From Agony to Ecstasy

I found the Sand Conference to dull, boring and full of pretentious people who were very eloquent about how little they know about life. The conference was obviously catering to the rich and those looking for a way to trick life. In the ancient days this would have been considered close to idol worship, who ufound ways to trick the Creator, sneak into Heaven and take what they wanted. I felt very uncomfortable being there but made the best I could out of the situation. The mansion was ornate and well-kept; the janitor called me, “Sir” and everyone smiled—the who scene gave me the creeps.

My presentation went off pretty well and the food was good but the only person I met who really effected my life was a waitress. This very nice woman, Hollie is her name, made it her mission to see to it I have anything I need. The last day, before I left, I gave her a little present, a flower encased in glass. I had found it amongst my things and did not know how I came to have this little gentle emblem. In return she gave me an advise, Go to Big Sur and apply to Esalen Institute to be a teacher. She assured me I would be appreciated there. I stayed overnight at a Buddhist retreat center outside of Santa Cruz, where I parked and slept in a turnout just beyond the locked gates.

In the morning, I drove into the conclave. It was a peaceful environment where I prayed in my ornate tallit and tiffilin before a golden pagoda. A young woman came and stood by me while I said my prayers but she was gone by the time I finished. Everyday is exciting when you are on the road because time is continually new is this temporal world of movement. The stability offered by a house blots out life; a car, on the other hand, is a movable pod. Being a modern nomad has challenges, least of which is getting acclimated to constant change; since being in the navy, change seems normal—I feel uncomfortable with too much stability, the gravity of the earth is a lot for me to handle.

Being on the road requires mindfulness. Driving, certainly requires attention but also having everything in the right place is essential to peace of mind while on the road because everything is essential or else you would not have it in the car. I clean my space daily and remove all refuse; I am constantly finding new ways to be expedient and make the most use out of the tiny space where I dwell. I am a runner, I have always been running through life, but this way of motoring about, slows me down and lets me think. I do not have a radio in my car and the only music I hear is either emanating from a store or live on the street. I love the serendipity of life. A bluejay just lit across my eyes, close to me a woodpecker is loudly looking for lunch.

I am writing now by a quiet stream in Big Sur with the birds chirping and the greenery of tall evergreens intermingled with the yellow sun streaming in through the verdant leaves beneath a sky blue as the sea, just a small jaunt away. The tall mountains meeting the vast ocean across a coastline jagged with crags and cliffs is called, Big Sur, has just recently been opened to the public after having mud slides plus a bridge washed out over the winter. There is not much to eat around here other than bacon, so I am planning a trip tomorrow back north to Carmel for supplies, because on Wednesday one can begin preparing for the Shabbat.

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