| 10 Apr 2008 @ 16:36, by David Bartholomew|
[excerpted from DoingIt!, July, 2006]
I have this image that pops in my mind of some of the people who just might have things— whatever things these might be— figured out.
I see a bunch of expansive European men.
By expansive I mean— in their generous bellies that they are extremely unconcerned about displaying… protruding as they do under, and sometimes out from under, white ribbed t-shirts and/or an over-layer of an unbuttoned silk floral print that frames said belly below, and perhaps some gold around the curly-haired chest hairthat waterfalls over said ribbed t-shirt above.
By expansive I mean in their laissez faire (“let do, let go, let pass”) attitude (regardless of actual nationality I believe they are all laissez faire, but you can correct me on this) as they sit spread-legged in wrought iron chairs, in front of cafes (and there are always sidewalk cafes where these men gather— which leads to a chicken-and-the-egg line of questioning that I sometimes allow my mind to entertain with respect to these said men and cafes).
Spread-legged and with feet firmly planted. Large feet. In dusty leather shoes long worn into comfort, and in no danger of being replaced… as these fellows always have among their kin… amazing European, laissez faire cobbler friends, able to re-sole without removing said shoe’s sense of everlasting familiarity (unlike those other kinds of shoe repair folks who give you back unrecognizable, new-feeling representations of cobblery).
By European I mean— well, they could be from Mexico or Central or South America, or anywhere they might take siestas as a common daily practice, and they could actually be from anywhere… if they maintained this said laissez faire nature and any or all of the following.
By men I mean— well of course there are women who are laissez faire, but I can’t exactly aspire to be one of them now, can I? But for anyone’s purposes of inclusion we are talking here about laissez faire people of possibly any sex or race, sitting at cafes or elsewhere, with any or all of the following characteristics. I mean, really, this is beginning to sound like a legal document, and this is certainly not… binding.
By expansive I mean that nothing about them is binding. Their clothes are loose. Their attitudes are loose. The skin on their big arm flopped over the empty chair next to them is… loose. This all in order to be able to expansively receive— the light breeze that might waft through the sidewalks on which they sit; generous portions of bubbly drinks or flaky pastry or whatever their laissez faire sidewalk-café-owner-friends are serving at any given instant; and their numerous laissez faire friends who come strolling down said sidewalk, in no hurry at all…
… to occupy said empty seats and share in the said breeze, bubbly drinks and pastry and whatever else is being served in said given instant…
… and create amongst them much loose talk about laissez faire things and appreciation of all the treasured, special moments this expansive life in general.
I ascribe a state of urban enlightenment to such expansive European men on a par with any yogi in a cave on a mountain… and perhaps on an even higher tier. In a world where so many are thrown off their games by all that is going on... and in this same said world where so many who strive for the enlightenment that will raise them above what is going on, and do so on the basis of how much of this life they can negate and forego… somehow this oversimplified vision of generalized expansive-European-maleness represents to me a good approximation of what it can look like to embrace the best of worldly things and be at peace amidst and amongst them, calm in the eye of exactly what is said “to be going on”.
If it need be said-- in the idealized state of this daydream I perceive these fellows to also have immense stores of spiritual mojo and lives of value and service at those times away from said sidewalk and friends.
Oh—and hats. A lot of them have brimmed hats. Straw ones, with a thick black ribbon going around them. And not a girly ribbon. Some have mustaches. Here or there I see a pinky ring…
“Let us live
so that when we come to die
even the undertaker will be sorry.”
-- Mark Twain
“To live and let live,
without clamour for distinction
to wait on divine love;
to write truth first on the tablet of one's own heart--
this is the sanity
-- Mary Baker Eddy