Quien Es?

David - Evergreen, Colorado
Entered on January 30, 2009
Age Group: 50 - 65

I, in the autumn aspect, have now come to that point of life that I willingly consider a time when I am no longer present and participating. I have negotiated the gauntlet and arrived at an epiphany. Life is finite; a brutal consequence of being a Being. Perhaps its the weight of memory, the self-interest in the depth of memories and intrinsic meaning webbed through the whole.

This autumnal epiphany germinated forty years ago. A young adolescent in 1967 on a group excursion to Baja Mexico looking for surfing spots then every bit as valuable as an undiscovered continent. One morning the ice in the cooler needed to be refreshed. Being resourceful visitors, we inquired respectfully at the nearby fishing village. The old man on the hill in the trailer, they said in local dialect. The young man had been taught Castillian Spanish by Franciscans. It was little good here. A time traveller had arrived from the 1600’s speaking the King’s Spanish asking for ice. What appeared to the villagers was more space traveller. The young man was from the planet directly North of theirs where electricity flowed like water.

Knock, knock. “?Quien es?

“Bueno, Senior”, the young man started respectfully, humble, self aware of his idiosyncrasy. “Pardona mi, Senior.”, now starting to stutter unsure of the way to ask respectfully with an utterance that the old man would understand. Many false starts and starting to stammer, the old man gracefully resolved the embarrassment and guessed rightly what the young man was asking. The old man rose from the table at the front of the aluminum trailer, and the young man saw what was for breakfast. The young man’s psyche, looped on one sticky question The old man was eating lobster for breakfast: Who was the fool?

Much later toward the 1980’s, the young man was showing his wife the sights of Ensenada by way of an ocean cruise. He led her straight to the markets that hadn’t been polluted by the turistas, the cantinas. Excited to show her a pure Mexico. These were the occupations of people and merchants that sold to Mexicans. The turistas rarely came this far. The sight of these places, for him was nostalgic. The street dust pheromones kicked up by children playing futbol. Mothers with babies wrapped in a fabric belt worn around the shoulder, like an ammunition cradle. The women watched the shop while the children played in the street. This was the domain of pragmatism. This was the smell of life, one of the genres of humanity. The wonder was inhaled; who were the fools?

The consequence of wisdom is a summation of experience. This process has something meaningful at last. Something that satisfies the universal need to find the source. In this autumnal time, I have been drawn into the source of my epiphany. The illusive meaning, the foundational impetus is the wonder that there is anyone, indeed anything, here at all.