Figuring it all Out, After the Fact…
How art thou? Hopefully you’re doing well and about to enjoy a superb Saturday in an interesting part of the world. Please remember that wherever you’re from and no matter how boring it may be at times, there are people on the other side of the world who are fascinated with your country and would one day like to put all the coins they’ve slaved for into a coiffure of sorts and take a big tin box filled with people personifying sardines in the sky…
I’ve finally figured out the Little Corn Island internet equation an I’m leaving in 9 days, let’s not go over the fact I’ve been here for about 5 months so far in 2012… I’m writing this because I’ve gotten emails and comments from readers who are like “wtf are you doing on Little Corn when there are so many great working areas around!?” Maybe I’m insane but I’ve always found that if you want to do good things, you have to be inspired. Most random developing world big cities aren’t particularly inspiring for me. Sure they are affordable and most certainly beyond interesting with crazy stuff happening but I feel you’re stuck looking at a tree when you could perch yourself somewhere pleasurable and give yourself a view of the whole forest.
If you wish to do any sort of work involving the internet on Little Corn Island, you MUST get up early with your claro stick and move yourself to somewhere along the beach. I’m writing this on the best signal I’ve had in as long as I’ve been here from the “Sunset Shack” aka one of my favorite bars on the beach. Its open early, closes late and is painted with a seriously Jamaican flag theme ala Bob Marley. The red overly sugared yet refreshing powerade quenches my thirst on a day as clear as glass while the waves of the Caribbean sea continue their eternal ebb and flow just feet from mine, can feel the soul of the sea through my soles…
To my right I see skiff’s and local people going about their business, to my left the oldest almond tree on the island, its quite a sight. It’s 8:05 right now and I’ve already gone for a sunrise run around the perimeter of half the island and swam in the sea as a cool down of sorts. From 5am-9am you see few tourists whatsoever except the haphazard soul looking haggard on their way to the morning panga to end their Little Corn Island adventure. The place comes alive at 6am though and I’ve already witnessed a 65 year old gentleman 65 feet high in a tree throwing down mangoes to a friend who was catching them like fly balls in Fenway Stadium.
You’re as young as you feel, I know a 70 year old guy here who has more plans for life than your average 20 year old. When I looked up and saw “Grandpa” that high in the tree barefoot, I nearly had an aneurysm, I had never been more certain there would be some little kid up there. It’s funny how people get older in the “developed” world and they are shoved into rail cars to retirement homes where someone who may or may not hate their job takes care of them in their old age. They are discarded like past due milk from the fridge, instead of being honored for the contributions they’ve made.
Around here and in most of the developing world, old people are considered sacred. They are the old trees in the mature forest which shelter the young and let them grow to what they will one day have the potential to be. They aren’t removed from the families they’ve raised but instead are catered to by them and made sure they are comfortable and happy. Not sure how I got on this tangent but it something I’ve been thinking about for a while, what will you do when your parents get really old?
Anyways it’s a stellar Saturday morning here and I’ve got little over a week left in paradise and plan on making the most of it. Met a lady who gives massages and have brokered a deal for them involving the help of my little friend “Lloyd the Lobster”. The point of this story before we went all over the map and back is that if you’re working / living in conditions that aren’t great, keep tweaking and sometimes get drastic, the results may be astounding.
In other words, you don’t want to “finally figure it all out” when it’s too late, figure it out now.
P.S: My iphone is broken, no photos until I get to the USA.
7 thoughts on “Figuring it all Out, After the Fact…”
Great post. It sounds corny but it made me think of the quote “we’re human beings not human doings.” I think sometimes I’m guilty of running around and trying to accomplish a bunch of crap that doesn’t make me happy or fulfilled. Even travelling done wrong can be like that. Crossing off a bunch of countries that you’ve traveled to means nothing if you didn’t enjoy the process and/or learn something. Busy certainly does not equal productive. I could do well to relax sometimes and incorporate a little island life into my psyche.
Soon enough we’ll be that old guy in the tree (hopefully) with the majority of our life behind us. I think my biggest fear is looking back on my life in disgust because I was too fearful to do the things I really wanted to do. Being the grateful mango-picking grandpa with no regrets is what I’m shooting for. However adjustments are necessary in life. And it sounds like you have found yourself a great balance.
Corny things sound awesome from the Corn Islands. I can see you’ve given topics like this good thought and think adjustments are always necessary at every step of the way. Sounds like you’re on the path to where you’re aiming for, good sir.
Good day, R. As I sit here on sunday morning reading your words under thick clouds, I wonder if the senior in the tree you mention concerns himself with the need to “tweak” or “sometimes make drastic” changes in effort to live a more meaningful life….We all strive for something, or do some of us simply survive, do the best we can and then it’s over? (Seems unromantic, what would Lloyd the lobster say?) Do we really need to fear about laying on our deathbed and wondering why we didn’t do this or that? Now, it’s popular to say we should “live in the moment” and why not? As you mentioned, there are many people who would love to see what it is like to live in a westernized country. When there are the basic necessities of life, health, shelter, air, we still dream about more. Yes, I think some of that is fed by society, but are there more naturally adventurous people than others? What about the people who are born in the same house they die in and never venture far from home? Well sir, as always you got me thinkin’. Thanks for the reflective quality of your blog. I promise to keep any future comments short. Just sayin’.
Good day, I have no idea whether or not that guy ever made some tweaks but if he’s still kicking and doing well, I’m sure he’s made some positive choices at some point, perhaps. The rest of your comment leaves me with more questions than answers and wouldn’t know where to begin to attempt to answer most of them.
I will note that I do believe some people are simply more adventurous than others and it’s part of what makes the world go round. I reckon everyone is looking for something similar but taking different routes to get there.
When it comes to “Lloyd the Lobster”, quite sure he’d say “think about it then go for it without another thought” to most things. Paralysis by analysis is worse than a failed endeavor I believe.
Hope you enjoy your last week in paradise. Sounds like you got things figured out for your time there. And you are right about the perspective – people do want to enjoy what I have as well so I shouldn’t take it for granted. I had a great hike this weekend and while it’s not Little Corn, it’s my little piece of paradise! 🙂
Slowly figuring it out and as always, better now than later. Enjoy your hike and I’m from Ottawa, I rarely went downtown but every year, thousands of tourists come to enjoy its splendor!