Monday, November 12, 2018

My Mind is Blown

Below is a photo from my September 21st Facebook post:

The photo of me, posted on Facebook on September 21st.

The accompanying post reads:
Sometimes life is a little crazier than I prefer for it to be. It feels damn good to just sit still and read a book. I'm finally getting (ok, "making") the chance to devour Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. Yeah for peace and quiet!! And year for a fantastic read!!
It is 52 days later. The above photo and post, for the most part, are still relevant. I happen to be wearing the same orange shirt, which may come as no surprise given that I am a minimalist. While I am currently donning neither hat nor sunglasses, I do have a Kindle on my lap and a cup of tea by my side. Just as in the photo, I am devouring a Yuval Noah Harari book. The title is different, though. At present, the words printed in eInk on my Kindle are from Harari's Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Happy 6th Re-Birthday to Me!

Happy 6th Re-Birthday to Me!


Six years ago today, I held my breath, crossed my fingers, and mixed together the ingredients of the early retirement elixir -- a dash of hope, a dash of crazy, and a whole lot of courage. Voila! All of the sudden, I found myself free of a job, free of the tedium of normalcy, and free of the confines of time.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Spider Totem

It's Wednesday, March 14, 2018. I'm one week into my month-long yoga training in India. It's the wee hours of the morning, and I gotta pee like a banshee.

I raise my hand to the light switch, just above the pillow. As I flick the switch, light disappears the darkness. I glance up towards my hand. All of a sudden, I'm awake. Very awake. Just inches from my fingers is this:

Ehhhh!!!

Ehhhhh, dear god almighty! That spider is bigger than my hand! That thing surely has gigantic teeth...and a deadly bite!

Monday, September 17, 2018

My Meditation Retreat at Tushita

During my visit to India earlier this year, I attended a ten-day Introduction to Buddhism & Meditation retreat at Tushita, a Tibetan Buddhist center in Dharamsala.

An assemblage of shoes outside the meditation hall.

As there would be no contact with the outside world for the ten days, the hours leading up to the retreat felt as though I was preparing for my impending death. There would be no connection with friends or family; we had to surrender our phones and laptops. In fact, we had to surrender all electronics -- cameras, eBook readers, iPods. All matters needed to be tidied up in advance; all final communications had to be made, and all final electronic pleasures had to be enjoyed.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

The Van of Valpo & Pussy Terror

After our two-month cycling trip through Patagonia in early 2016, El Mecánico and I spent six weeks living in Valparaíso. Though two years have since passed, it's time to tell you about The Van of Valpo & Pussy Terror.

During our weeks in Valparaíso, El Mecánico and I settled into a wonderful routine. In the mornings, we worked independently on our own projects. In the afternoons, we meandered together through the Chilean city's tangled cobblestone streets, staircases, and alleys.

Valparaíso's homes and buildings, cloaked in a patchwork quilt of colors and adorned with eye-inticing murals, are the epicenter of the city's Bohemian culture. As we walked through the city, we searched every wall and nook'n'cranny for our favorite murals. Our mutual awe of the city's abundant effervescence inspired a unique, creative energy between me and El Mecánico. (See Valparaíso: Murals #1 and Valparaíso: Murals #2 for photographs of our favorite murals.)

On one of our afternoon strolls, we came across a van whose windows were painted an opaque white. The van was parked at the base of a dense thicket of morning glories, reaching a hundred feet into the sky. A painting on the port of the van depicted the back side of a man in a horizontal position, his head resting atop a pillow. Along the top of the van were the words "Pussy Terror."

The notorious Van of Valpo.

What did it mean? Was the man sleeping? Was he dead? Why was there a gold crown floating inches above the man's head? What was "Pussy Terror"?