I had a blog outlined three weeks ago. Painstaking detail over seven handwritten journal pages. But when I sat down to transcribe it all to my laptop I just couldn’t bare the thought of rereading and writing my own words. It felt heavy and overbearing. This is not my typical approach to writing. Typically I push through the mountainous obstacles and review on the other side of gestation. This time there was a grim conclusion I was unwilling to face. Our fate as living beings.
Impermanence explored in all ways culminating with the existential dread of our fate. The longing for yesteryears. The wish for another tomorrow, or seven, to finally get around to what have you that’s been lingering in the background of your mind like a ghost. What is difficult to express and face is the void that someone leaves behind in their passing. It’s all the memories and potential memories of imagined bright futures. It’s the inability to accept that life can seem to switch on and off as quickly as a lightbulb.
The world lost a beautiful soul when Raul suddenly passed. He was a man who lived and loved like no one I had ever met. A man who was multi-talented and always driven to create, share, uplift, and inspire. Although I wasn’t as close to him as I had hoped to become, his impact on my life alone was monumental. And I’m just one little fish in a sea of potential billions who could have had (and did have) a crossing of paths with Raul. Like the sun, the closer one is the brighter the light, and man did he shine bright.
Instead of attending his memorial in Gainesville, I felt a strong pull to stay in St. Augustine with a small bottle of rum to honor his spirit in my own quiet way. I wanted to stare into the infinite arms of the ocean and feel the comfort of his guidance, support and passion. The ocean was a beautiful turquoise color that afternoon. Peter and I said our words and toasted in his honor. It all felt right. Not long after our ceremony a storm rolled in turning the bright turquoise to dark tumultuous waves. Impermanence.
About a week later I met my dad and sister in the Villages for a belated birthday gathering. We always rendezvous at the Barnes & Noble. On the way there I swore to myself I wouldn’t buy any books. I have a back log of reading and my collection is always growing. Luck would have it that my sister gifted me a gift card to Barnes & Noble, so I was forced to buy something. Darn.
I knew I needed a new journal as mine was running out of pages, but beyond that the sky was the limit. While wandering around I came across a table with a sign stating “Summer Reading.” On the bottom left corner of the table was a single copy of Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. I’m almost ashamed to admit this, but I haven’t read much Hemingway in my days. This book screamed for my attention, especially in the aftermath of Raul. I bought it and read it cover to cover that night. I couldn’t put it down. The suspense was unparalleled and the imagery so vivid. I was there every step of the way silently, yet earnestly, observing and hoping. Utterly hooked.
The sun rises and sets. A beautiful day turns into a stormy afternoon. The last page of a journal is written, a new one begins. Flowers blossom and wilt. I guess this is all a longwinded way of saying nothing is permanent, but damn if that isn’t the most difficult constant in life.