One of the most intense Pacific hurricanes to strike the west coast of Mexico, Kenna wreaked havoc on the coastal areas of Puerto Vallarta and the farmlands of San Blas. The name "Kenna" was retired from the list of Pacific hurricanes due to its effect on Mexico, which included US$101 million in damage and four deaths.
Personally, I estimate the death toll to be much higher.
A couple weeks ago, my counsellor was listening to me talking about something (can't remember what or if it's relevant) when she started drawing something on a piece of paper. I stopped talking and she showed it to me. It was a palm tree. She said "that's you, by the way." I was a little confused, and then she elaborated. She explained how a palm tree can withstand an absolute thrashing, even a hurricane, and still stand tall. Still seem ok. At first I thought that maybe it was a strange comparison, but then I realized that it makes sense.
When you're raised to have a thick skin--that you need to be tough in order to handle a very scary world--that you need to "keep a stiff upper lip"--you become a master at the art of appearing strong. You become such a tough guy that you're able to stare anyone in the face and smile as they spit fire. You're able to get knocked down on your ass and get right back up. Maybe even laugh about it all. In my case, definitely laugh about it. That's something my counsellor pointed out to me. She said that comedy seems to be an outlet for me; it keeps me safe. But that when she sees me laugh when discussing trauma her heart breaks for me a little because she knows that the laughter is masking the pain.
I hadn't really looked at it that way before. I always thought that it was good to laugh at everything because it made things lighter, and in a way it is, but there comes a time when you have to admit that you've been through some really fucked up shit, and it's actually not funny at all. Having said that, I think it's important to keep yourself safe, and that's something I'm learning how to do, but in a healthy way--a way that still allows me to be authentic.
I took this photo the morning after a storm had passed. My neighbour has fifteen beautiful palm trees in his front yard and I always find myself marveling at how incredibly lush and beautiful they are, and also how strong. I love hearing the wind blow through the leaves--it's the most soothing sound. Every time I walk by and catch a glimpse, I feel like I'm on vacation...just for a moment. After taking this photo, I looked around the rest of the neighbourhood and noticed fallen branches and scattered leaves from some of the other trees that appeared to have a rough go of the storm. Then I looked back up at the towering palms and I realized that my perspective had changed. Yes, those palms seemed virtually unscathed--they still had all of their leaves and branches--but that doesn't mean that they hadn't weathered the same storm as the others. I suppose that's something to keep in mind as I continue on my journey. Perhaps it's something for all of us to keep in mind.
And on that note, I will leave you, and hope to return with another post very soon. I had intended on writing one last month, but it didn't exactly go as planned. I'm OK with that. There was definitely a time when I wouldn't have been, but times are changing.
Thanks for reading. Here's something to listen to: one of my favourite songs by one of my favourite artists. Farewell!
I'm finally doing it--pulling my insides out and splattering them around for all to see. Here we go!