Tired of the hypocrisy that his life had become, Aaron bought a one way ticket to Mexico, the first stop of a journey that would take him into situations he could not have fathomed only days before. What follows is a tale of secret training camps, conspiracy, freedom fighters, the plight of the indigenous in Panama, corruption at the highest levels, espionage, indoctrination, and murder. And love. Borders seemed to disappear as Aaron made his way from country to country, unaware that he was being shadowed the entire time by those who would ensure that he reach his (their) ultimate destination, Panama. He was the “piece of the puzzle” Marcos had been searching for, and when the gringo stumbled into a “training camp” his life would no longer be his own. Marcos had been driven from Panama by Noriega 30 years prior and now he was back to claim the country that should have been his long ago and it didn’t matter who stood in his way! And Aaron would be the key!
The title of a new book? Perhaps. Time will tell whether the story ever makes it to print or not. The sticky notes adorn my wall; the IPAD is surely doing it’s job, and the only question that remains is: AM I DOING THE STORY JUSTICE ? I’m approximately 12,000 words into what appears to be a novel taking shape. I hope that is the case. Several other stores are dormant as this one has thrust itself to the front of the line. We shall soon see if it deserves the attention it seems to be commanding. I will give the story free rein for a time, but course correction is a definite possibility. (I’m not sure I like the way this is formatting so I will end this here and hit the publish button.
As I wing my way from Halifax to Grande Prairie I find myself thinking about the journey I’m about to undertake in 6 weeks time. Panama has been calling my name for over 5 years now; calling me to come home.
Home doesn’t seem to easily define itself for me. Is home the place you grew up? Or lived the longest? Or is home the place you hang your proverbial hat? Or is home the place one happens to be at any given time?
I struggle with that constantly. The place I’ve spent most of my life at doesn’t feel like home to me. The places I’ve travelled to don’t feel like home. The place I’m going to spend several months at over the next while should be the place that will be my home, but my history doesn’t suggest that that will be the case.
Perhaps I don’t have a home anywhere. I often speak of feeling “global.” Perhaps I am. Or perhaps, as I really believe, the reason I don’t ever feel completely at home anywhere is that regardless of where I live on this earth, this home is temporary.
I think that’s the answer. Until I take that final journey to my true home, I will be a wanderer. Or maybe not!
When I travel I engage with others. To not do so would be a tragedy. There are interesting people everywhere and to not participate in their lives to some degree, if they so choose, seems “wrong.”
If I were to take a snapshot of a journey recently taken, a kaleidoscope would surely appear. I met Marlene in Calgary, on her way to see her daughter. She works at a hospice and that, in and of itself, tells me something about her. Also, her husband is a Cuban who has very mixed emotions about the direction Cuba and the US are heading. After all, he became an expatriate many years prior. I think he would definitely have some strong opinions about this change of direction.
And then I met Gavin from Portland who was on his way to Paraguay, a place he wants to call home. A former soldier, now retired, and quite happy to escape the political nonsense that fills the papers on a daily basis in the US. In Paraguay one gets a rest from the day to day drama that the world seems to find so appealing.
I met a family from Worsley heading to Bolivia, 8 of them in all, on a 5 week excursion to visit relatives. We arrived in Houston at 10 pm one evening. They chose to go to a hotel to get some rest. I chose to tough it out in the airport. Apparently, their stay didn’t work out that well and we ended up with about the same amount of sleep. They might as well have stayed at the airport.
Ft St. John was also represented by a young lady heading for Cancun, and then Playa Del Carmen for some beach time. She was all alone but determined to soak up the sun for the next ten days.
Then the couple behind me began discussing the Canal so I had no choice but to share a few tips with them. First they were off to Panama City, then the Locks, and finally Boquette. I didn’t bother mentioning to them that on one of my trips an Indigenous uprising led to a standoff for an extra 8 hours, and resulted in a rather large bonfire right in the middle of the Inter-American Highway (Pan-American) near Santiago. Finally, we were allowed through, but these roadblocks are frequent in Panama and can result in motorists being delayed for days.
And my seat mate from Houston to Panama City didn’t speak English but with my very weak Español we did the best we could. We discussed the terrible conditions in many of the Latin America countries. He was heading home to Ecuador. I wanted to go there but I didn’t quite make it. At least, not yet.
That’s what happens when I travel. I’m interested in others lives and stories. And people are anxious to share if given a chance.I love travelling and meeting new people, especially from cultures different than my own.
