I only saw a couple of signs with Unbelizeable puns on them. Apparently the local citizens have gotten tired of this joke – as expected. But I walked into a souvenir shop and saw a wall of t-shirts that said Unbelizeable and Better Belize It. Tourists are thrilled by these puns. They can’t wait to let their friends back home know how clever they are. In addition to having visited an awesome country.
The beach bar in Belize playing Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville is a little too obvious. But it works.
I got a conch shell when I was five. I got it on a vacation to Paradise Island in the Bahamas. It’s the only time I’ve been to the Bahamas. I didn’t know it at the time, but it would be the last trip we took as a family. My parents split up after that.
I used to love to listen to the sound of the ocean in the shell. It was a calming sound. I could hear the sound of our past. The way things used to be. But it also was the sound of the future where everything was going to be ok.
Sometimes when I’m running I think I’m in a movie or a Nike commercial. Drones have changed how everything is shot. It’s now easier to get overhead shots – including ones that follow someone down the street as they are running. I can imagine the drone flying just over my shoulder. Or it could be a montage of me getting up and running everyday. It could be same location, different clothes, same route. Or different locations, same clothes, different route.
Taking a picture of the sunset is hard. I’ve been taking sunset pictures as long as I’ve had a camera. Sometimes the most dramatic sunsets – where the big orange ball of the sun touches the horizon – don’t make the best pictures. The sky with orange tinged clouds 10 to 15 minutes before sunset makes a much better picture.
There are no cars on Caye Caulker, a small island off the coast of Belize. Everyone gets around by bicycle or foot. If you need a cab, then a golf cart will pick you up. The roads are sand. The motto of the island is Go Slow. If for some reason the golf carts are going too fast there are speed bumps. And how do you make a speed bump in a sand road? Bury a rope halfway in the sand.
As I was traveling home from Belize I read of a small plane crash in Costa Rica. 10 American tourists and both pilots were killed. There was a family of five from Scarsdale NY on board. Father, mother, a child in college and two in high school. They were traveling from the jungle to beach on the plane. I had just spent a week with many families exactly like this, taking the same vacation in Belize. I felt like I knew this family. This crash could have happen to any of these families I got to know as they flew from the jungle to the beaches of Belize.
Today is the day that we look back over the past year at our successes and our failures. Our found loves and our lost loves. The things that made us happy and the things that made us sad. Most days of the past 365 were average and do not stand out, but some do. Especially the good ones. We all want this new year to be better than the last. That doesn’t always happen. It can be out of our control. But if you focus on the good of the past year, you can make it even better in the coming year.
When you are getting to know someone or when you join a new group of people you find yourself telling stories as a more indirect way to share your views on life. I’ve been on panels or in group meetings and encouraged everyone to share something interesting or that most people don’t know about them. This is when you are shocked to find out that someone is a twin. An author at a book reading uses the same technique to get acclimated to new groups but gets everyone to tell an embarrassing story about themselves. This makes people more vulnerable and bonds form quicker. How do you keep track of these stories and know what are the best ones for which occasion? Can you carry around a stack of blue cards like a talk show host? Or do you just periodically review the details of your life, mining it for the best stories?
I read a book where the main character experienced his memories as dreams. Or you could say that the author had him dream his memories as a literary device. Rather than a simple flashback, the character experienced his childhood while dreaming. I’ve never had a dream that aligned with a memory. Dreams are a window into the future for me. While I never know whether a dream is a just mash-up of the day’s tasks and anxieties or a brief moment that has yet to occur – there is no golden frame around them to tell the difference – I have learned to recognize that feeling of deja vu as remembering a dream I had. They are never narratives, but moments. I could be sitting in room all day and suddenly look up, and remember the dream where I looked in that direction. This has been happening most of my life.