So yeah, I was in Maui last week. It’s a little embarrassing to admit it, as this makes the third vacation this year. I was feeling kinda guilty about going, until my friends pointed out that the other two trips this year were with family members, which doesn’t quite make them vacations. The last true vacation I had without family was my birthday in 2007 , and then a trip to New Orleans in 1999 with my then boyfriend who got mugged in the Quarter when he stupidly decided to go out by himself after dark because I fell asleep.
Nothing like that happened here, though. Just five days of sun, sunsets, snorkeling, ziplining, mai tais galore, and sleeping with the screen door open to the sound of the ocean crashing on the waves. It was glorious.
It was so glorious, that I immediately fell into a deep depression once I got off the plane and entered the Los Angeles rainstorm. It’s enough to make me never want to go on vacation again, I got the blues so bad.
My Mother The Phone Harpy Whom I Love Very Very Much and my Dad The Great Stoic Wonder don’t know what ziplining is. Let’s attempt to freak them out:
Ziplining is where it’s you attached to a harness and you ride (i.e. “zip”) your way across a very thin cable to the other side of a valley, like this. (Except that’s not me. That’s Xavier. Yes, he came with me. No, I will not answer questions about him. What, you wanna scare him off? That aint cool.)
This is me. I quickly developed a signature style of zipping, a cross between Peter Pan and a superhero coming in for a landing, “Here I am to save the daaaaaaaaaay!” The guides thought it was especially graceful: “It’s the shoes!” they joked (I’m the only one of our group wearing black tennis shoes, I had read about the red dust ahead of time.)
I had forgotten how much I like being up in the air. I think it might be part of the reason I stuck with gymnastics as a kid for so long despite the fact that I had zero flexibility. I had no fear, and gaily launched myself over the vault, around the bars, off the beam, anything to put me in the air. In college, I took a circus class (hey, they offered it) and learned a Spanish web routine where I was spun around and around high up in the air, and it was awesome (I have video of that somewhere around here.)
We also went snorkeling, and didn’t take an underwater camera with us, but this is what it looked like from above before we jumped in. We were on the outside of the Molokini crater, where not a lot of boats go, and fish were everywhere. They gave me one of those snorkel shirts because I knew I’d be a wimp about the water. An unexpected bonus of the shirt was that it kept me afloat in the water. While Xavier dived down and swam with the fishies, I floated up top and watched him (and swam with the fishies that came my way. They were seriously not afraid of people. It was awesome.) This may not sound like a lot of fun except for the fact that I don’t float on my own in water. Never have. I sink like a rock and it’s always annoyed me. So I spread out my arms and floated in the water amongst the fishies and the bubbles from the scuba divers way down below, and felt like I was flying again.
I had planned on dreaming big on this vacation. I had big things to think about, big plans to concoct about how I was going to spend 2010, what I was going to write, what I was going to write first, logical steps to achieve my goals.
And I did none of that. I did no thinking on this trip. No plotting, no planning. No writing on the plane (we watched Wall-E on the computer. Much more endearing of a movie than I expected.) All that potential time wasted. I wrote on both of the cruises this year. I wrote during the 2007 birthday trip. I did nothing here.
I suppose it’s not that big of a deal. It wasn’t like I was bored. I was always engaged in doing something. Just not writing, plotting or planning.
I am rudderless, sprawled out in the ocean, floating in the yellow snorkel shirt, watching Xavier and the fishies swim beneath me.
I am senseless, watching a sun set over a table full of Mai Tais, and not being inspired to do anything other than watch the sunset.
I am flying, floating over a Hawaiian valley, looking out at the ocean and not concerned at all that my life is attached to a harness and a thin cable line.
There will be time to write, think, plan and plot later. The New Year is coming up, and my annual trip down to the Santa Monica Pier to have margaritas is supposed to be where I do all of that anyway.
It was a vacation. And now I’m back, and desperately trying to get re-energized again.
Soon. Hopefully soon.