Tuesday, September 13, 2011

An Ordinary Day

Birthday Wishes .. 

I just had a birthday, and like many other occasions it was an anniversary to commemorate the past and consider the future, but most of all to live in the moment of celebration. For me, it was just another day. So, I woke before sunrise and wandered onto the balcony with tea and generous lemon slice to watch the day begin. The Russian girl across the garden smiled when she realised I too was wearing only my birthday suit at this hour of the day, then waved as she wrapped a towel around her lithe frame and headed indoors for the coffee I could smell brewing in her kitchen.

I washed my hair under the refreshing rain shower while the sun shone through the small mesh window scattering rainbows as it crested the mountain and poked into the glass stall. I pulled a pair of Capri shorts over my swimming trunks and wandered down the cobbled avenue to have breakfast in my favourite place along the strand while watching the Para-gliders land on the beach.

After a walk along the sandy shore I swam out to the rocks that protrude around the edge of the bay, and took a few dives off the lower cliffs into the clear coral reefs on the other side of the lagoon.

Feeling alive and vibrant I decided to take the motorbike along the cliff road and see how my Turkish and English friends were doing after their long night of dancing in the open-air disco that clung to the rock face like a lizard on the edge of the wall. We lunched on fresh fruit, cheese and bread, and olives with wine then I took my obligatory ‘old man nap’ on the veranda as the warm breeze kept the sweat from sticking to my salty flesh.

I awoke to fresh orange juice and the slow settled swish of waves caressing the sand.

 After a magnificent sunset with colours that lit the sky with shades of a desert palette and an invigorating shower I went out for an evening stroll, stopping at shops along the seaside to chat with acquaintances and friends before dropping in to the great live venue I frequent by the water's edge of the palm-lined promenade.

The regular house band was playing tunes by Santana, REM and Talking Heads as well as Beatles and Stones classics and I chatted with the friendly Dutch waitress who was working the season on the coast to pay her university fees.

An evening of cocktails that included a long slow comfortable screw against the wall (don’t ask!) and dancing to the old time rock and roll was topped off with pizza at the best little Italian restaurant this side of the Med before sauntering back to my apartment among the magnolia trees and a cappuccino with fresh shaved cinnamon.

I turned on the television to catch up with the daily news from the continuing wars and scanned the tributes to those in whose name it all began. It never ceases to amaze me that people from all over the world can meet and gather and enjoy life together sharing music, food, friendship and good times, yet politicians and the corporate bankers who support them by funding these conflicts can’t ever seem to understand that everyone just wants peace. I wish there wasn’t the inequity and disparity of wealth between those people and the others who live in desperate situations and the merchants of terror who continue their evil ways that put us all in the middle as targets for their collective greed.

My wishes are for these people to find love in their hearts, the rich to recognise the needs of the poor and the people with guns to lay down their arms. My wishes are that all the lonely people could find a friend to share some good times and the hungry to have enough to eat so that they could think about what they want to do next. My wishes are that the energy needs of the world could be addressed through the cleaner more effective management of our natural resources of the sun and sea and wind and those who profit from soiling our world with their overproduction of unnecessary toxic carbon producing machines would turn to these methods. My wishes are for an end to injustice and for hope to thrive.

I was totally pleased with my birthday and wished only one more thing for myself, but that was long gone and lost in the mist of time, and I wonder now if it ever existed at all. I think it may all have been a pointless lie that simply gnawed at my spirit like a dog on an old bone - me being the skeleton that was slowly being devoured of course. Lies in a relationship are like rust on metal, they eventually deteriorate the feelings of love.

Once, a woman I lived with told me that friends are more important than lovers because lovers come and go but friends stay around forever. I always believed that one’s lover should be their best friend and that there wasn’t any point keeping secrets and telling lies because then there was no basis for a real relationship. I’m worth more than all the pretenders of the world, and won’t sacrifice dignity for an untrustworthy companion, after all, honesty for me is the foundation for enduring love.

So, although I wish also I could rid myself of the pain of anger from so many tragedies and intentional evils in this world that eats at my soul so the tranquil might grow into a lasting inner serenity, I don’t want to live with memories that erode the spirit and so I travel this highway in search of peace.

However, I am happy knowing in my heart that the natural light, the only radiance that matters when trying to paint a picture of life, shines not from a window that reflects the dark clouds above but, rather, that the true skylight that illuminates our notions of life is the sun that radiates within. Honesty and integrity are the beginnings of the personal truth that sets the mind free and enables love to bloom like the flowers that blossom every day in this beautiful ancient land.

The artist who represents reality with an authentic stroke of the brush and a genuine interpretation of our time will live forever; the real is always going to last while the false will grow fainter and rust over time. She who can only imagine the road, paved with heartache as it is, but never takes a trip along those sunny trails where the spirit is exposed to the elements is destined to watch ambition fade in the shadowy hours of long, cold nights surrounded by bitter strangers who call themselves friends. Truth is essential to love, and love of life is the way to real success.

Whatever highway you travel or path you take, travel with honour and faith in the future and your dreams will be revealed through your hopes. Of course, with an honest heart open to the commitment necessary to secure the spirit, you will always have sincere love.

Thankfully, I haven’t seen rain since I left the UK months ago, and living in the constant light of the warm sun is healthy for both my body and spirit. I wish every day could be as ordinary and happy for everyone as this birth date was for me.

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All the main photos in this series except the lighthouse were taken in the past couple days, and with the exceptions of the juggler, sunflowers and light painting are all untouched.