Which of us is not in pain? We walk around with the past in our bones. We move with the constraints of the chains of indoctrination, the time-keepers of our own bodies, and the cages of our language. Hampered by our upbringing, held back by the limits of our schooling, and controlled by our countries we apply for visas and passports to get but two or three weeks away to go see someone and/or something else. And we work work work to serve the taxman, to serve our need to be commensurate with our status quo, to get more-better stuff to represent our achievement or to fill the endless hole of our dissatisfaction. How to guard against poverty in the inevitability of the self one day counted amongst the old aged? And it all can be so negative.
Or can we overcome? Can we find our foundations but springboards to our blossoming? Can we make of our country a garden for the thoughts of care and compassion and insight that it has afforded us? Can we, like a Mandela, make of our imprisonments a tapestry that brings insight and a lightness of being? Can we do it in the self, in our homes, be worthy simply by 'being'?
Time waits for none.
Four of us saw a life-raft of time carved out in the swirl of life around us and we clung to it as though time and circumstance were our only essence. And now, knowing that this day is our last (since aeroplane tickets and a September date was so long ago established) there is a wanting to extend the seconds and minutes and hours, as though consciousness might make longer the perception of time, if not the reality of it all. We do not know if death will take us sooner than we think, or might expect. But parting from those we love is death-like, for it takes away 'the other' in the unspoken recognition that one may not see each other again. And what should have been said? What might one have shared? What should have been given? What was it that one wanted to know? And we four, Two Brothers and Two Sisters in Law, on our 14 day raft in the great passage of time, took up each day as though it were a gift. Why should any meeting between people be any less?
Things, People, Ideas; these are the three legs of conversation and sharing. There is a poster that challenges the predominance of interest in the one subject over the other as inferior, mediocre, and superior. But one knows that we are all three. And every one of us thinks more deeply than we can ever articulate. We have thoughts of enlightenment that drift through us like breathing fairy dust, and we hardly can contain the essence, let alone capture the recipe. We ingest and imbibe and we discard; and who is to calculate the efficacy and worthiness of one thing from the other such that perfection of choice and deployment and comprehension is clear? Abstraction is caught up in frames of man-made time. Seconds become minutes, making hours, making days, making a week, two weeks, but in this case, there'll be no three. And away from our things, and away from the people we've shared, and even away from the ready interlocution of ideas, we have but the imperfection of memories to recall.
We identify, or not. Ian and Linda, Carolyn and Barry, Clive. Should you know them you'll enjoy seeing their names; know the connections and the bonds. If not, words like Tofino and Ucluelet, Middle Beach Lodge, Coomb's Goats, Spinnakers, Darcy's, The Beach House, and The Bard and Banker become just a series of names, or specific and precise and pleasant memories. To write or speak of these things to others (even with photographs at times) is still not to convey the actuality of so very many treasured moments. In the summation, it's the essence of vulnerability and integrity and reality and our willingness to share, particularly when one's counter-partners are empathetic and sensitive and compassionate. The details are in the living; feeling remains, even when those details disappear into the folder of the generalized memory: We shared time, and it was good!