Thoughts on Jersey.
Susan took the day off so we decided to cycle to a cafe on the west coast of the island for lunch. She knew about some old railroad trail that was supposed to be a pretty ride so we set off to explore it. We missed the trail somewhere along the way and ended up on the cliffs with the most beautiful view of the ocean I’ve ever seen and completely forgot we had been looking for a trail.
This is living, I thought, and somewhere ahead of me Susan screamed into the open air and I followed suit; so there we were laughing and yelling and whooping and taking greedy gulps of ocean air like maniacs for no reason other than it feeling so good to be alive in this place.
We cycled to La Corbiere lighthouse on the far west side of the island. It sounds so cliche to say we just admired the view, but it really is a universal experience so we didn’t need to talk much. The ocean was talking too loud anyway.
After a while we continued on and had lunch at a cafe called El Tico right on the beach. We were no rush to get back, so after we had a coffee and cake outside on the patio where I shocked the poor man (and Susan for a second) who was sitting nearby. I didn’t care though, and a few minutes later Susan didn’t either. That’s the greatest phenomenon with people: honesty and openness is contagious. That’s living, I thought again, and Susan revealed a secret and I laughed when she turned bright red and I confirmed her normality and she laughed with me because it feels so good to not have to worry about keeping up some facade of security and to just talk and say anything that comes to mind because if it’s in there then surely the world can handle it.
On the way back we stumbled accidentally, or rather, almost died trying to cycle down a cliff, into the old railroad path we had been trying to find earlier and I think I may have had one of those spiritual moments that writers sometimes talk about when they think they’re really onto something. It’s just that I had to restate with confidence that this is living. We were on this muddy dirt road with huge green trees on both sides and a creek that leads to the ocean and birds and rabbits rustling around and the sun playing hopscotch in the branches and I felt really alive and wonderfully human and happy breathing new air, talking uninhibited, yelling for no reason or silently stealing moments of quiet. And it’s like all these great experiences just rushed in and there we were just being free and being in love in so many ways and admiring the sunset and not giving a damn and not worrying about anything and breathing in bugs at times but that’s okay because we were really feeling things, really and honestly feeling things.
It was a long path, but I wasn’t worried about time. I was just enjoying the feeling, knowing I could never write this place and they’d roll their eyes and say I’m just being dramatic. This place doesn’t exist, they’d say; and I’d understand. Because if this place does exist than all other places exist as well: those places we only imagine or hear of or dream about, the places we take our lovers or maybe we go alone. If this place is real then the stories are true and maybe there are places where it is possible to walk on the bridge between two worlds or even possible to be happy in solitude and walk with God or some all knowing creator who laughs lovingly at our epiphanies and when we say ‘ oh there you are’ smiles and says I’ve been here the whole time and even perhaps find that place everyone will say is dramatized and doesn’t actually exist actually does exist and is actually everywhere in the world just waiting to be noticed and taken.
Maybe the world is just a feeling and we choose to fill it with all this material lust, illusion, and responsibility because it fills the void we call loneliness until we find ourselves staring blankly ahead asking ‘is this it’ and sealing up our minds so no fantasies can penetrate those walls and tempt us to change. And maybe this is one of those lucky times where the world chooses to reveal that I have been wrong, so wrong about it all. I don’t know where I am on a map, but I see that this is it. This is the world and I see that void for what it really is: not loneliness at all but this great open space where a world can live and those materials and responsibilities and burdens and worries We filled it with to maintain the facade of control was actually eating us alive and pushing out that potential when we should be embracing it and opening up further because the more we can open up the more we can feel and only then can our worlds merge and connect and only then can we really live and really love and be truly happy.
People might say I’m being dramatic, but I promise this place exists; and if this place exists then every other place exists, and if every other place exists than there’s really no reason to hold back. There’s no reason to hide behind anything, to not open yourself up to every feeling and encounter that might come your way, to be afraid of being misunderstood, to not follow your heart. I just have this feeling that He really knows what he’s doing, and the world is a truly beautiful place to be born into.