• Tag Archives Colombia
  • Ghosts

    Imbolc                                                                          Valentine Moon

    Today, a bit tired due to early rising, moving books put a weight on my shoulders.  It was the past and its tangled feelings.  Found my first passport and saw a young man with a full head of dark brown hair and a beard that matched.  Surprised me, so long have I seen his gray descendant in the mirror.

    (arrestedmotion.com 2012 10 upcoming aron wiesenfeld new paintings arcadia-gallery)

    That was my passport for Colombia, the trip to check out a bank for the poorest of the poor.  Carolyn Levy was in my life at that point, between my divorce from Raeone and meeting Kate a year plus later.  A hard time, raising a 6 year old boy, working night and day between church meetings and organizing.  A hard time, too, since the future had grown unclear.  Something big had happened or was about to happen, but its outlines in my life were not yet clear.

    Then I moved out the books related to shifting my ordination to the Unitarian-Universalist movement.   Again, a time when the future had become unclear.  Writing had not shown the promise it offered when Kate and I agreed I should leave the Presbytery.  Frustrated there, I regressed, headed back to the trade that I knew.  More lack of clarity.

    Poor decisions.  I chose Unity UU over First Unitarian for my internship.  An error.   The humanist congregation would have fit me much better.  Then, at the end of an interesting year, I accepted a job as minister of development.  Chief fund raiser.   OMG.  One of the really boneheaded decisions in my life.  Not the only one, for sure, and not the worst one, but dumbest?  Probably.  Kate saw it coming. I ignored her.  Sigh.

    (Vincenzo Foppa The Young Cicero Reading 1464)

    Those books were the heaviest to move because I’ve traveled out of the UU circle, too.  A solo practitioner am I, as the Wiccans say.  In that vein though I retained many of my books on spirituality, works on natural theology and those commentaries I mentioned on the Torah and the book of Revelation.

    Heavy, especially with lack of sleep thrown in.  Ghosts.  They’re real and they live in the closets, basements and attics of our mind.

  • Traveling

    Lughnasa                                                 Waxing Harvest Moon

    Another fine day with that clean blue sky we borrow from our Canadian cousins this time of year.  When my family used to go to Stratford, Ontario for the Shakespeare Festival, I came to associate these skies with those crown topped highway signs, the ones that always told me I was in a foreign country.

    Canada was my only foreign country visited until 1989 when I joined a group of folks who went to Bogota, Colombia in search of better ways to finance the work of the poor.  Not long after that trip I met Kate.  We honeymooned from the south of Europe to Inverness, Scotland and have been many places since then.

    Cruising has its critics, but the upcoming one will be our third and I’ve become a fan.  Yes, it’s true that there is only a brief and often very casual encounter with the countries on the itinerary, a shore excursion or a visit to a local market, perhaps a meal.  And, yes, the travel itself does not take you through a country’s particular geography (except in the instance of the Panama Canal and the river cruises in Europe and those lecture/trek based cruises like ones put on by the National Geographic or a University) though the coast line does offer some sense of the particularity of place.  Yes, you’re traveling in the company of a large number of people, though the actual size varies depending on the ship.  All these things are true.

    There are, however, compensations.  A cruise ship at sea moves through the waters of the world ocean, a primal experience not available in any other form of travel.

    I discovered on our first cruise that if I got up at 5:30 or 6:00 am, I could visit any part of the ship alone; especially, the Crow’s Nest, a bar/lounge on all Holland American ships set in the bow.  It provides panoramic views as the ship moves ahead, water curling away from the bow and often nothing in view, neither ahead nor behind, to starboard or port, just ocean.

    While at sea, too, I find the experience of being on board very calming, a certain zen time that allows for that other aspect of vacation, relaxation, that I so often miss on treks to museums and busy hikes, meals, historic places.  This long voyage will allow for a great deal of calm, a time to purge the system.

    Then, too, on this particular trip the ship traverses the wonderful Chilean southern coast line, filled with small islands, glaciers and historic passages like the Straits of Magellan, the Darwin Straits and below them all Cape Horn, places for which a ship is the best way to travel.  As Magellan knew.

    It is also time for Kate and me to focus on our life together, dining and relaxing, just enjoying each others company.

    This is a trip where the conveyance is a major part of the experience.

  • Tinto

    Imbolc                                 Waning Wild Moon

    The first graders, who wanted to see a rock, got to see a lot of rocks.  Chinese jade, Lake Tai rocks, pebbles on the floor of the literati garden.  We also saw Doryphoros (made of rock), the Veiled Lady (rock again).  The kids themselves dropped by the snuff bottles which the teacher wisely referred to as fancy bottles.  At the end, when I asked them what had been their favorite, Riley, a small boy with big glasses, said, “The bottles, because I saw two.”  They were a lot of fun.

    The afternoon public tour, a reprise of my Grand Tour idea from last week, had seven folks and they all responded well to the tour idea.  Adults get less excited than first graders, but they all said they had a good time.

    Talked for a while with Carolina (Carol-ina), a docent to be, who hails from Bogota.  We talked about tinto and how much better shape Bogota is in now than it was in 1989 when I visited.  Tinto, a thick, concentrated coffee served in Colombia, comes everywhere you visit.  It was fun to find a person with a  personal connection to such an old and interesting culture.  Her husband works for Medtronics.