I attended a Celebration of Life ceremony earlier today. Some would call it a Funeral. Not me. For surely, the gentleman for whom we gathered today, is in a far better place. He went to be with the Lord. Hallelujah!
I have walked the wide path and I’ve walked the narrow path, and challenges have been many, but I always return to the road less travelled. I’m comfortable here, but I know it causes angst among many of those whom I know well. They fear for my safety, yet fail to realize that my greatest fear would be to give in to that fear, and turn away from a path that I believe God himself has ordained.
I have been called to fulfil my purpose and I will finish the race set before me. Eagerly. The time grows ever nearer, and thus my decision is to spend as much time as I can with those who desire to spend time with me.
I will never force a relationship, but if you know me at all, you will know that there is nothing more important than relationships. That’s my position and I believe I share that with Someone far more knowledgable that me.
CALLED I WAS…YODA
Originally Posted on March 23, 2011 by duaneanderson
I too, was called to the sea, and I went; it was good, but not enough. I traipsed through the jungle and still I found not that which I sought. And so, I travelled still further, up into the mountains and down into the caves. And still it eluded me, this mysterious thing. And so I stopped. And I waited…and I waited some more. And it was there. And it was good. And I knew I had arrived. I had found that which I had sought; perhaps more accurately, it had found me. Now I can go, for I have things to do and people to see. And then I will return to my home. I now know where it is!
This person will remain nameless, but lives among all of us, regardless of where we reside in the world. This person cannot be identified by their gender, age, race, religion, or by any such measure. And yet, this person and others of their ilk, fascinate me beyond measure.
Because they defy the odds time and time again. Circumstances have been anything but kind to these individuals and yet they chose to meet their challenges day in and day out. Often these challenges were forced upon them; often they were self induced: and yet others were the result of mental illness, or perhaps simply being born in the wrong place, or a host of other reasons.
Would it not be easier for so many of these people to just NOT get up today?
NO! And you want to know why?
EASY and QUIT are not in their vocabulary!
Someday I will go away. It’s inevitable. I know it and you know it, and yet you pretend that it isn’t so. So instead of talking about issues of significance, we play on the periphery.
I have attempted on numerous occasions to bridge the gap but to no avail, and that is disappointing and it makes me sad. Our relationship could be so much deeper, so much more meaningful, but it requires participation from both parties.
I want to know about your life, your interests, your fears, your hopes, and your dreams, but I also want to share with you my heart. My whole heart. But you don’t want to hear about that which is most dear to me. So you don’t ask, and by not asking, you speak volumes.
And so I reluctantly withdraw from a valued relationship, and I can tell by your reaction that this is distressing you. You wonder what you have done to deserve this. I want to shake you; I silently scream at you, but after a time my screams become silent.
So I will go and you will stay and you’ll wonder what went wrong. “We used to be so close. I don’t know what went wrong.”
Watino, Alberta, Canada. Population: 20 people if one is being generous.
July 25/15: 450-500 people more or less . . . for one day
Watino celebrated its’ 100th Anniversary on Saturday. A small band of incredibly dedicated volunteers gathered together and invited the world to join them in a celebration of life. Life now, and life yesterday.
And the people came from far and wide. Memories came alive in the flesh. Old acquaintances became new once again. It mattered not where one cast ones’ eye for they were everywhere. It was good, and animated conversation took centre stage.
Chronological age was merely a number on this day for there were no “old” people at this gathering, at least not if one judged it by the spring in their step, or the twinkle in their eyes.
Watino showed up on this day in a most glorious fashion. What a testament to all those who called this place home yesterday, and those who call it home today, and those who will call it home tomorrow. And it is even a further testament to all those who came from near and far, as well as the surrounding communities, to share their support and their memories with everyone gathered here on this day.
Watino, you rock!!!
I spend a lot of hours being absolutely useless. It’s true. Whether it be paralysis or simply a lack of direction is unclear. Uncertainty of purpose? Perhaps, but I think not.
“Why” is not the question. “When,” much more so. I should know the “when” but apparently I don’t. And that is confusing. Confusing because I haven’t done that which needs to be done. At least not yet. And now “why” can legitimately enter the picture.
Do I need “why” to know “when,” or is that just an excuse? And all this from someone who apparently is anything but risk aversive!
I don’t need any more “time to think” or “consultation” or “confirmation.” Ironically, what I need is of a far more practical nature and something that should have been relatively easy to acquire.
And yet, here I am. I suspect not for long, but I’ve said that before. I hope I don’t have to say it again.