Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Cleaning up in Lima

Well, I didn't get the tire changed today, but I did "clean up my act" a little. This morning, I shaved off my beard, then went out into Miraflores to find a barber.

Found a salon instead (which is wasted on me!) Though the salon was fairly "upscale", the woman cutting my hair used only a comb, scissors and straight razor. I can't remember the last time I felt that cold, sharp blade on the back of my neck.

Next, walked over to the shoe shine stand and had my boots polished by the same fellow. Only about 80 cents this time.

***

Sometimes I try to force a time of reflection, but it doesn't quite work that way. One has to be present to the moment: aware of time, place, body and mind. Then the reflection appears.

I have been "my own boss" during this journey, and my day to day conduct is a pure reflection of inner discipline, or more commonly, lack thereof. It is inescapable. There is no one else to blame for my failures. (Yet, there is always someone else to thank for my successes!)

It's more freedom than I've ever experienced, and at the same time, perhaps more responsibility. The day's accomplishments are frequently underwhelming, but the opportunity continues and each day offers another chance to follow a higher path.

***

The songs that accompanied me throughout North America have faded; that voice grown silent. It's interesting to note, though I'm not sure what it means.

***

Stopped in at Café Café, taking an outside table. An elderly woman in a wheelchair was being rolled backward across street. It was symbolic to me: her (visible) life is behind her now, and the (visible) future doesn't exist.

***

Dinner in China Town tonight. Ibett and her two friends from Huaraz took Anne, Aki, Motsu, a New Zealander named Michael and I to one of her favorite restaurants in Central Lima. We shared a variety of very good dishes. The shops are filled with huge inventories of Christmas decorations. After dinner, they brought us back to "Flying Dog".

Walking back to my hotel, on the sidewalks in front of restaurants, hotels and apartment buildings, I passed security guards sitting in plastic chairs, bundled up against the cold. It appears they keep watch out there all night.

1 comment:

Genevieve said...

Straight-edge razor - ugh. You have to wonder if they're disinfected very often in some of those places. That would be a good way to pick up a nasty staph infection. But I guess you survived.