Child and adult flow, hand in hand, in the same direction like a stream. This stream leads them to Lake Michigan. They flow towards the lake every day, in every action they take.
I, the most unusual of bystanders, cannot help but be amazed. My body is not magnetically attracted to the lake. I do not see myself effortlessly balancing my older self and my present self. Yet, this does not provoke me anxiety or pain. On the contrary, it is because I am the oddest of observers that I am able to indulge in the beauty of living, sharing and knowing the Michiganders. It is because of my deepest imbalance that I am able to take in these sights of their way of life with the uttermost pleasure and admiration. I am entirely convinced they have always been around. I am grateful to learn from them every day. Thank you for making me wonder. Thank you for the Bossa Nova.
“Me decía la luna de Rasquí, ‘Estás en arena santa’. Y la pena no llega hasta aquí.”