Strange Discoveries

by Christopher Lovejoy on November 13, 2011

I swam to shore and stood up, dripping wet, stark naked in the warm sunshine.

I surveyed my tropical surroundings with the eyes of someone who had not a care in the world, with the ears of someone whose mind couldn’t yet give up its experience as an object of inquiry.

I couldn’t just experience the sight of surf meeting sand at sunset; I had to tell from experience. I couldn’t just experience the music of wind-swept leaves; I had to make a subtle note of it.

Entertaining and allowing a wider perspective in the water on my back refreshed and energized my body, making it more than ready, willing, and able to engage itself in vigorous exercise.

First, it was a jog around the island. Then, it was a swim around the island in the opposite direction. And then, most strenuous of all, it was climbing palms in search of fresh, ripe coconuts.

I collected four coconuts and brought them to my home base for consumption later in the day.

I set a limit of consuming four per day because I don’t much like getting the runs, and because of their high fat content, I drink and eat them late in the day to ground me, when I’m winding down.

After putting the coconuts in the shade near my hammock, I did an exploratory hike of the island.

Although I had done what I thought was a thorough hike more than several times in days past, I found that there was always something new to ponder, or discover, or wonder about.

Most people conjure the image of lassitude when they hear of someone stranded all alone in paradise. They figure, before long, that the strandee runs out of things to do. This might be true for those who lack insight, imagination, intuition, or initiative, but for those of us who covet or cherish our solitude, running out of things to do is not an option under most circumstances. With an open mind and heart, there is almost always, on most days, something new to see or do or find.

But I digress.

Several weeks ago, I found a life-sized Polynesian baby doll washed up on the eastern shore.

The doll was stripped bare, and because it was home-made, it had no special talents or abilities, like wetting, pooping, wiggling, sipping, slurping, burping, talking, or crying on command.

Ever since then, I had made it my habit of watching out for new things when I took my meditative walks around the island, feeling more protective than grateful for this contact from beyond.

On this particular day, while taking my exploratory hike, I found a glass baby bottle filled with soured infant formula, sparking my imagination: irate father tosses baby accessories over crying baby?

Would a lifeless baby show up before long? I shuddered at the thought.

My life-long interest in the humanities made me more aware than most that this world, for the most part, had sacrificed much of its empathy for the sake of honing a security-obsessed, cynical, fascist siege mentality, devolving into isolated pockets of cultural and political interests.

I experienced this odd mentality through my contact with authority figures, service providers, and righteous neighbours. With no close friends or family, I imagined you lived a lonely life indeed.

Unless, of course, you were especially good to yourself.

But again, I digress.

I was now in the possession of a baby doll and a baby bottle – and these two things didn’t match up. That is, the baby bottle clearly wasn’t designed to be used with the baby doll.

Do I bury these objects out of sight, out of mind? Or do I keep them in a safe place, just in case?

That small voice within, with its ever clear prescience, nudged me to do the latter.

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