The ebb and flow of the tide of my existence
Here it is; 2019. Already.
Reflecting on this wishy-washy day here in Mesopotamia. Weather as fickle as my ponderings concerning where to next on Planet Earth. Philosophical ruminations of housing placement absorb my moments of blank-slate time. Google Maps is hardly a replacement for a globe. Oh what I would give to have a globe here. A nice, sturdy physical map-style globe a plus.
Spinning, trailing, anticipating, story-telling, culture-weaving- globes hold my fascinating. I remember growing up and going into the den. My father had an abacus. It lived in the cabinet, along with old photo albums. The encyclopedia set rested on an upper shelf. Always patiently awaiting someone's arrival. Some intrepid inquisitor wanting answers from the Oracle of stored knowledge- long before Google.
The globe was also in this spiritual realm- my spiritual realm during my wonder years. This den of knowledge on display. Questions answered right there.
We were a large family, yet I spent a lot of time at home entertaining myself. Being the youngest, and with a generous gap between the oldest sibling, who was already out of the house as my Wonder Years were in full formation, I had a perhaps typical childhood. The brothers, they were busy with intermediate and high schools respectively. With my father lecturing full-time and my mother a (progressive 70s) 'back-to-work' part-time librarian/social-worker, everybody was busy. I was curious.
The den. Typical 70s middle-class, I assume. All my friends had a 'tv room'. It was dark there, if I recall correctly. I loved opening the cabinet drawers. There was that cardboard box of typing paper. You know, the thin, crepe-like paper and then those sheets of blue carbon-copy paper. Seeing my ink-blue fingerprints from touching the carbon paper was another compulsion. This too met my expectations I suppose. I indulged in this from time to time, yes. Throw in my typing fascination (I loved typing), and I was pretty successful at having a good time alone.
There was something about playing with the abacus. The clicking sound made by moving the beads. Very satisfying indeed. I didn't know what I was doing and it didn't matter. All I knew was what my father told me, tried to show me. Some method of numbers, I made up my own rules I suppose.
Moving along to the globe. Tilted. Why was it tilted? Damn that north pole looked good. White. The south more mysterious. Tasmania? Tasmania. Look it up in the encyclopedia! Make the connection from the Looney Tunes cartoons' character The Tasmanian Devil to this far-off solitary island I discovered and then read-up on. Life was pretty fucking fabulous.
Cuba. Another outlandishly mystifying island. All I knew about Cuba was that my father got my mother a mink (?) stole while he was there. I suppose I heard the word uttered a few times when we were all in the den together watching the news. I was there, yet not sure exactly what I was doing. Politics of the times wasn't even a consideration in my world.
Cuba led to Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Australia, Tahiti. Ahhh islands. My connection was forming at this time and I didn't even know it.
My father was all over the world during WWII. I remember him talking of the Philippines. Seeing his photos of Honolulu. That one with the palm trees swaying on the base, and that jeep. How cool was that jeep?
Jade Buddha. Still today my father's jade Buddha fascinates me. Every visit to my mum leads me to her top dresser, where the Buddha dwells to this day. Rub his belly. Dream.
Where does one learn to daydream? Lying in the grass squinting into the sun on one of those glorious days, I think. We had this tree in our front yard that I always used to play on. I used to do my gymnastic tricks in that tree. Hanging upside down was one of my major accomplishments. Something complete where I could bask in my own pride. I especially remember the bark on that tree.
Further satisfaction, peeling at the bark. I never wanted to scratch my initials in that tree, though.
From the balcony I gaze up into the hills, leading to the mountains, to Iran, to destinations unknown. I understand this fascination with destination unknown. Where to next? When to next?
I woke myself up this morning from a dream that I was missing my plane. I was at the airport and couldn't figure out where my flight was. What does this mean?