Today I had to go to the Policia de Migracion to get a form filled out for my new Ecuadorian visa. Based on the map, it was a little over a half hour walk, towards the outskirts of the city.
The route seemed simple enough and both because I’ve been trying to avoid taking cabs both to burn off the mass quantities of empanadas I’ve been eating and because I can buy at least four more empanadas with the cost of cab fare, I decide to walk. (Yes, I plan an absurd portion of my life around consuming melty-gooey cheese pockets from my favorite vendor. No shame, totally worth it.)
About fifteen minutes into my walk, I start to get into a sketchy area with more boarded up buildings than pedestrians, and notice that I’m entering a construction zone. Red tape marked PELIGRO (danger) forms a makeshift barricade, a weak attempt to keep pedestrians from being pummeled by one of the excavators that are moving from street to sidewalk haphazaradly. Dust and gravel are flying from every direction, and I’ve entered a part of city far from the familiar centro, where there are almost no people and just wires, piles of raw material, and cavernous holes dug in the ground to begin laying tracks for the tram that will run through the city in 2017.
I should just take a cab the rest of the way, I think. But something in me needs to walk through that construction, needs to stride confidently past the banners declaring “this place is unsafe” with determination. Out of habit rather than rationality, I shove my passport under my clothes, before remembering the danger here has less to do with getting mugged and more to do with the giant chasms in the ground and machinery designed to destroy entire buildings… and then I continue on.
It ends up taking me nearly an hour, three detours, and nearly getting backed into by a bulldozer to reach my destination. The reward for my perseverance? I discover a mural of a woman with a butterfly on her face, wings in her hair, staring up at a crescent moon, a lovely juxtaposition of personally meaningful symbolism in one painting. She is nearly hidden behind a pile of giant concrete pipes, right in the heart of the construction zone.
More significant is finding this lovely rough creation right in the middle of a construction zone… it feels perfect. Yesterday I launched my Facebook writer’s page with very little idea how a writer goes about properly utilizing social media but a growing awareness that I should begin to figure it out. I also started working on a new site to compile my published work. I felt uncomfortable sharing this while these things and my writing career are still under construction, but then it hit me… as a creator, everything I do is in a state of construction and as I hope to continue to grow and expand, it always will be. In fact, any creative endeavor is always a work in progress- including our lives, constantly being built and rebuilt, some structures crumbling or being torn down to be replaced with new ones.
I believe to discover the best parts of life, we have to be willing to walk through a few construction zones, sometimes take a few detours because a jackhammer is tearing up the street we’d marked on our map. In fact I’d argue that sometimes the best part isn’t the destination, it IS the construction zone, and we can stand right in the middle, the dust blowing in our face, the steady scream of demolition and building, step right up to the red tape marked DANGER and find something beautiful. Equally as important, we must also be willing to create a walkway right through our own construction zone to allow others to walk through the messy spaces of our life and appreciate whatever we are in the process of creating.
So, welcome to the heart of my “construction zone-. Join me at Facebook.com/Jennymonetwriter, and my incredibly unfinished new website, JennyMonet.com. Don’t mind the dust flying, I’m a work in progress. All love, Jen