Sunday, 18 August 2013

Magical Note of Compassion and other news

Listen to it here

While cycling the streets of cool East Village in the boiling New York City summer, I had to make way for a surly, growly, muttering, hard-nosed junky-nutter making his belligerent way across the street like some hell-bent alcoholic Taliban, determined on unpleasantness. Alarmed by his negativity I gave him a wide berth. 

Beyond him on the far side of the street were 4 emo NYU students, 3 girls and a guy. Only recently of this world and young enough to still know everything - just kids, just hanging. As I passed them I heard the girl closest the street, slightly separated from the herd, declare, tearfully, “He’s ruined my day”. Something about wanting to right an injustice popped in me. I looped around and cycled straight back to them. She backed away from me as I came closer, very cautious she was, once bitten twice shy for sure.

I halted and asked “I could not but overhear, did you say he ruined your day?” pointing at the Nutjob, who was at this point ruining a cyclist’s day further down the street.

“Yes” she said
“Totally” the rest exclaimed.

To which I cheerfully replied - “Well I am here to change that and reverse your unfortunate fortune. I have here a thing almost unique.”

And pulled from my pocket my wallet, and from my wallet a folded bill.

“I have here a –“ -  “2-dollar bill!” finished the lone male in the pack.

“Yes – it is and legal tender too. But see here, on it is stenciled the words ‘In Pursuit of Magic’. And you can have it. Hopefully it will make your day”

She, with dropping jaw, “Can I keep it?”

“Of course”, I said as I cycled off, “Changing the world one smile at a time…” and on my way I went. I’ve done this sort of gifting thing a few times and feel its best to give the gift and begone so the gift remains just exactly that, free from any other expectation or conversation. That they may just marvel at the arbitrary and funny nature of life’s vagaries and what comes from hanging on the streets of New York.
As I left they stared and laughed and I felt good for being a random act of kindness. Until I remembered what compassion is really about and that while my time was well spent with these few it would’ve been better spent had I given that magically transformed note and charitable action to the grumbler who is clearly in a far worse way and knoweth not the harm he does himself by harming others.

Yes of course such an attempt may’ve ended badly for me but this brings to mind the decisions we make in life. What we choose to do, the meaning we bring into our lives. The things we find worthwhile. One of the hardest things in life is not to be seen. To be ignored. Living in solitary confinement on the streets of the city. It is a brutal thing. Aside from execution, solitary confinement is the worst punishment our society can think up. So giving a person on the fringes of society time and attention serves us well in our own attempt to find equanimity with everything. Helping yourself by helping others...

 And on a completely different note here is some news... 

That all happened in NYC recently after my many weeks in Montauk. All of which were very well spent giving attention to words, waves and the steady stream of amazing folks that wander through one’s life.

But now, dear Reader – you find me in holed up bandit-like in Spearfish, South Dakota en route across the USA to LA via Burning Man. I have already aided in the digging up of a dinosaur bone, suffered a front differential leak, covered 2000 miles through 10 states (minor brushes with the law in 4 of them), broken ribs instead of bread with an old friend and her family, written love in light, run around Devil’s Tower and as soon as I send this I am off on a hike to who knows where but I bet I’ll see something exquisite in this pleasant land!

Devil's Tower (seen in Paul!)

Devil's Tower Up-close

Devil's Tower Close-up

Plastered up for transportation

Yes it’s been a dream of mine to drive across the States. And that’s the thing about dreams. If you have ‘em, it’s a great idea at some time to turn them into a reality. Then the Universe can do things to you far beyond your wildest imagination! 

Hey ho, let’s go… me, my Gherkmobile and an Octopus, In Pursuit of Magic! Go West Young Man. Go West. And a bit South…

Love and light

Octopus trying to get attention