Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Desert Detox



I was looking forward to this brief little respite in the desert. It's nice to step away from your life for a couple of weeks. Even if there's not that much to step away from.

I was actually planning on spending a good solid three weeks out here in Joshua Tree, but obligations - and car wreckage - forced me to insert a three-day return trip to LA in the middle of it, breaking my retreat up into two nice chunks.

And then Carrie, my friend and proprietor of The Desert Lily, for whom I was housesitting, came back a week early.

I actually wasn't even sure if I would go back to LA immediately upon her return anyway, regardless if it was the 18th or a week before, so when she said, "You know, you don't have to leave right away..." I was relieved. I could stay the week as planned, or I could stay longer.

Or, if I wanted to, I could leave early.

I still don't know when I'm going back to LA. One of the reasons I wanted to come out here was to detoxify my life a bit, break the cycle of work-and-wine, of sitting at restaurant bars hoping to meet someone who will change my life. And hopefully, in the process, I'd lose the ten pounds I'd gained since May.

Now that I'm out here, I feel great. I cook my own breakfast every day, and dinner almost every night. I stay in and watch the sun set rather than lingering at the saloon. I go to bed early and set my alarm for 6 a.m. I sleep well with a nightly low of 80 degrees, without air conditioning. I am limber and strong. I am hiking and swimming, and I am resilient. I search for art and I seek beauty. I clear my head of poisonous thoughts.

I do everything I want to do.

And sometimes, I do nothing.

I marvel at how much healthier I am - both physically and mentally - now than I was three years ago. I'm not pressuring myself to do - or not do - anything.

So why leave? Why go back to LA early? Why not stay, as long as this place is good for me, and as long as I am welcome?

As long as I don't succumb to snakes, tarantulas, floods, wildfires, excessive heat, and a remarkably poor sense of direction...

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