Day 24, a day for reflection
Trip Start Sep 02, 2007
92Trip End Dec 25, 2007
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This morning I was up really early again, this time so early that they hadn't even started serving breakfast yet. I just sat there looking at the water since I couldn't get online, water that wasn't as smooth as it had been out in the open ocean and that was starting to darken to almost black from the clear blue it had been since we left Panama. At one point a few days ago, I remember Caitlin being worried about how calm the water was because it meant everything was about to change and we'd have a storm. We never did, but I heard some people talking who had taken a tour of the navigation bridge and said they saw a storm right ahead of us on the maps - they thought we'd bypassed it when we sped up for the medical evacs. But the water at that point was absolutely amazing: water that was quite literally as smooth as glass if not as flat. It was like living glass, constantly moving, writhing almost, but never broken by a wave or a breeze or even a bubble. It was crazy to watch, as if all that life that was down there was churning up the water and the gentle rising of the waves at the surface was all we got to see of it. Later a soft breeze kicked up and the water got less smooth but no less fascinating; now it had layers and layers of smaller and smaller waves all superimposed over each other and inside each other as if they kept dividing and multiplying until they couldn't get any smaller. There were micro waves on top of tiny waves on top of little waves on top of small waves on top of... well you get the idea. The point is it was really cool! No camera can capture stuff like that!
Class was kinda frustrating this morning (terrorism); I thought I was prepared for class but it turns out I'd read the article with the wrong objectives in mind. We read an article last week that I got some interesting points out of only to come to class to find out the teacher thought it was a joke, and when she had a similar preface for this article I read it looking for the same things. Turns out the professor took this article really seriously. Oy. There's a reason I read plays instead!
I discovered the descriptions for the Academic Field Program in Panama that I'm not signed up to and now I'm really upset that I'm not going so I'm going to try to buy into it. My friends in the same learning circle keep bugging me about it; every time I see Gabriel the first thing he says is "Come with us in Panama" and Vanessa is having her birthday during a 3-day homestay with a native community during their folkloric festival. Sound cool? Yeah I thought so too. So I talked to the director of such things and she's going to try to get me a spot and I'll just pay for the trip and do a little extra work. I bet it will be worth it.
At lunch I had a fantastic talk with Nikki and Liz about movies and actors - one of those conversations that, according to Mandy, can be summed up simply: "Nerdy nerdy nerdy nerdy nerdy!" Yeah, it was definitely one of those. Not so much Nikki's part in it but certainly Liz's and mine. Liz is a Lord of the Rings fanatic too, and, like me, has an enduring celebrity crush on Elijah Wood. Finally, someone who understands me. :p
I was finally able to get on the internet this afternoon and I had an email from Mom with the news article saying Marcel Marceau had died. That of course came out of nowhere for me, and I didn't quite know what to do with the information. There was nobody to tell, no one to share it with. I tried to open up some pictures or even the slideshow included in the news article, but the internet couldn't handle any of it. I ended up in the contemplation room and within 10 minutes had worked up a very real sweat trying to move a not-so-real iron box out of the middle of the room. I of course spent a lot of time thinking about the people who had brought me into this artistic world and inspired me; I thought of Renee and wished I could call her or better yet just go knock on her door and accept and return the hug I know would be waiting for me. Renee, I'm thinking of you today! And I thought about Bill, the mime I met in Creede this summer who got me really fired up about pursuing mime in a more serious fashion as a career path. He had known Marceau and worked with him for a few years and I can remember him talking about him in his workshops with us, "He's probably performing tonight; he's 84 years old and just never stops, he's like the energizer bunny." I pictured Bill getting ready for his own show in the context of Marceau's death and wondered how he would reconcile it in his own performance. And of course I thought about my friend in Lisbon, and wondered if he knew and what it would mean to him. I didn't find out until several days later; what had taken place the day it happened? I remember all the coverage when Pavarotti died a few weeks ago; was it like that? Of course at this point the internet wouldn't even open a simple news page and I couldn't get my hands on anything resembling reassurance. I wish I knew of someone else on the boat who might know or be as affected as I was if I told them.
Then tonight for dinner the Sustainability and Global Justice group on the ship had put together a Hunger Banquet to raise awareness of global hunger and poverty. It was a powerful event but simple, with the group (80% of the staff and students turned out for this event) divided proportionally into the high income, middle income, and low income groups representative of 15%, 25%, and 60% of the world's population, respectively. We were fed accordingly as well, with the high income group being served a nutritious and varied meal, the middle group eating rice and beans from a buffet, and the low income group of which I was a part - we drew our lot randomly when we arrived - eating what rice was left when the middle group had eaten. Of course the groups that were better off shared with the rest of us, and people only really went hungry if they chose to do so in the spirit of the event. The whole event was on one hand depressing but mostly it was inspiring, a perfect example of the quote from Gandhi that the event's planner wears on a t-shirt every two or three days: "Be the change you wish to see in the world."
They're showing Pirates of the Caribbean tonight in honor of our being in the Caribbean; I was planning on going but was falling asleep standing up even at 8:30, so I didn't go. Except now it's 11:00 and I'm still writing. But only until this very second. The internet just booted me off because the satellite moved out of range and I'm sick of dealing with it and I'm going to bed. So there.