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yu-en-me ´a man who leaves home to mend himself and others is a philosopher, .. he who goes from country to country guided by blind impulses of curiosity is .. a vagabond.´ - oliver goldsmith

you can't always get what you want...

ARGENTINA | Monday, 5 February 2007 | Views [870]

braving new frontiers

braving new frontiers

it turns out that i can still discover new things about myself - the idea that i could survive this lifestyle without groupmails (despite my own personal diary) was completely un-thought-out... admittedly, january has been considerably emotion-packed, crazy-living, freaking AWESOME (think Napolean Dynamite); the agitated disjointedness of this email is only a small indicator of how *full* i am (of life, that is,) at the moment. in the last few weeks, i´ve learnt so much about living, people, and ultimately, myself, that if i was a dog, my tail would be wagging so hard that i could make a milkshake if submerged in a dairy vat.

for someone who loves languages so much, it´s refreshing to realise that the understanding between people is often independent of shared grammar or vocabulary. what´s more, it´s quite liberating to learn that this type of understanding has no set timeframe: for example, i feel closer to certain people after spending barely 3 weeks with them than to others who i might´ve seen on a daily basis for years.

i recently spent some time camping in the backyard of a family who had, materially speaking, very little. nevertheless, i think that the love, respect and support that existed between the family members could teach the greater majority of the ´developed world´ a thing or two. Fabia, the woman of the house, is a 17yo looking after her 2 kids and running the campsite administration, while her partner, Dario, is working to support the parents plus the group of 4 or 5 nephews/nieces who often stay with them because of personal reasons. in the time that i was there, Fabia´s father was hospitalised due to alcohol abuse, and i felt so useless knowing that there was probably very little that anyone could do, since he was so far gone. i was with an 18yo ´travel-buddy´ at the time, and the surrealism of the latter´s interruption to ask if there were any good clubs in town while Fabia was telling me about the family´s short-term plans to relocate (to the town where the hospital was), would´ve made Dalí proud.

one thing that was ´taught´ to me in the last year, but i´ve only really put into practice recently is that true love is completely unconditional. you can´t always get what you want, but if you give without fear, bitterness, or apprehension, you get more back than you could ever imagine. i had an argument last year with someone who told me that when you arrive at essential love, there´s no longer a difference between familial/friendship/romantic love. i´m still not entirely convinced, but i´m thinking more and more along those lines.

it always makes me smile when i see random communities being set up without people even realising it. a truckie who does his regular route up to 6 times a week will recognise the truckies doing their own respective routes in the other direction, and it´s refreshing to see them flashing their lights, or exchanging friendly honks in the 3 seconds it takes to sight and pass each other. we´re talking about comradely bonding between people who know absolutely *nothing* of each others´ lives, except that ´on tuesdays and thursdays, that bearded blond driving the Cruz del Sur tanker will probably cross my path somewhere between the towns of Caleta Olivia and Fitz Roy´.

i sometimes wonder why it´s so hard for men to be ´good´ fathers. i wouldn´t say that *everyone* i know has issues with their father, but the percentage is scarily close to 70 or 80%. whether it´s a father who works so much that he forgets to enjoy his family, or one who spends so much time frolicking with the kids that he forgets that mula doesn´t grow on trees… is it so hard to find a compromise? or is it just because most mothers do such a good job, that we expect too much from the menfolk? if anyone cares to share personal theories or offer different experiences, please, my inbox will be waiting..

in the meantime, play fair and without fear!

(more photos: 'verano de locura' gallery)

Tags: Culture

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