May 31, 2016: Circus
The circus made its way into the fears and hopes of individuals and families. All bets were off at the circus. Monkeys dress like humans and usher in the crowds. Magicians proved that a person can be cut in two separate pieces before coming back to life as one whole. Storytellers spoke of a little girl named Alice who had an adventure in Wonderland, based on a true story of course. Campaigners plead their cases to the circus-goers: that it is in their interest to join the circus. Candidates blended the fantasy of the circus to the realities of the ticket-holders. Vote for the candidate, and we can all go to Wonderland. Vote for the candidate, and the Magician will cut your enemies in half. Vote for the candidate, and the monkeys will be kept from learning new human skills. Jobs are scarce, and the ticket-holder must be able to buy more tickets. Come to the circus and vote!
May 30, 2016: Blank
He came forward with himself. He sung out loud the songs that lived only in the depths of his heart. He moved his body in a dance that revealed the rhythm of his soul. He gazed out into the world, exposing his soul in a window available only to that which reflects back onto him. Reflections of blank stares proved his coming forward was only a revelation of what had not yet been laid bare.
May 29, 2016: Orderly
Beep beep! Honk! Honk beep! A slight turn towards the right to fit in the tight path. Accelerating faster into the traffic jam (that way the bystanders will rush out of the way, obviously). An abrupt stop in the middle of the crowded corniche to pick up an extra passenger on the already overcrowded microbus – an extra 25 piasters means one extra falafel for the drivers dinner that night. A taxi cab was heading north on a road for southbound traffic. Twenty million people share roads built for a population of seven million, seventy years ago. The chaos is maddening, yet life moves on. Somehow, the chaos yields an orderly process to an unpredictable day in downtown Cairo.
May 28, 2016: Epitome
The epitome of beauty lay before his senses. The man is blind but hears and understands. He knew he was not alone as he sat on the shore. He heard voices ride and crash with the sounds of the sea. Voices of human life and voices of silence he heard in one ear. The other ear lent itself to the sea, both its vastness and its finiteness as its waves crash against the shore in which the old man sits. He feels the sun blanketing his face with a heat made cool by the breeze in the air, carried from the open sea en route to the city behind him. His taste buds still tingle from the coffee his son makes for him every day before escorting him to the foot of the sea. The blind man sits there everyday until the sun comes down, gazing into the beauty he sees.
May 27, 2016: Fork
Use a fork and knife, my mother would tell me. I listened, and I got used to it. I believed it. I learned how to use chopsticks later. The victory of learning a new task was liberating. I learned how to be comfortable using only a fork later, when I didn’t need a knife. The new habit felt strange. The first time I was offered a fork and a spoon, I was confused. This also felt strange, and incorrect. I looked across the table and noticed that others were comfortable with just forks, or forks with spoons. No knives here. Another time, people were eating rice with their hands. No forks, no spoons, no knives. Only fingers and bread. Habit, custom, diversity, adaptation, friction, liberation. Yet we all ate.
May 26, 2016: Countless
Countless hours did I wait. I attended countless sessions, read countless manuals, visited countless advisers. I spoke countless sounds, thought countless thoughts, read and wrote countless words. I traveled to countless countries, bantered with countless comrades, ran with countless crews. I fought over countless principles, surrendered countless arguments, and learned countless views. I laughed countless laughs, cried countless cries, smiled countless smiles. I pondered countless truths and loved countless virtues. Suddenly, I realized I did not wait one moment. I began to count my countless blessings.
May 26, 2016: Learning
At age 87, Michelango famously said, “I am still learning”. In another century, Albert Einstein admitted, “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know”. Perfection is not the goal. The painter of the roof of the Sistine Chapel and the scientist who articulated the Theory of Relativity understood this. Humility enables learning. Learning supports the process to become more perfect. Live and Learn. Become more perfect.
May 25, 2016: Grain
No dairy, no sugars, no grains. Just like the Paleolithic era! the iPhone app said. One click in the app led to a more complete advertisement for the popular diet. Go against the grain! The queue at Whole Foods Organic Market grew longer with enthusiastic city dwellers ready to revert their diets back to a common age for humanity, before culture and religion. The shared faith in the Paleo Diet brought the melting pot together, each person like a grain of sand coming together to form a thin layer over a concrete promenade. The app had a chatroom for shared experiences. The most common shared experience was how boring food became. A grain of salt was the remedy.
May 24, 2016: Phase
“It’s just a phase,” he told himself. The experience would be finite and independent. Little did he know, the phase was more than indulgence of passion or depression. It was a set of actions determined in part by a culmination of one’s life to-date and in other part by a conscious surrender to free-will. The phase stuck with him long after the cycles continued to oscillate. Other phases began to accumulate. Indulgences were past and present, but the phase would remain present.