For reasons I wont, cant and shouldn’t expose, I recently found myself driving shotgun in an American ambulance and also got picked up at 5am, without hesitation, without even having to ask, by the amazing, generous people here who are shaping up to be such good friends of mine. What you need to know is that everyone was fine in said situation and its therefore entirely appropriate for me to reflect on the lighter side of things and in this situation, essentially I got to drive really fast in the front seat of an ambulance with the nicest guy. He had been a paramedic for thirty years and when I asked if that meant he obviously enjoyed his job, he smiled like a child. Beaming with pride and just… the knowledge that you CAN look at the silver lining, he told me how proud he was to have helped so many people. He said he’d seen a lot of bad things too. If I were him, I don’t know I’d have had the same cheery demeanor because I’m sure we can all only imagine to types of things he was talking about… but here he was; proud. Proud, feeling fortunate and one of my favourite kinds of people: a humanist.
That also reminds me! I saw something really cool in D.C. It just said “The Water Experiement”. Don’t know if anyone has ever come across it before but there was a platform with bottles of water on it and a sign that said, “Water One Dollar. Pay this way” or something like that. About ten or so metres away was another unmanned stand with a bucket of money. The implications of trust and psychology here blew me away. It was in the middle of D.C on a boiling hot day, not too far from a bunch of homeless people on the side of the road and a subway station. No-one had tried to steal the money or the water. I tried to look it up and only came across this suspicious looking website which claims if you pray or say posisitve things to water it forms prettier crsytals when you freeze it. Cool. If it’s true that is…
Anyway, I’ve stumbled across a lot of accidental philosophical moments recently. We’ve had some birthday celebrations in the dorm recently and the look on people’s face when you can tell just how happy and grateful they are is worth, well everything to me. Before this, I witnessed spiritual enlightenment in a Walmart carpark. Yes that’s right. We were going on what was most likely a booze run and we pulled up, got out the car, and stretching over as as far as you could see in every direction was the biggest, most perfect rainbow I have ever seen. It reminded me of Italy on my birthday as a kid when we were driving down the road in a taxi and suddenly everyone stopped, got out picnic blankets, sat on their car bonnets and stared up at the sky. Why? Because there was a firework display. It’s very possible that it’s a, “you had to be there” kind of moment but everyone, I mean everyone, in that carpark the other day just stopped, froze, glued their eyes to the sky, and started to take pictures.
A friend I was with from my dorm just got out and said, “That’s why I believe in God.” It was a gorgeous, gorgeous moment.
He was referencing a conversation we had had the night before. Americans do not dilly dally around the subject of religion. They don’t squirm with an awkward reservedness when you ask them about the bigger questions in life. I was flat out asked if I had any faith and I laughed before being met with concerned looks. Oh, they wanted a serious answer from me? Okay… How I honestly feel is personal and I did share it with them at the time because it seemed appropriate as everyone else was being so open and honest but the blogosphere is not the place to discuss such things. I will tell you we discussed Thomas Aquinas’ watch theory. It’s one of my favourites, I think because Aquinas manages to perfectly take both spiritualism and science hand in hand, encompassing all. It goes along the lines of, you find a watch on the beach. You marvel at it’s intricacies, it’s inner workings. You naturally come to the conclusion that someone has made this watch and it has not formed itself naturally. Now personally I think mother nature could itself be interpreted as a deity for all the things it does but it makes the mind boggle to think about all the things it achieves, this force we’re supposed to accept is unintelligent just because its without form. Right that’s enough of that. No more hints of my religious affiliations anyway.
I guess this was just a quick blog to remind people to find beauty in grey places. In car parks. In ambulances. In everything that you do. I’ve had some crazy nights recently and can’t help but escape the feeling that I’m exactly where I need to be right now, drink in one hand, smile on my face, dancing like a loon with some awesome awesome company. It’s not majestic, but it’s life. And it’s frigging fantastic, tears and all.