Last night, around midnight, I returned from seven days of retreat at Blue Spirit, Costa Rica, and today I’m bustling around the house trying to get stuff done—laundry, email, bills—and regain the routine of my regular life. Around mid-morning (sixth load of laundry), I was caught off guard when I saw myself in a mirror. I seemed to be disappearing. You might think I’m speaking metaphorically, which I am for sure, but I also mean this literally. My features were lighter, finer, much less definite. The skin pale and thin. The eyes smaller and watery. Eyebrows gone. There was no expression on my face; just blandness. I headed to the bathroom and applied make-up—foundation to hide the sallow; lots of blush, eye liner, mascara, and a fine eyebrow line; and bright lipstick to give the illusion of real lips beneath the color. I put on earrings so I know where my ears are and a cap to hold my head secure. I am not fooled by these tricks, though. I know I am disappearing, and it is mildly distressing.
I might be more concerned if I had the energy; but that, too, is draining away. I am physically and existentially fatigued. I’ve overdosed on sun, and sand, and a grand ocean spread out before me like a table, and meditation, yoga, fresh, healthy food, and earthy, healing juices, and long walks on the beach.
I thought I was gobbling up every gem that Blue Spirit had to offer. I thought I’d go home stuffed and energized and radiant. But somehow, I gave away everything I have at Blue Spirit, and left it on Yuliya’s massage table. With her knowing heart and her strong hands, she swooshed all the stuckness out of my body. But I’m wondering if she swooshed all the things that were working fine, too. It can happen when you’re in the healing business.
And so, I’m halting my post-trip bustle and just sitting still for the rest of the day. Holding tight to the little bit of me that is left. I’m wondering if I’ll come back tonight when I sleep, or if I’ll be gone for a while, or if I’ll ever come back. Maybe they’ll send a replacement, an upgraded version of me. New pieces and parts. Dark lines and clear features. More color. More clarity.