1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 21: Family Fun, Living in the Moment, Huxley’s “Island.”

I’m at Maria’s family’s house for the day. Her brother Luis picked us up at home last night and brought us here. Whenever we come we bring some pizza and everyone has a great pizza dinner, everyone talking in a lively manner, some on the computer, some on their phones, but everyone interacting. Although my own immediate family (parents and brothers) are back in Canada, it’s great to have a second family here in Honduras, apart from my grandparents and uncles, etc. Everyone’s been very welcoming during this past year and a half that I’ve been married to Maria, and from what they say as well as how they behave towards me, I can tell they consider me part of their family. Maria’s little brother Kevin is about to complete the sixth grade, and his last week of school is coming up, final exams and everything. Here in Honduras, seventh grade is the first year of high school, so finishing the sixth is a big deal. We watched the second Iron Man movie in the morning, Maria, Kevin and I, and now we’re just taking a break from having studied the past few hours. So far we’ve reviewed some math and some grammar. It’s great to help this little guy learn, and I hope I can be as positive an influence as possible during the time we spend together. I feel like I have a new younger brother, and he seems at least a bit more excited to study with me than with anyone else. We don’t study every weekend, but on most weekends, usually on Sundays when we come to visit, we do some studying. It feels good to let go of my own schedule for a while and become absorbed in helping someone else, especially a growing child about to reach adolescence in a few years. As I believe in the inherent goodness within all humans, I know that this is why it feels so good to help. Our study sessions also help me with my spiritual practice in various ways. As I mentioned, they provide a way for me to take the focus off myself, my own plans and preoccupations, and to focus completely on giving my best in every aspect to another being who is at a critical stage of life and growth. Apart from this, it helps with my patience. Kevin’s a lively kid, upbeat and full of life. This is great, although it often means that he can’t sit still for too long and is always trying to distract me from my teaching. He tries to grab his phone and show me YouTube videos, and sometimes he even asks questions or mentions an idea he’s had recently about some topic he finds interesting. I don’t shut him down, instead I usually interact with him and allow him to show me what he wants to show me. It’s true that we often take even double the time we might actually need if we focused completely on studying with no time for pause, but I feel that the only reason why he even quiets down to study for some moments is because of the connection we are building as we talk, as I allow him to express himself without stopping him mid-sentence and yelling to get back to work or to pay attention. Kids are full of energy, energy we lack too often as adults, and instead of showing them that this energy is evil, and forcing them simply to sit and follow rules, we should encourage this energy, and once they’ve shown us what they want to show us, then we can remind them that we have to have a balance and that we should do some more studying. I don’t know if this is the most efficient way to learn, but I guess it’s been working for him for the past few months. Maria usually does most of the math studying with him, and I do most of the reading or grammar studying, so it’s great to have grown up in an English-speaking country, since it allows me to help him to learn everything correctly and to hear a fluent pronunciation. Anyway, now that we’ve done some studying, I decided to do some writing, so that I have time to work on my other goals later when I get back home. I wasn’t sure what I should write about. This being my twenty-first day straight of writing a thousand words a day, I feel I might be running out of things to write. Actually, what’s happening is that the simplest topics, or the ones I understand more fully, have all been notated up to this point. The topics I have yet to write about are all deeper, spiritual concepts, and I feel I need to take some serious time to not only write these ideas down, but then to organize them in order to publish them in a fashion that makes sense, that isn’t all over the place. That isn’t the point of this experiment though, of writing a thousand words a day. This is supposed to be more freestyle. So as I wondered for a moment what I should write about, it dawned on me. I’ve been having a great time all morning, absorbed in the task of studying, or of helping Kevin study, and so I decided to just write about the simply beauty of that moment. Just last night actually I finished reading Aldous Huxley’s “Island”, and it really impressed me in the way in which it is able to convey such deep topics in the context of people’s personal lives. It delivers certain spiritual ideas in such a powerful way, more powerful than any philosophical treatise in a way. One of the most important topics in the book is that of simply being in the moment, in the here and now, of simply being completely aware of each moment, accepting all that comes, understanding we are essentially divine, meaning that the real part of us cannot be harmed by pain, or by pleasure. It is always there, undisturbed, and it is essential that we learn to reconnect with our pure state of consciousness, with being in the now. Still meditating on the depth and meaning of this great novel, I decided I’d simply write about the great experience I just had before I started writing, the experience of being in the moment , forgetting myself as I shared what I could, selflessly, with another human being. 

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 22.

~ Rebel Spirit

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