A Woman’s Wisdom
As my friend from South Africa with his accompanied rich accent might express, “hey mate, nothing like having a pint, cheers”.
My translation from the expression means, sometimes it’s a blessing for me to go to a quiet public spot, get lost in non-political casual conversation, and drink my chosen beverage as the sun sets and the Vinoy harbor disappears within the darkness.
My preferred adult-beverage is Guinness, and I like to enjoy a ‘pint’, (which I learned from Wikipedia is roughly an eighth of a gallon), at my favorite spot, The Moon Under Water.
For over 20 years it has quietly fronted on busy Beach Drive, as the tall condominium jungle has emerged, and across from two ancient Banyan trees.
Due southeast from it sets the salmon painted Vinoy resort and park, and in the distance the Tampa Bay shipping channel.
I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone there why I like the restaurants name, but it’s not the story they share about being Shanghai’d on the back of the menu.
It’s because The Moon Under Water was a George Orwell essay describing his ideal ‘public house’.
If you read the essay, the take away from the essay was that the ideal ‘public house’ – it would have an ‘atmosphere’.
The Moon has an ‘atmosphere’, an atmosphere that I favor.
It has a British West Indies themed darkness past the front doors and it has for the most part, aged-well. It smells calm, it’s not noisy. And the bars nicks, cuts and wrinkles along the reddish-brown surface have only improved its patina.
Since I graduated from the class of 1984, I have a fondness for Mr. Orwell’s writing craft.
In part, my second novel, Fishing for Light was my homage to him, and to Voltaire’s satirical novella, ‘Candide, or The Optimist’.
Unfortunately, my writing attempts have not sold well, but I can take solace with the knowledge that at least I tried.
I respect anyone that tries and either succeeds or fails.
It’s easy to be a critique, it’s easy to be negative.
For a variety of reasons, this past week I had had a confluence of emotions roaming within my mind.
My brain split between confusion and reality.
I know I’m really good at things like business, or perhaps writing, but I’m not good with letting human-beings get past my emotional guard-gate. (I think emotionally awkward might best describe me.)
Actually, I think every living creature feels exactly the same way, I felt, and how I feel this morning cloaked in my favorite white cotton house coat, sipping black coffee between writing and editing this screed.
But as I’ve aged, I’ve learned it’s a gift to feel anything, to feel happy, or to feel sad, or to feel confused.
I think the world is full of human-vampires that prey upon our feelings. Their goal is to kill off love and compassion by numbing the senses.
If you want to test my theory, simply turn on the television, surf the inter-web, or closely observe social media.
Last night, at The Moon, I was enjoying a full-pint as I sat next to my friend who would advise you she’s Welsh, not English, with a crafty wink hidden by a kind complexion and genuine grey hair.
We had discussed life, love and then social media.
“It’s all so negative, Robert,” she said. She sighed. “I don’t need negative in my life.”
I think here statement possesses an eternity of wisdom.
Her comment reminded me about jogging through a nearby neighborhood one hot afternoon, and I had noticed several houses that I liked.
For an odd reason, I imagined living within one those houses.
And it occurred to me a home should be like a snow globe, a safe atmosphere either large or small, where all the negative things in the world can only watch you from the outside and wonder why we are all so happy.
The collective wisdom to understand, the negatives only get in if you let them inside.
The world might try to shake up our snow globe, but the soft snow would protect us from harm like a gentle hug from a friend that our lives matter.
And at my imagined front door there would be a simple sentence.
“We have only two things to share, love and laughter.”