Saturday, August 28, 2010

Islands In The Stream - Of Consciousness

I want to live on an island. I realize that this makes me less than unique. There are millions of people, mostly in places like Buffalo, NY and Siberia, that have a similar desire. I think, though, that we have different reasons for wanting to be in the same place. They want to go where it's warm (thanks, Jimmy Buffett, for that line). If you lived in Buffalo or Siberia, so would you. For me, there is more to think about.

I've got no problem with warm climates. I do enjoy mild temperatures and balmy breezes. I strongly dislike high humidity, however. That poses problems, but I'm sure I can work around them somehow. At any rate, it's not just the weather that makes me fantasize about living on a piece land surrounded by water. It's something about a lifestyle.

My friend, Micheal, lives on an island. We were friends in college and graduate school and I grew to love Mike for his sense of humor and his willingness to shake up the status quo. I also loved the honesty with which he approached his relationships. After grad school, we lost contact for a lot of years until the miracle of Facebook got us together again. Mike has a unique perspective on life – he always has. Living on an island has enhanced his perspective until it's almost like something from a song. I read his blog every day in which he often shares snapshots of life on the island with its colorful characters and relaxed way of life, and I think “Why can't I live like that?” After all, what's wrong with wanting things to slow down just a little so that I can see the colors and feel the textures of life? In answer to my own question: Nothing – there's not a thing wrong with that. The problem is that our day-to-day lives don't lend themselves to that kind of relaxed approach. Usually it's going from one meeting to the next, running this or that errand, meeting this person's or that person's expectations. You just get tired of it.

That's where the island comes in. In the island of my fantasies, you can come and go when you want or need to. Life moves at a speed with which I can keep pace. People know your name and give you time and space to be the person who goes with that name. Maybe that's what I'm really looking for – space to be the person I am or want to be. Or maybe the space to discover who that man is.
Oh, and there's the ocean. The ocean carries a special fascination for me. I've never been a “beach person.” For me, beaches have always been crowded places where the sand sticks to your sun screen and I have to wear clothes that I don't look good in. Well, that's been my experience in the past. Perhaps the beach in my stream of consciousness is different. Maybe it's not crowded and there is space for me to walk alone and think or walk with that one special person while we talk about life or the color of the water under the sunset. The ocean is powerful. It's beautiful. It was here long before I got here and it will be here long after I'm gone. That's as close as eternity as we can get here on earth.

At any rate, the island calls. Now I'm wondering how I should answer.