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Archive for July, 2013

Spark

There’s no better feeling than knowing you are where you’re supposed to be.

I’m sitting on a beach in Surf City, North Carolina. A night sky filled with stars, the shadow of an ocean blowing the summer breeze, and cool sand are here with me. Which is above and which below is an illusion, created by thoughts which exist in a space where there are no directions. If thoughts flow with no sense of direction, how could they accurately determine what’s up and down in an unknown, exterior world?  Fireworks are shooting into the sky along the beach, showing signs of life in the small neighboring towns which hide in the darkness.  We have a handful of our own and are as eager as a child with a box to unwrap to start the fire that produces such an explosion of color. A cooler filled with beer is in arms reach, as well as a blanket and enough beach chairs for the small group of extraordinary people I came here with.

Take a walk to where the ocean meets the sand and close your eyes. Feel your body sink into the ground as the fingertips of waves reach out to cover your legs. Be there for a while, alive, as a conscious observer of the now, standing in the midst of an ocean which has been singing before ears were around to give audience. Look at the brightest star in the sky and feel as close to it as you are to the sand crabs which look upon you with a similar fascination. Take a few steps around and notice the sand light up when you move. There’s an explanation for this but don’t go looking for it, just enjoy it. We don’t get enough opportunities to wonder anymore.

It’s too dark to see anything but the sparklers stuck into the sand back at our campsite. We follow the light back and lay down on the blanket. The Milky Way runs across the sky directly above us, creating a spider web of foggy light that divides the countless stars. Shooting stars remind me of the paradox of life, as you seem to see everything when you look nowhere. To see one is to look beyond the facade, behind the curtain of our modern existence, and into the wonders of the universe that surrounds us yet somehow hides from our everyday eyes.

At some point you have to leave, it’s inevitable. Say goodbye to the moment and walk back to the house a few blocks away. You will never be younger than you are today, so go for a late night swim in the pool. Relax every muscle in your body, close your eyes, and sink to the floor. You feel like you belong here because you do. This is where you came from, what you’re made of, and what you will one day return to: weightless and worriless.

Looking at the same stars I gazed upon over a decade ago makes me feel like time is slipping away, as if it’s something I can control. Time doesn’t fly. Flying is an action, something that living creatures do to travel. Time travels effortlessly. It is the same today as it was millions of years ago and as it will be in a million years from now. Time is not the water that we float on, or the wind that pushes our sail, but instead the presence of the unknown and untouchable terrain that life’s stream flows through. If you think about time in hopes of grasping it, it’ll slip away before you can recognize it for what it is or is not. In the now you can only do one thing. Every decision in the now is made independently of everything up stream and everything down. Right now, I’m swimming.

ussurfcityStay at this beach house yourself: http://www.vrbo.com/484104
When you sit on the picnic tables on the porch think of me, because I built those things!

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I’d much rather spend my time contemplating the mystery of life than the actions of other people. While both are incomprehensible, one process leads to celebration and the other frustration.

When the news becomes a “who done it?” TV show, I tune out. When people start speculating and speaking from a place of anger, I tune out. Everyone rightfully has an opinion, but not enough people approach their belief with the uncertainty it deserves. What I know is that two families lost a child in this tragedy. Everything else is speculation and I choose to not let that consume my time. I’m not making the right decision by not following the Trayvon case; I’m just making my decision.

I know there is a cause worth fighting for, however, I knew that way before the spotlight landed on this unfortunate event. If you feel strongly one way or the other about a cause I urge you to look for other people who feel the same way and align yourself with them. The people who don’t unite usually only stand in the electronic picket line as long as the spotlight keeps it warm for them. This wavering consumer confuses the anger produced by ignorance with the anger inspired by passion.

Don’t allow yourself to be entertained by a tragedy. Become informed, create an opinion, and act on it if you feel the fire. One piece of wood can’t stop a calf, but a fence can move a herd.

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