Tobago

Tobago
Horizon at Sandy Point

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dancing on this earth

With little to do since the injury some eight weeks ago, he has been going through old slides. You know the little pieces of celluloid mounted in cardboard or plastic frames that saved the photographic images of the last century, before the digital age. A lot of them are dusty and flecked with fungus, but the memories are pristine. The little machine - made in China and without a proper name or plug - is being used to scan slides from the 70s, animals in Kenya, faces from decades past. It's amazing how little you need to tickle the synapses and follow ephemeral threads to landscapes and adventures stored in the brain.

So, old man, what do you have to say to this just barely twenty self? And what still beats in the blood from that age?
Circa 1970

Old Man: I think I'll grow my hair again. You should cut yours!

Young man: Hair? The least of my worries - things to do, places to go, wine, women and the world at my feet.

OM: It was a time wasn't it: Idi Amin's Uganda, Burundi, driving through the Sahara navigating by the stars, wildlife and a wild life - our version of drugs sex and rock and roll - fun while it lasted but I don't think I want to go back there.

YM: I want to have it all, see it all, taste what might almost kill...  Go back to sleep old man, and let me have my youth! You can't tell me what to do.

OM: But listen, maybe I could tell you how to avoid trouble, how to eat well and get enough rest, how to be safe ...

YM: Safe? Not high on the agenda. I need to travel by the seat of my pants. I need to sleep on the beach and wake up in the surf. I need to taste it, smoke it, drink it ...

OM: Yes, the moment... always the moment. And though you want to last forever, you know you never will...

YM: Oh but I will - you'll see me still in other faces other places ...

Slow fade to the strains of Cat Stevens:
Oh very young, what will you leave us this time?You're only dancing on this earth for a short while...

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