Thursday, March 7, 2013

Heading South

It has been several days since my last post. In the interim, I have left the comfort of the Bay of Islands and have driven hundreds of miles crisscrossing from the Pacific Coast over to the West Coast along the Tasman Sea to see the giant Kauri trees and gannet colony, then back to the eastern shore again for a dunk at Hot Water Beach . During the long hours of driving, my mind has covered a myriad of topics, mainly have considered everything from family issues to personal goals. I have ruminated about geopolitical circumstances especially the value, or lack of value of my dollars, a circumstance which gripes me every time I buy anything. I have thought of countless mock dialogues with  my liberal and conservative friends about world affairs. Also I have spend an inordinate amount of time trying to understand the people I see along the highway, the square-faced Caucasian New Zealanders, the brown-skinned Maoris and, of course, the Chinese, who seem to run every convenience store, take-out joint, and even probably the Jewish delis on the island. Yet, most of all, I look at the geography, the forests, crops, mountains, wildlife, and ocean.

There are drawbacks to all of this floating mind time. My focus on the road loses precision. I have hit the left hand curb hard with my front left wheel much too often and have made deep scratches on the rim and rub marks on the tire. I must be living under a lucky Southern Hemisphere star since I have not had a blow-out. I don't naturally stay to the right enough nor go down the center of the lane. Driving from the right of the car makes me wander while I wonder.

You most likely would like to hear some conclusions about my ideas on any of the above topics, something pithy, profound, or even salacious truths from the mouth of Rabbi Lee, so to speak. Unfortunately, today does not feel like the time to synthesize my observations of New Zealand into sloppy platitudes. I have places to go and people to see and I'm not sure I'm up to the task of saying anything meaningful besides. I suppose such rolling about doesn't necessarily produce much enlightenment anyway nor does it add to my confusion about life either. It is almost like seeing more makes life less expressible. It reinforces over and over the simple notion I have said before: namely, that are a lot of people out there, more than I can imagine. In addition, it strengthens my belief, that, as with me, people live in a continual struggle for redemption, however conscious, from the expectations of others. Plainly, it is a peculiar trip down a road that looks ever shorter the older you get. Today I have new miles to go. I am off to some fly fishing spots near Rotorua and plan to have some sporty stories to tell.


  1. I like this selection of photos. One thing I'm sure of is that maybe with the exception of the years of panic attacks and the recent calcium imbalances, it's much easier living inside my head than in yours. Just give me a photo and I will make an uncomplicated caption!

  2. Keep on rollin', rollin', rollin'! What more can we do? What we have found with Lois' cancer is that not very much of what we worry about means anything at all. We know not how much longer we've got, so we are taking it one day at a time. The past is over and done with and who cares; the future is unknowable; all we have is the present moment. Make the best of it. Enjoy. Let the good things wash over you like waves and let the rest slough off into a black hole. Not much can touch you when you walk a day at a time.

    I like your photos. Who took your portrait? What is that big ol' thing in the 2nd shot?

    Shabbat Shalom!

  3. @Lee: For a number of reasons, I'm having a harder time commenting on this post than I usually do. It wasn't until I read it for the third time that the really significant line jumped out at me: "It is almost like seeing more makes life less expressible."

    That is so true, and it goes for experiencing more as well as seeing more. Which I know is what you meant. I'm going to have to think some more about that.

    I haven't been keeping up much with politics, but just in case you're starting to run out of material for mental arguments with your liberal and conservative friends, I sent you a news item I thought was interesting a little while ago. It combines the best (or worst?) aspects of contemporary hot-button issues--politics, religion...and sex, of course. It's about the Vatican, so what would you expect?

    Shabbat Shalom from me too, even though it's almost over where you are. It hasn't started here yet--almost, but not quite.

  4. @Lowell: This is just to let you know I'm very sorry to hear about your wife's cancer. You are so right that no matter what is on our plates, we can only take it one day at a time. I used to hate hearing that (and the truth is, I still hate it) but lately I've been understanding more and more that we don't actually have a choice.

    I will pray for your wife's remission when I light the Sabbath candles tonight.