You walk on the beach carefree, relaxed, with a sense gratitude for existence awakened by the smell of the salty breeze and the immense body of waves moving towards you. You come across an almost perfect shell, that tells a story of a being who used to live in it and experienced the magic of the underwater world we never get to see: a keeper. Then as you walk more, you find a pebble in the shape of a heart with rounded corners and wonder how nature -without the help of humans – is capable of creating such a perfectly symmetrical human symbol of love – as if nature would sometimes read our collective minds, find what’s significant in it and spit out an artwork for us as a gift. Another keeper. And the longer you walk, you find all kinds of little useless treasures that you end up not understanding why you collected except that the moment prompted you to do so.
These little gifts are everywhere, and sometimes they are overwhelmingly sweet. He opened the door for me, and poured me a glass of wine while politely refusing one for himself. We shared some ideas about our views as writers and the gift of self-reflection and its impact on the growth of a person, and how wonderful it is to just come across unsolicited inspiration, that just shows up and fills you with more to say than you can record. Each part of our dialogue was a spark of recognition, a familiarity with an inner world that we both just happen to understand, and the joy of exchanging with someone who understands that world.
And there were so many more gifts that came from a smile, a gesture, a question, an answer, the warmth of a simple embrace that grew into an exchange of energy, then into a quest for understanding the emotional power driving it, to map the uncharted territory of intimacy with someone you feel so connected to and the desire to immerse deep into each other’s body and soul. The power of that embrace lingered around me keeping me wide awake for hours before falling asleep, filling the space that separated us laying side by side with a thick bond of sweet fantasies.
When you go on a trip you return with souvenirs. The most valuable ones are the memories. Some are so powerful you become addicted to their consumption. They are little gifts life gives you for no apparent reason, and you can rewind and play them on and on like a favorite movie you never get tired of watching, until they fade deep into the past. The shells and stones eventually become dusty sitting on your dresser for years, time washes off their brilliance and the magic power they hold, and you get rid of them or bury them in boxes or move them into your attic. And then you go on another trip, take another walk on the beach, and collect new pebbles and memorabilia of sweet moments. Life never runs out of gifts…