Antigua is an island bordered on one side by the Atlantic Ocean and on the other by the Caribbean Sea. The only things more beautiful than its beaches and the breeze filtering through the shade of its palm trees are its people.
The word vacation comes from the Latin vacare – to be empty. I spent last week on vacation in Antigua and was so busy being emptied that I only found time for three quick sketches. Sometimes even the enjoyable parts of life are a chore and I need emptiness to appreciate the fullness of the life I’m lucky enough to have.
I spent a healthy portion of my vacation with my eyes closed, not sure if I was asleep or meditating. The membrane between layers of consciousness becomes so thin that it would take a mind more analytical than mine to measure it.
There is a god and she has a plan for each of us, a puzzle
distributed at birth with one lifetime to solve it. We call it life, or
reality, or love, or time, or the universe, but the name we give it doesn’t
matter. Words are meaningless in the realm of gods.
It usually takes about 100 years to solve our puzzles and sometimes god lets us live that long. After we’ve logged seven or eight decades of work, she gets creative with us, laying traps to trip us up – dementia, exhaustion, hopelessness. She distracts us with the deaths of our most beloved companions and dreams. She muddies the water of our memories. She lays mines in the fields of those who are best at unraveling her riddles to be sure they are blown to pieces before they can share her secrets, and as a warning to the rest of us.
Wisdom comes with the realization that the joke is on us and the solution has always been the simplest one: to join the laughter.
Ralph Waldo Emerson’s 19th Century take on social media:
At times the whole world seems to be in conspiracy to importune you with emphatic trifles. Friend, client, child, sickness, fear, want, charity, all knock at once at thy closet door, and say, “Come out unto us.” But keep thy state; come not into their confusion. The power men possess to annoy me, I give them by a weak curiosity.