Playa Bonita

I travel whenever I am afforded the opportunity.  Good for the mind, good for the soul, travel can teach a great deal about life.  It makes plain the common elements of man.  It can reveal the colorful fancy of culture.  Sometimes, as was the case with my year 2000 trip to Cozumel, it can expose the intricate and delicate fabric of the heart.  All of its fear, all of its hope, all of its simple dreaming.

Looking back, the trip evokes so many differing images, snapshots filled alternately by peaceful remembrance of that tranquil island, and by the haunting revisiting of a near-death experience there.  These memories are complex for me now, and I focus more on sorting and categorizing them, searching them for meaning, than I do simply recalling them.

My friend Justin was the mastermind behind the trip that was to become, we were quite sure, the “time of our lives.”  Eight of us would depart for the Caribbean, our itentions being simple…to take over the island.  With the proper respect and reverence due, of course, no matter where the road may take you.  But there could be no mistake.  With this eclectic and so very hungry for fun crew, we would get what we had coming.  Deliverance.  Release from the mundane, colorless, dreary repetition of daily life.  We would take a stand, stake our claim, and for at least a brief moment, consume all of life’s offerings.

So on the second day of the new millienium, Justin, Jenny, Scratch, Tony, Jessica, Corey, Travis and I arrived in “The Land of the Swallows.”  Instantly transported into a world that held no boundaries for us and required nothing of our time. Continue reading

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Dialogue

The “wise” man said to the “unenlightened” one “I know there is God, for He is everywhere—in the air I breathe, the leaves that fall, the water that will shape the stone, in time.”

The unenlightened man said to the wise one “I do not agree, but yet I cannot refute your declaration that He is everywhere—in the air you breathe, the leaves that fall, the water that will shape the stone, in time.”

“But if you just have faith,” said the wise man.

“But that would require that I just have faith” replied the unenlightened man.

“You feel that faith is a fool’s game, a trap, a gamble—the outcome of which can never be known.”

“Yes, I feel that faith is a fool’s game, a trap, a gamble—the outcome of which can never be known.”

“And this leads you to believe that there is nothing vital in the air we breathe, no purpose in the breeze that makes the leaves fall, and that there is nothing to be said of the yielding of the stone to the persistence of the water rushing by?

“I believe I breathe, I believe there is a breeze that can make a leaf fall, and I believe water can shape rock.  As to why these occur man cannot know.”

“Man does not need to know if he has faith and belief in purpose.”

“I have not argued that there cannot be purpose—only that it cannot be known.”

New York: Part 3

Part three in a three-part series of writings done during my two-year stint in the world’s greatest city…

A man who works for the City decides he is leaving

He tells his closest friends and swears to himself that liberation has a smell

It smells like a subway platform headed out of Manhattan

The man shuffles his iPod & it plays a song undeniably reminiscent of his former and soon again to be current life.  A song associated (by name no less) with a friend in whom he has just confided he is on his way home.  What are the odds?

The train lurches slowly, “Tony’s Theme” ends, and the iPod shuffles.

He reads his book and one sentence moves him:

“We’d read enough books and seen enough highways to know what a lovely moment was.”

He suspected that he too had seen those highways, and had seen some lovely moments. 

Looking back but too looking homeward, there was surely more there that could have been won, but certainly nothing had been lost. 

The iPod shuffles coincidence as if it were nothing.