I absolutely love listening to bachata, the quintessential music blasting out of the countryside of the Dominican Republic. It plays all day, every day, from the corner store, the car wash, and from your neighbors house while they’re moping the floor. A handful of songs of the moment get extra air time, mixed in with some of the classics, and you never, ever, get tired of hearing them. There is a moment in most bachatas when the twangy guitar, which makes bachata music what it is, skips up a cord, and that is the moment when things get extra spicy. It’s called the requinto, and of all who do it, Anthony Santos is the king. I like to think of it as the breakdown, when everyone on the dance floors takes a breathe and then they get funky.
My life in the Dominican Republic, especially these last four months, have been a living requinto. I’ve been living with the volume on full-blast and the color set to the brightest saturation. And, as I’m writing this, I’m leaving it all behind.
I’m on a plane 30 minutes outside of San Francisco, and we are scheduled to land early. Early. It feels like I’m also leaving way too early from the Dominican Republic. And at the same time I need to bring back the way I feel and live to San Francisco. I’m writing this as live advice to myself, to the moment when I’m lost and reaching for the bowl of M&M’s at my sister’s apartment, because I’m not sure what I’m doing back in SF.
You are starting with a clean slate. You do not have to fall back into old patterns and old ways that don’t serve you, and never have. Wipe it clean. You also carry so much happiness and so much expression of love with you in your heart, you’ve never felt more love than you do at this moment.
Only bite when you are going to be nourished. Only drink when you are satiating thirst. Live light and live happy. Run your hands through your hair every day and give thanks to God. Start the day off on your knees, in prayer, or meditation, or whatever the hell you want to call it. Seek out the raw, unedited, unfiltered, and uncaptured, never to be filmed moments of your life, every single day. Run wildly, love softly, and let your heart soar and expand, and take in more even when its too much. Close your eyes and dance to the music you are listening too, sing the words out loud, even if you are in a public place like an airplane. There is a fire lit within you, and you are the one that needs to carry the torch and stoke the flame. Seek out touch, and offer it voluptuously to others. Ask things of the people who are important in your life.
There are no other nights out like the nights where music is at full blast and pulsing through your heart, and you have a good group of friends to sit with, cold Presidente flowing, and plenty of dance partners picking you out to dance with. And then they play your favorite song. And then your other favorite song. Remember there will be more nights like this to come.
We’re descending now and I’m just getting started. I don’t want it to end.