Clark Travel Blog› entry 8 of 10 › view all entries
I want to start by apologizing to anyone reading this that is expecting more of a travel "blog" and not a journal like I have been doing. But seriously, if you're reading it then its kind of your own fault. Go outside and play some wiffle ball or something. OOO wiffle ball.
Alright. This morning after work I went out to breakfast at sub delicious. I was planning on going alone. i even grabbed my journal to just sit, drink a beer or two and write. That probably would have saved you all having to read this. Anyway, and obviously that didn't work out to well. I ended up going with my co-workers again. We sat and I ordered my beer, some sweet bread, and a 12" roast beef samdwhich. After a while of talking about work we switched to talking about books and eventually about theology. We were discussing Aquinas and Augustine to Neitze and Plato. Quite the comparision. When Mitchie turned and said that she didn't like to read or talk about things like that. She said that she was a catholic and had chosen that for herself. I asked her "if you chose that for yourself what drove you to believe in what you do" "well I don't know really I grew up that way and it makes sense because it's true" "How do you know it's true, have you ever velieved in something only to find out it isn't true?" " no" " really not even the easter bunny or Santa Claus, what about people thinking that the earth is flat or that the sun revolved around us" "Well there is that I suppose" I asked her what made those "truths" any different from her own and then asked if not wanting her foundations to be shaken meant that she really wasn't sure what she believed. She agreed to a point. I guess my point in all of that is that when we look outside of our comfort zone, at things that are different, things that challenge us, sometimes our foundational beliefs, those beliefs that make us who we are get shaken up. Some of the chaff gets blown away, the weak points shatter and are blown out-swept away. She said well that's not good. I think it is, because when all the shaking is done when all the sifting is complete you will be left with the real foundation, with what you actually believe to be true. It is painful and at times means that some of the things that you have held dear to you that have helped you stand up as a human may be wrong. but why would you want to stand on a foundation like that anyway. What if you find that the existence of God is true, not because someone told you that it was but because you knew in your heart, from experience and comparision, from deep reflection and sweat and tears that God is real. What would that do for you. Would it force you to be comfortable doing what God says to do and spend time fighting against oppression, fighting against hunger and poverty, fighting ignorance that causes hatred. Or would you continue off in your comfort zone hiding behind your stained galss window of comfort, wearing your rose colored glasses where everything is good and if you just give money it makes everything else ok.
I think that it would cause you to act on whatever your faith is. Not in that you would know that other people were wrong, but just in the confidence that to you, what you have chosen and what you believe is right. I think that you would be more comfortable talking to other people, where ever they are in their walk, in a real way, meeting them wherever they are. I think it would make you more human more humane. Even just on a christian level, forget the human level. I think it would make you ok with the fact that there are catholics, protenstants, born again, lutheran-ect. Because you would realize that at the ground level, on the foundation, we are all the same, we hold the same truths, we are in the same dispair at times, in the same struggle. That at its bare essense this is a human struggle not a struggle to figure out who is right and who is wrong. no one is better than anyone else. For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of god. Not some but all.
Anyway, drinving home I was watching the clouds play shadows on the mountains, covering them like a blanket over a sleeping child, the white of the clouds like breath on a cold day. The sun was shining through at some points sending down those rays that make the sky look so surreal, so much like a picture. There was a moment-probably from fatigue-that I felt like I was part of it, connected to the scene in front. I looked to my left at the dormant volcano and there was one giant cloud billowing up over as if it was still alive. It was almost like, well the sun was strikingthe outside of the cloud and the inside was a dark shimmering gray, it was like a hand reaching up for some invisible help to pull it from the mirky depths that it arose from. It was beautiful. The entire scape of this place is like that-like a picture or a vivid story that draws you in and makes you feel like you are an intregal part of it. Strange how nature can do that.
I got dropped off a little before my place cause i felt like walking. As I walked I just enjoyed the scenery. The trees and drops of light falling to the grass below, the carabou gathered together like a family, people walking to work, the shiny jeepnies filled with people. Just taking it all in. Breathing it all in. Almost taking a step aside from all the work all the cars and noise. And even that became almost symphonic at a point. Like some grand opera watched from afar. it was nice to see the families together. Some riding in cars, little kids on their parents laps or just walking along the side of the road. All of them united together by that bond that exists. As one trike passed by I caught the eye of a little girl riding with her dad. She smiles briefly and I was reminded of my daughter. I thought about what it would be like for my family to be here. For my kids to grow up here. I thought about the simple pleasure of being about to hug them and hold them. I thought about how that is one of the things that draws us all together. Whether it's a family in Bosnia, Canada, Spain, America or the Filippines. The affection, the draw of a childs gaze, the soft touch of a lovers hand telling you that everything is going to be alright when the storm is raging outside or in your head. These are the moments, the indescribable things that draw the fabric of human existance together. I agree with something I read earlier. That family, that love in a way is as close to heaven as we can get. Not because of the feeling-thats just dopamine-but because it is the moment where we are known, where connection takes place. It is the moment where you know someone else and are able to step beyond yourself into someone else's struggle. Whether it is the homeless guy on the street, the republican preacher spewing out love for the government, the hug of your kid, or the gaze of your partner. The moment you step away from yourself, open yourself to be known and to know you are stepping into something beyond human existance where it is all about me and now. It is these moments where the past the present and the future come together. That moment where what I've done or will do that doesn't matter it is just being existing in this that does. Like when one of my kids gets up and instead of being angry I charish the moment I get to spend hugging them and rocking them back to sleep. Or walking through Makati just looking at the architecture the people, walking through Angeles City which is surrounded by mountains and trees but is a city and finding amazement like a child experiencing something for the first time. And that I guess is what travel and life and experience is about isn't it. Those fleeting moments we spend-the great thing about the human mind-usually those are the one;s we hold on to. Not the tears, not the anger, not the bad stuff but those powerful moments that we usually file under other when they are happening.
And no I was not on drugs so don't even ask.