Writing is Survival.

Purpurkehlnymphe / Purple-throated Mountain Ge...

Purpurkehlnymphe / Purple-throated Mountain Gem / Lampornis calolaema in Monte Verde, Costa Rica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Hummingbird (naesnests.wordpress.com)
  • Costa Rica(postcardviews.wordpress.com)”So while our art cannot, as we wish it could, save us from wars, privation, envy, greed, old age, or death, it can revitalize us amidst us all….Writing is survival…Not to write, for many of us, is to die.

    I have learned, on my journeys, that if I let a day go by without writing, I grow uneasy.  Two days and I am in a tremor.  Three and I suspect lunacy.  Four and I might as well be a hog, suffering the flux in a wallow.  An hour’s writing is tonic.  I’m on my feet, running in circles, and yelling for a clean pair of spats.” 

    Ray Bradbury 

    Zen and the Art of Writing

    Meds Check

    Plan shown

    Cooked a breakfast of Paul Kurtz featherlight pancakes for everyone.

    So begins another day in Costa Rica.  After cooking I leave the group to step outside and regather myself and my positive energy that had ben derailed by my own failing to ensure adequate tools for the business made it to Costa Rica.

    We are staying in a wonderful bed and breakfast called Rainforest Dreams with an amazing array of people, pets, and information.  I feel very at home surrounded by books of all kinds and highly intellectual people who are also very knowledgeable about world travel,  in Costa Rica and many other intriguing bits of information.

    Carol, the owner, also owns the farm where we are to help build a sustainable community.  She is a former manager of school psychologists in the Chicago area, so being around a fellow Illinois native is comforting to me, though I wonder how comfy she is with me.  She is also a published author, occasional writer for the Tico Times.  Her and other writers have put together a Kaleidoscope of information about Costa Rica and life here and I was blessed to have the joy of reading her stories and getting some great insight into life here.  She has been attacked by monkeys, forged rivers in her truck, delved into the depths of business and government workings here in Costa Rica and provides a great resource for anyone looking to make Costa Rica home.

    Since arriving here we have already moved three times.  Oh the life of a Nomad.  Our first place was highly entertaining and a beautiful house that I think the people staying at are squatting in, which is perfectly legal here and in my mind a wonderful use of the Universe of Freedom.  We dined on fruit and fed the peacock watched the iguana climb around and the turtles swim in the green pool.

    After a night there we ventured to Cedro San Pedro to Casa Diaz a wonderful B&B found through the airbnb sight.  This was operated by a super kind and exuberant Tico lady named Dania who knew enough english to help us, and taught us more spanish than we would have learned on our own.  Her daughter and son-in-law lived in the house too as the daughter Laura was 9 months pregnant and we hoped to be able to welcome a new life but alas little MIchael did not want to see us before leaving.

    We were graciously treated and fed three wonderful meals a day while staying at Casa Diaz and having an American computer programmer who worked from home, and two tic ladies to learn from was great.  The chicken lasagna was probably the best dish we were served from a uniqueness aspect.  We learned about banking laws, how to travel via the bus and all about some of the best places in Costa Rica to live.  Gaspy the little white poodle, like most small dogs, did not warm up to me very fast, though eventually he allowed Little Man to pet him, despite being chased around the house continually.

    Everything here is so exciting and informative that it is difficult to determine which stories to tell and which ones to pass on, especially when even something as simple as a taxi ride leads to a social gathering of lunch together and a plethora of information.  In the desire for brevity however we won’t delve to deep into the details.

    Each day is beautiful, even when it is cloudy it was still wonderful to wake up and go outside to stretch in the sun and look at the distant mountains that surround the central valley of Costa Rica.  It is hard to imagine that half of the entire population of Costa Rica lives here in the Central Valley in and around the capital of San Jose.

    Way to soon we were leaving Casa Diaz off to a new place and new experiences and more unknown activities.  We were blessed to ride with Rolondo in his taxi to get from Cedro to Escazu, which is known as a hotspot for gringos and other expats, as is evident by the Mcdonalds, Wal-Mart, Harley Davidson dealership and other typically North American sights.

