It is a peculiar thing what I love about traveling is also what I dislike about it — lack of the usual structure of life, and the inability to structure myself in the usual way. Nothing like going away to return. 

I have kept a regular journal since 1970 — I can’t locate them all, and many have been eaten up by silver fish. I find it invaluable as a tool to navigate through my life. More of this later. But here’s the first, on structure. 

5th, I think. Kuyima Camp, San Ignacio. Mexico

So many days without leisure to write that I am suffocating. Let me first bitch, whine and moan about this in order to carry on with other things. There have been some wonderful moments in this trip, but of them later. Well, actually, as soon as I begin here I am done with the moaning. Today I shall not go whale watching, much as I love it, but stay in the cabin and ground myself (PS: I DID GO, AND WHAT AN EXPERIENCE!) Traveling with L on this part of the trip – the Germans with whom we kayaked and camped have gone off to the caves – and she talked yesterday about how she didn’t have any structure while she was growing up, wealthy, with dysfunctional parents, and that has been, and continues to be, the hardest part of her life, and how she has had to learn to ground herself. I think perhaps this sums up for me what has been hardest about this trip. There has been a lot of structure in the external sense, imposed, this time here and this time there, breakfast lunch and dinner with others, times to whale watch, taxi rides, flights, times to set out kayaking, always on the go, but it hasn’t been a structure from the inside out, hasn’t been of the mind, body and soul. For me structure imposed is not structure but constriction, regimentation, hell. Though I have been feeling this for a long time I have not been able to articulate this to myself till this morning. For me, then, feeling comes first. It manifests as unhappiness, grumpiness, groaning, whining and bitching, constipation, and lack of sleep. It is good to know this. 

ABOUT STRUCTURE: One of my cats, Chua, who died in 2000 and who I got from Saudi Arabia, would go crazy every once in a while, mewing and miowing raucously; didn’t want to be in, or out, or eat, or be petted. I discovered a trick that worked. I would put him under a laundry basket and he would quiet down and fall asleep. My study is my laundry basket, my box, my quiet soul time. 

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