“Watching a coast as it slips by the ship is like thinking about an enigma. There it is before you, smiling, frowning, inviting, grand, mean, insipid, or savage, and always mute with an air of whispering, ‘Come and find out’.”
~ Joseph Conrad
The perspiration burning my eyes and rolling in tiny rivulets down my back seems to bother me little. And the view in front of me justifies the 19 hour flight which began my journey to this small, remote beach facing westward from an island into endless seas beneath a glorious sunset. I’ve yet to find the ends of this earth, or so I presume. But I hope and trust what I discover there instills in me the tranquility and peace I’m feeling as I perch in the sand, observing the endless changes in color as the sun steadily slips behind the horizon.
“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” ~ Bob Marley
It’s unfortunate – I think – that we are often the masters of our own deception, subconsciously yet nevertheless willingly crafting our own undoing. And I suppose it’s understandable, after having experienced a series of uncomfortable events in unfamiliar territory, that I would retreat back into my survival instinct, immediately canvassing my options for opportunities to escape. Having few options available, I dug in and raised the walls, deciding that I’ll wait it out by keeping my area of reconnaissance to a minimum. And just like that, I nearly forfeited one of the best nights we would experience during the entire journey to this little island in the Caribbean.
So I captured a few shots at Rick’s Café in Negril, Jamaica. Yes, the sunsets are a few clicks beyond amazing. So is diving from cliffs into emerald water so clear that attempting to explain it, well, just sounds cliché. And to compare this all-too-well-known establishment to other areas of Jamaica doesn’t do the island true justice. You see, Rick’s is not a representative sample of the country as a whole, but is instead the epitome of ‘tourist trap.’ This became all too evident as the crowds rolled in by the dozens in the count down which preceded a most spectacular Caribbean sunset.
It was the sound that first drew me in, entirely different and unique from anything else I would hear that day. I was attending a heritage festival not far from my home this past weekend, wanting to find a distraction from the normal routine, to shift the paradigm, to quell rumblings of the mundane. And though I wasn’t entirely successful, what I did confirm is that it’s time to distance myself from the comfort of what I’ve come to consider normal. I’m not complaining. It’s a good problem to have.
“It was a weird, beautiful little dream of a country caught between its regional ways and the giant monoculture that was beginning to swallow it whole.”
~ Todd VanDerWerff, A.V. Club
Not so long ago, I was shuffling around the yard taking care of tasks I’d been wanting to get behind me. Suffering from what I self-diagnose as infrequent-but-spontaneous obsessive compulsive disorder, I was on a mission to conquer several over-due projects that had mysteriously remained unfinished. Returning to the garage, I attempted to balance my tool belt atop a shifting collection of discarded parts and gear laying scattered across my toolbox. But it wasn’t so much the balancing act that presented my challenge, it was the steady distraction of thoughts, images and experiences from an earlier weekend stuck in a pattern of continuous replay. It was a reminder that if we are willing to pay attention, life often affords us an opportunity to experience something we at first may not understand, and that only time and innate curiosity will sustain through to the point of understanding.
This past Fall we spent an afternoon walking between Venice and Santa Monica Beach. If you’ve never been I recommend it. My sweetheart was taking care of business in Southern California and I was doing research on the 60’s rock band The Doors, who, coincidentally, can trace their beginnings to this exact area. The atmosphere is certainly conducive to creativity.
“In that year, in our youth, we had an intense visitation of energy” ~Jim Morrison
Isuppose every journey begins or ends with the realization of having experienced the unexpected. And for anyone seeking adventure, enlightenment or education, this must be seen as a positive element of discovery. For some, including myself, it’s often the entire point.
A few nights ago I was with friends watching the World Series, enjoying a particularly smooth cigar. I’m not an aficionado by any measure, but the occasional stick now and then suits me just fine. Like so many of my other pastimes, this came to me by suggestion and curiosity. It’s a very relaxing endeavor and, unlike drinking a smooth brown ale, which I also partake in every now and again, puffing on a rich aromatic cigar doesn’t require that I get a ride home afterwards, or sleep on a strange sofa.
We had been in Thailand for less than a week and already lost track of time, including what day it was. I suppose that is the goal of any successful vacation, and this one had exceeded my expectations in nearly every way. It was our third or fourth day, and the topic of visiting the island had been planned prior to leaving home. Under the shelter of another open air, tin-roofed building our little group made an impromptu decision to visit the island of Koh Larn. It was still early in our trip, but the pattern of hazy, spontaneous decisions was quickly taking hold. Even on vacation, necessity is indeed the mother of invention. Continue reading Koh Larn ~ Exploring Thailand’s Coral Island→