Panama has been an important place in my life in so many ways. I arrived the first time by sailboat about a decade ago.
I’ve made three important trips to Panama city in my life.
The first came after living with the Kuna Indians in the San Blas for a year. After a year of living in the most beautiful place in the world void of telephones, internet, electricity, and western culture, I changed in a profound way.
There were no restaurants, convenience stores, police, or government. Just small pristine sand and palm tree islands, a few palm huts here and there, and an indigenous way of life. I felt like I was on mars, and a place white man had never set foot. That time in the San Blas changed my life forever, the Kuna taught me what real freedom is, and I will be forever in their debt.
After living on rice and fresh fish, lobster, octopus, and crab for a year, I ventured to Panama City for the first time.
At the time it seemed I had been craving a cheeseburger for longer than any man in the history of white men. I stopped at a McDonalds (there were not many options), devoured my biggie meal, and proceeded to spew it all over the parking lot as I couldn’t make it to the bathroom in time. It will never cease to amaze me the garbage westerners consider food. It was that trip that solidified my education in the San Blas of peace, freedom, and health over the previous year of my life.
The second big journey I took to Panama City was to unknowingly meet my wife. Many strange things happened on that trip that I can’t really explain to this day, actually to both of us. Once you have learned how to listen to nature, “the universe”, or “God”, whichever way you want to put it, you see things that most of the working class (masses) miss. They just don’t have time to see it as they are too distracted by the television, radio, billboards, junk mail, ego, sports, bills, religion, politics, personal opinion, partisan issues, and the tedious chores of living in the matrix day to day. I do however make it my business to take every chance I can to listen to the world around me and follow my path, and it was that path that lead me to my wife.
The third big journey to Panama city takes place tomorrow.
I’m going to fetch my 83 year old father who I haven’t really spoken to for over a decade from the airport. As a child my father wasn’t around too much. I spent some summers with him, spoke to him on the phone, watched him on TV and in the theaters, and worked with him a bit in Hollywood as an adult. We always bashed heads. We always seemed to find a reason to fight, disagree, or argue.
When I was young (late 60’s) my father liked to follow the story of Robin Lee Graham, a young 16 year old boy solo-sailing around the world. I think this is where I gleaned the idea of sailing around the world myself somewhere between three and four years old. My mother always thought it was a bit odd that we lived in New York City and I collected all the pictures that I could of sailboats. It was an obsession that I never gave up.
I fetch him from the airport tomorrow for 2 weeks and hope we have entered a new chapter in our relationship. We are very similar men in many ways, and in others, complete opposites. I am prepared to bite my tongue and swallow my pride if necessary as I’d like to find Love for my father before he is gone forever. I am also a very different man than I was 10 years ago and don’t think it will be a difficult task. Truthfully, I’m really looking forward to our time together, and would like to spend as much time with him as I can over the following years.
I’ve been very stressed lately.
In the last four and a half months I’ve had less than a week alone with my wife. I’ve either been away in New York, or we were visiting family together in Atlanta or Ft Lauderdale. Back in Panama we have had visitors and family non-stop. I’m not complaining by any means as I love them all, but I do miss having some alone time with my wife fishing on the reef, cooking, loving, and just living our super-simple life.
I have to find a way to get back to New York in about a month, and I must manage to get Eleanor here by July! I do have a few weeks after my father leaves to be alone with Carla but I also have many projects.
Eleanor is a big push to change our lives and I often wonder if it was worth it. Then when I think of all the wonderful things that have taken place over the last four and a half months it all makes sense. This journey is not over, not even close. I have a feature film to make (The Minimalist Sailor) with my father and Carla before we take off to Europe or wherever it is we are going.
I want to say again how proud I am of our new blogger Ryan. If you go up to the Blogs tab you’ll find his blog, Carla has also just posted a new blog.
Since I’ve been back on Splendid I’ve only had two days on the reef. We took some video and I sat down and made this little film, the guitar music is Carla (an original piece), my wife is so cool! I must admit I’m a bit afraid of returning to the states to battle TSA, water police, and an expensive price tag on everything, but I’m prepared to take the challenge head-on.