Like the rest of the global population, I feel the intense anguish and isolation from the global pandemic. While the world feels as though the sphere has come off it’s axis, we must reflect on life’s beauty and the rapture of love and laughter. I created a video to capture this extraordinary time, which is marked by deep sadness and equally by immeasurable hope and appreciation for the intangible gifts in humanity and in one’s heart.
View my video here:
Somewhere between yesterday and forever,
I stand barefoot on this salty shore,
Gazing out at crystal blue waters.
Realizing all that surrounds me,
And all that I am,
Is the life I have been given.
And I smile a little,
Knowing its mine to adore,
Giving pieces of myself to those who wander by.
I want to make this journey through time,
An endless adventure,
Filled with wonderment and joy.
I want the strength to love wholly.
I need the courage to seek my destiny.
I am looking inside myself,
To discover the myriad of colors,
Which will ultimately paint the portrait of my dreams.
I have come from the shadows,
To feel on my tear-stained face,
The sun’s profound and immeasurable light.
Its brilliancy is my own.
It is in the simplicity of fate that I challenge the origin. Nothing can be so plain, as to not hold somewhere in its layers… colors of contrast. What may be visible to my naked and blinking brown eyes is blinding me of my opportunities to comprehend, with fortitude and faith, the reasoning of this life.
In case and in light, the truths are slow to be discovered, I shall reveal all that I’ve come to know is genuine….
That life’s journey is a process ever-evolving.
Physical beauty is merely imagery enhanced.
The value of trust can never be bargained.
Appreciation lies, peacefully, with validation.
Hardness is an ugly version of pain.
Tainted intentions pierce the still sweet innocence of unconditional love.
Challenge speaks to fear, fearlessly.
Heart-felt must be heart-lived.
And most of all, one’s movement through time must matter.
It was early on a Sunday morning as I stood with a handful of other patient shoppers outside of Trader Joe’s neighborhood market when I encountered the newspaper man. TJ (as the locals call it) was not yet open for business- so those of us in need of soy milk, almond granola, organic fruits and the like waited in a loose sort-of semi circle around the front glass doors of the store. I was standing off to the side, amusing myself by people-watching. I spotted a very old Cadillac, faded blue in color with a sun-bleached top, pull into the parking lot very slowly. Cars behind the unhurried Cadillac swiftly made their way around the vehicle with a seemingly annoyed acceleration.
The Cadillac moved into a parking space just across the way from our health food haven, and from the driver side stood up a very elderly man. He was easily in his eighties, and maybe more years to his biography than that. His thin white hair was neatly combed to one side. He paused by the side of his car to straighten the dark blue polyester jacket that he wore over a pressed white shirt and light blue, undistinguished tie. Gray polyester pants with soft black shoes completed his attire.
He came from an era when Sunday’s were meant for proper suits worn at church and family meals. He carried his fragile frame in a way that told the world that he was not influenced or impressed by changing times and casual costumes of others. Through the decades, his dignity had not been interrupted by fashionable foolhardy youngsters.
I can understand why a Key West vacationer would feel compelled to depart their established life with its demands, duties, and drudgeries to move to the Florida island without expectations nor a job awaiting them. Having just returned from a week on the six square mile key that defines itself by wood cottages painted in bright pastel hues, lush foliage and flowering trees, mesmerizing sunsets, and turquoise waters, I’m overcome with a sense of longing to call myself a resident of the aptly named Conch Republic.
The Florida Keys are deceptive, having the appearance of being just a handful of small islands. The most recognizable being Key Largo, at the north end, and Key West, the farthest south. The Keys are joined together by a stretch of Hwy 1 and several bridges, one of the most famous being the Seven Mile Bridge which connects Knight’s Key (considered to be part of the Middle Keys) with Little Duck Key, the first of the Lower Keys. In truth, there are well over a thousand keys, with names as bland as Sand Key and Grassy Key to those with unusual names such as Lignumvitea Key and Bahai Honda Key. There is even a No Name Key, suitable for those in a witness protection program.
Should one opt for the hundred plus mile drive down to Key West along the at times exasperatingly slow-moving and often single lane highway, one can look forward to unmatched views of tropical island life, grassy marshes, and breathtaking seascapes, as well as outdated, awry towns , containing rickety shops with make-shift signs, road-side eateries with screened-in picnic tables and hanging fly traps, and tourist attractions with a sort of thespian, old world quality.
I agree that self-confidence is a must-have component to achieving exceptional milestones in life. I see it quite differently when considering the actual fuel that takes us to achieve those sought after great heights.
Self-confidence does not contain octane. Being afraid – as you make your way out onto an untried ledge – does.
A Hollywood director may be lauded for his powerful piece of cinematic art, and yet he reaches that enviable height of success with the same doubts, fears, and anxieties that many face when they, too, endeavor their passion.
She wandered into my boutique at five minutes before six in the evening on the very day that I had made the fateful, frightening and excruciatingly painful decision to sell my business and move across the country. Tapping on her wristwatch she motioned her inquiry as to whether I was getting ready to close. I was, but opted to shake my head no and gesture her in. She hesitated.
“Are you sure?” she asked in a distinctive foreign accent. “Yes, please do come in, browse around, I’m in no hurry,” I assured her.
I tried to pretend the redness in my eyes was not remnants of tears and the hurt in my expression was not telltale of my aching heart.
I cannot say for certain what was said between us in the minutes following. All I know is that, soon after entering the shop, she was there right in front of me at the counter, and we were engaged in an exchange of thoughts and emotions which I shall never forget.