Thursday, January 31, 2013

DAY 5) Just Five Senses?

The fifth day finds me aware. Reality has its place, but so too does perception. The charm of the hotel was in its people. The Italian host in the restaurant with his mistake for my coffee with cream; the desk clerk, Meagan, with her cheerful disposition; the waitresses who were considerate and caring (two different words in not so different worlds). Then there was the Lebanese taxi driver to the Domestic Terminal. "Three children and been here 30 years." And though I had to walk the breadth of the terminal, pushing my two bags in my wheelchair and then had to shuffle along in the cheque-in queue, once I got to the attendant, Julie Shawbrook, magic happened! Everything was taken care of. Qantas came through! Upgraded to first class, whisked through security, and soon to be on my way!

There are images of great beauty etched on the mind of the traveler. I have a friend, Ian, whom I doubt has ever taken a photograph. Certainly not in the 30+ years I've known him. He retains the senses of his very many journeys in the mind. Yet he is grateful for the exquisite art of moments captured in the frames in his apartment. Yet are there not places in the heart that will never be revealed? For lack of his photos I cannot possibly share his vision. Imagery is like that, even in a photograph. Each of us brings recall to the same scene through our senses ...differently.

Directly ahead of me is a most religious man. He is very upset. The topic over his phone is some congregational member's marriage. Political correctness has me declining to identify his garb, but he wears it with the authority of one who is conditioned to looking different and standing out in the airport crowds. Yet in his own community he would be barely distinguishable from the next man. Codes of conduct contain his sensibilities. In the snippets I overhear, he is very opinionated about what should be done, quite angry about it at times, clearly argumentative. "They" is a word he often uses, smudged as his accent is, speaking halting English.
We behave according to codes of conduct. Ethics, though situational, is an expectation we easily break when we are not thinking. That's why we check our change. That's why we zip up our pockets, need security, have distrust. Ethics has as its first tenant that we do what we can to make the best for all. Problem is, selfishness easily gets in the way. Why else would this man, now closing up his phone in frustration, feel that his very personal authority is being flouted? Or am I guilty of conjecture?

Details of life are held in the mind, in the senses, or not. We meet someone and even after 40 years there is an essence that is unmistakeable. Anthony Brink. A friend held dear. The immaturity of youth is gone, but the spark is still there! I took no photos of the people I met, but captured some of the places. It will be as though seeing their ghost when I revisit the images. And after all, when we no longer can be with our friends, see them, is it not the ghost of their beings that we carry within us?

Five senses, heading toward a sixth sense, indeed. We make life rich by using them. Aware!

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