    We pulled through a guard shack into a nice cul-de-sac.  Our tour guide and taxi driver pointed out the macadamia nut tree, banana trees, coconut trees, and papaya trees growing along the street.  What a wonderful thought and reality.  Imagine if every sidewalk were filled with edible fruits and vegetables rather than just the purely ornamental plants that adorn North American sidewalks and streets.  I can’t help but wonder how easy it is to pick and enjoy these items and feel surreal as memories of previous stories dreaming of a place to pick fruit as you walk comes flooding into reality.

    We are greeted by Paul, a inhabitant and helper at Rainforest Dreams.  A highly informative and genial man with a slightly santa claus look, light hair and beard and a comfortable retirement belly.  He shows us around and we quickly learn that his travelings around the world include a recent trip to columbia.  We soon learn that the beautiful pen and pencil drawings around the B&B were done by him.  SOme specifically to help tell tales for Carols stories, others are purely maps an informative history drawings of the sugar refining process.  A fellow midwesterner originally from a small town in Wisconsin and a lifetime of stories that will take us a long time to delve into.

    We then meet the four dogs and cat who have made the outside patio their home.  Surrounded by potted plants, trees growing up through the patio and bamboo bar.  I’m immediately intrigued by the large amount of books that abound in the common areas and know I will feel comfortable in this atmosphere.

    We then get to meet Peter and Nicole.  Anthropologists and truly encyclopedias of information about a wide variety of information.  Everyone here seems to be a naturalist and very knowledgeable about the birds, plants, and surrounding fauna.  I feel like such a child around these people of great wisdom and world travel.  For the first time in a long time we are not the highly travelled people in the group and seem like mere newbies in the nomadic tribes of the world.  Having just returned from Peru this amazing couple shares daily new stories and details about not only Costa Rica but the world at large.

    Later in the evening our hostess and owner comes in.  Full of beauty, smiles and flowing red hair we get to spend a wonderful evening of talking and sharing dreams of her farm and what she hopes to accomplish and we are thrilled because we know we can offer her many services that she may need.

    Long before our time together though me my lady and little man head out for our first real grocery shopping adventure.  With limited budget, and extremely limited knowledge of spanish and all very hungry we walk up the hill to the nearest grocery store.   Grocery shopping hungry is always a bad experience but none more so than in a completely foreign environment.

    Little man and my Lady do great at keeping patient and battling the hunger sharks, I with i could say I did the same but unfortunately failed miserably in maintaining a peaceful disposition as the challenges of pricing and determining what would be needed left me feeling frazzled, frustrated and concerned about the wish to find a place cheaper than the states for our food and living.

    The best recommendation I can share from our brief and short experience is plan on shopping for the local items as much as possible.  However it is amazing to see things that are somewhat local being highly expensive.  Things like a can of Tuna for almost $2.00 rather than the $.60-$.85 price we were used to paying.  Chicken, beef and other meets were all extremely expensive.  Even hotdogs seemed like a fortune to our paltry budget.  Oh how I wish we were more successful more quickly in our LIFE business.  Though we had done great and were able to come here nearly debt free except for the cost of upgrading my pacemaker we still didn’t have the freedom to not be frugal in our spending.  Which is always more difficult when you are hungry.

    The reality of having to carry our groceries also weighs heavily on my heart and mind.  The unfortunate reality that my physical limitations once again present challenges that the average healthy person won’t face.  It destroys my self confidence and feelings of being a good father and husband.  Having a father who was so strong, capable and hard working, who at 63 could make the highly trained hunting guides in Africa respect his physical prowess and abilities makes it even more difficult.  Even my mother could move furniture and outwork most men.  Not being able to carry their strength in my life is a bitter disappointment and I pray that little man fully embraces the strength running through his DNA.

    However we make it.  I push myself, and overcome as always.  Slaying the Goliath of my heart and am able to carry the majority of groceries by staying focused and moving quickly.  Only having to really pause for Little Man to catch up.  He helps mightily carrying our juice container, but his short legs prevent him from moving as quickly as I want.  Driven mostly by hunger I set a quick pace.

    Each morning we arise earlier and earlier.  Despite evenings of wine and stories everyone seems to awaken with the joyful sounds of nature that bless our days.  Just behind the property is a steep hill that is home to many birds, and animals unlike any we have seen.  Down to a flowing river whose melody makes the afternoon siesta in the hammocks easy.

