Tao Writer (April 17, 1948 -)
I woke up early this morning because a procession of church school students were carrying a cross down the road singing hymns in Fijian. I have no idea what the words are but the voices are beautiful island gospel. They are carrying a large cross to their village church seven miles away. It is Good Friday.
There may be other places in the world where citizens sing while walking down the road but in Fiji the practice is very common. There is a joy of being alive here. The ocean is loud this morning because of the approaching full moon but beautifully chimes in with the choirs’ hymns.
This is the place I love waking up to each day. I love the experiences and the people. I love being alive. Here I experience the realness of simple everyday life without the complexities of want, desires, or choices unfulfilling to my soul. I often see life through the framed picture of my everyday world from the window in front of my desk. Life comes into and passes through the frame as the shadows in Plato’s cave except this life is real and not reflected. I am a participant not chained to a wall watching shadows of life pass before me.
I have not written for a while because I wanted to have the experiences of being here without putting those experiences into words. I wanted to see if my experiences were the same if I didn’t think about recording them. The experiences without the thought process of interpretation. My life experience simply for the direct experience itself and not for a photo, poem or essay of the moment. I wanted to see if my experiences were the same if I didn’t think about recording them. In truth, they are better. I am 100% into the experience of being here in each moment and trust if it is to be recorded later, I will remember and find the necessary words.
I am often asked, “What do you do each day?” Well, I do not do very much in Fiji. I live with joy, the ocean, the people, the critters. I read, I write, I think and I dream. I have friends here but I prefer to share most of my time with solitude.
In these chronicles I wanted to share with you the joy of being alive without scaring you off. I am not a prophet. I believe I am everything and nothing. I am a part of the cycle of life and death. The words I sometimes use to describe me: poet, philosopher, writer, reader, and dreamer are confined to this physical being and life is so much richer than the definition of words. All we have to do is let it happen and trust ourselves.
Out of fear we try to control things, the events, and the happenings of our lives. We create a visual picture of how we want things to be before they happen, hoping to reduce the fear of the unknown. So, when things don’t happen the way we envision, we stuff another “thing” into what Robert Bly refers to as “the Little Back Bag” and carry its burden until the bag becomes too long and too heavy. If things happen exactly the way we dreamed, we thank an invisible God and not our own ability to manifest our reality.
“Our Things”, material or otherwise, don’t define us. They merely establish some status line between those who have and believe they need more to those who have very little and believe they have everything they need. The latter group is getting smaller and smaller. Our world is changing more rapidly. Technology expands our recorded factual knowledge every day but it does not record the loss of cultures, languages, ancient wisdoms, and beliefs.
I came to this island over twelve months ago and I feel as if I have lived here all my life. This small house has always had my presence. The South Pacific has washed away my footsteps from the sands for centuries. The night sky of the Southern Hemisphere has shined upon me throughout all of time even though I am unable to recognize the patterns in its darkness.
I am more alive than I have ever been. The physical confines of this body no longer hold all of who I am. I have outgrown its physical limitations. I keep thinking this must mean I am about to die but I go on living, expanding, and being alive. Does anything ever have to be resolved?
I know it is easy for me. I am retired, single, living on a pension, and in Fiji but I have also had moments much different from this one. I have lived high on the hog for some parts of my life but today I have nothing to show for that existence. The material things are now in landfills, sold, or given away. The everyday experiences, the people, and the places occasionally pop into memory but only in the telling of the story and because I don’t want to forget. I have not done anything in my life which could not be duplicated but I don’t want you to follow me. I want you to follow your heart. It is an ageless instinct that guides you through this existence. Take the gifts life presents you without fear. And when you get to the mountain top – jump! There is always another mountain to learn from and to love.
I spoke this message before. It feels important to share with you again.
Live your life the way you want to live it. It is yours. It is a gift you will only receive once. Don’t miss the boat…the price of the ticket is Your life.