This blog may dribble away rather than continue or come to a conclusion.  The conclusion is when you die, and my “real” life here in Portland is not interesting enough to warrant an ongoing written account.

Been back over a week.  Re-entry has not been as hard as expected.  Been spending a lot of time with friends, which helps, and then life is easier here.  You don’t have to disinfect your vegetables, and the bathroom fixtures have traps and vents so it doesn’t smell like sewage.  And then there was the court trial I came back for in the first place.  My part in it so far went well.

So everyone is asking, Are you going back?  Who knows?  And back where?  I feel like I started to set some roots in Panajachel and then uprooted them.  But I have more and deeper roots in Portland.  Will I go to live in a third world place?  Maybe.  Will it be Panajachel, expatriate and backpacker heaven?  On the one hand, it’s not the real thing, the real third world.  If I want the real thing, I should go teach school or something in some village where no one speaks English.  On the other hand, Lake Atitlan is a node, a bizarre intersection of multiple cultures. A crossroads.  And because it’s a tourist spot, it has musicians to associate with and places to perform.  My friend Bear is a plant chemist, actively engaged in studying the plants around him, and he commented that it was nice for me to have musicians to associate with, because there’s no one else there for him to talk with about plant chemistry.

This year, I will not get back there for Semana Santa, and I won’t hear the processions in Santiago Atitlan, with out-of-tune bands over-blowing the marches and dirges.  The lawsuit trial in Portland, which was postponed and delayed for month after month, hit just at precisely the time to prevent that.  There were things I backed away from, opportunities I didn’t take.  That’s OK.  I mostly did the main thing I set out to do, which was nothing.  By that criterion, the trip was a success.  Two months was not enough, it was interrupted, and I’m going to have to go do it all over again.  This spring there are just enough things going on here in Portland, just compelling enough, along with inertia, to keep me here.  Summer in Oregon is too short and too precious to miss.  Next fall maybe I’m out of here if I’m lucky enough to still be able.