    We explore our surroundings and make Rainforest Dreams our home.  Sharing breakfast of fruit and filling our bellies with a regular diet of beans and rice.  Today I sit here writing wondering about why I choose to do this.  More concerning is the purpose behind it.  Am i doing it simply to fill my own ego?  Part of me hopes that someone somewhere will find something within these tails and words to build their own dreams and chase them.  Finding a book Writing as a Way of Healing by Louise De Salvo, PH.D. invigorated me to continue my own personal healing process.  My dream includes creating a system of creation for those who suffer from chronic illness and limitations that can be overcome through the telling of stories.  It is never clear whether or not finding a book that or other piece of reality that confirms my philosophy and dreams as real as a good thing or a frustrating thing.  It is always good to know I’m on a path that has been walked before, and that it is not necessary for me to create everything myself, but I wonder as always what my purpose and value addition really is if everything has done before.

    I am the only one who can tell the story of my life and say what it means.  Dorothy Allison, Two or Three Things I know for Sure

    This particular day after leaving the group to enjoy the homemade pancakes and fruit breakfast I step to the far corner with my coffee and watch the many birds and very unique looking squirrels begin their day.  Soon I’m greeted by a duo of hummingbirds dancing around me.  I can’t help but wonder if the little bird who is dancing in front of me, seeming to invite me to join him in his flight could be the same one we rescued from being trapped in the house our first day here.  The tiny bird buzzes in front of me then lands on a branch right in front of me bobbing his little head at me seeming to ask, Why aren’t you out here joining me?  Don’t you want to come fly with us?  Perhaps thanking me for saving him.  I look up from my computer and there he is again.

    I think about my day and what I want to accomplish.  Excited about sharing the plan with Brett, another man here to help build the future on a farm in Puriscal.  He had just returned from a two week survival course taught by John Brown.  Learning to live off of what the God so bountifully provides.  He is getting married and bringing his wife to be and two children to the farm.  Could this be the man who will sharpen swords with me?  He wants to change the world and leave a legacy as do I.  All I can do is share information and introduce him to Chris and Orrin.

    So here now I sit, as everyone has gone for walks to enjoy the day, Brett and Carol head to the farm.  The future; unclear, presents its possibilities.  I’m anxious to get out to the farm and get my hands dirty building Carols dreams.  Planning and creating a community of bamboo houses, sustainable agriculture and food for families and those with health issues to be welcome and spend their life on Sunset Farms.  Will this be the place I have dreamed up over the last six years?  Will we find a place to plant our own roots?  Only God knows and we ask his blessings on our plan.

    What will it be like when we find 100,000 people in Costa Rica to share the Life opportunity?  What kind of massive change could we humble servants of our Creator bring into reality?  What will it look like when Today is the day we go policy council?  How much good can we cause to happen?  How many lives and marriages can we change?  How many people could we help become financially free.  Free from cubicles and struggles to pay their bills.  Free to travel the world and impact others by being warriors for good in the Army of Light?

    I wonder do people want to hear about the difference in Wal-Mart here and the states?

    Would they want to know about the plants, birds and flaura?

    Are they looking for information about living in Costa Rica?

    Do they just enjoy the Adventures of Conrad Von Supertramp?

    Perhaps they want the future shift tales.  Tales of dreams and dream building that has lead to a change in my own personal reality?

    Does it matter what other people want or is the writing simply my ego feeding off of the potential that exists?



7 responses to “Writing is Survival.

  1. Sounds as if the culture shock is wearng off, as you seem to settle in. I look foreward to more stories & information about Costa Rica, as we will be there in June. I’m not sure of the date yet, but somewhere around the 18th. we will be glad to see you & the family. Untill then, keep writing, this is the type of story I and I’m sure many others that are looking for a simpler way to live and also to slow down to an acceptable Island time, want and need to read. Thank you, stay safe, & remember, you can only do so much nomatter how healthy you are. By the way, you should be proud that you are able to show the world your point of view as you see it. Your friend & Brother Jay.

  2. Keep your journal so I can keep tabs on you guys! JK! It looks like the education continues, fabulous Bro! Love Ya’all, Shag

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