Thresholds

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Today I am thinking about thresholds – but not physical doorways, gateways, borders, or frontiers. No, I am thinking of thresholds we use to mark the passage of time. Last night I watched a stunning sunset on Playa Tamarindo, and this morning I rose early and made my way to the playa in the dark in order to watch the full moon set over the same waters, just as the sun was beginning to peek above the eastern horizon. It was an unforgettable spectacle.

Ursula Le Guin writes, “A frontier has two sides. It is an interface, a threshold, a liminal site, with all the danger and promise of liminality.” I find the thresholds between day and night, between the presence and absence of the moon, equally infused with danger and promise. And yet in this case the promise lies in the confidence that this is a cycle that will repeat itself. After night, day will come again. The moon, too, will reappear in the eastern sky. And as it wanes into a mere sliver, I know that it will grow again to the bright disk of light I saw in the sky this morning. The tides that made the beach so broad, will soon make it a mere narrow strip.

What we remark most, what we find most enchanting, are the markers, the thresholds we impose on time – sunrise, sunset; the full moon and new moon. In fact, the sun holds its place while our planet slowly, regularly, turns on its slightly off-kilter axis. Likewise, the moon circles our little planet on its regular path, unconcerned with which portions of the globe currently enjoy its soft, reflected light.

It’s all a matter of perception.

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Reporting From Tamarindo

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Reporting from Tamarindo BLOG 02/02 Eating my beautiful breakfast this morning (papaya, pineapple, watermelon, rice-and-beans, plantain, camote pudding) looking out at the beautiful Pacific Ocean… I found myself craving solitude. The breakfast was great, the view was amazing – but the hotel cafe was huge and crowded with noisy guests, ready to head off in a hundred different directions in pursuit of whatever they felt worthy of their time and effort. “I could go back to my room,” I thought. My room is at the very back corner of the hotel, where huge mango trees conceal more than a few howler monkeys. I hear them, but I’ve only seen one. I also saw a really big iguana! But no… I wasn’t looking for isolation. Just solitude. Just a place where I could feel happy to be alone. Well… I found my place. It’s called Cafe Tico and it has outdoor seating under a guanacaste tree. It has iced soy lattes. And it’s right in front of a bookstore, which will open in 15 minutes.

Arrived in Costa Rica!

 

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I love being in places that resist being tamed – places with mountains, sea coasts, jungles. Costa Rica has all of these things. It also has hotels, like the one I spent the night in, where a space has been appropriated and domesticated for human use. I hear the call of wild birds as well as the crow of a rooster, from somewhere in one of the simple shacks that line the chain link fence behind our hotel. And there is a noticia on the back of our door about what to do in case of earthquake. I am looking forward to standing at the edge of the Pacific Ocean in a few hours’ time!