Connections [part II]
On the plane I sat next to an Asian mother & daughter. The mom, in broken English, inquired about my visit & why I was headed to Sydney. I obliged & asked her the usual questions too. Though we had a bit of a language barrier & she often had to ask her daughter to step in, she was sweet. Towards the end of the flight the mom gave me two origami cranes that were the size of a quarter -- one from her, one from her daughter. Japanese cranes are holy/mystical creatues that symbolize peace and hope. They fit the overall rewarding mood of the day.
I used to think it was below me & odd of people to go to a movie or out to eat alone. However, when you travel alone & embrace your solitude the outcomes are transformative. There becomes a myriad of possibilities from the city, earth, and humankind. You see, I was not solo. The sushi chef chatted with me & even gave me some unknown sushi to try. A gay couple sat next to me at the bar and commented on my boldness & other delicious Sydney restuarants. In the middle of a city of 4.5 million people, I was convinced I was not alone or lonely. So why not share my happiness? Like psychologist Leo Buscaglia said "Since love is not a thing, it is not lost when given. You can offer your love completely to hundreds of people and still retain the same love you had originally. It is like knowledge. The wise man can teach all he knows and when he's through, he'll still know all that he has taught." As I walked back to the hotel, I rummaged for all my loose coins (in Oz, $1 and $2 are coins too). There was a bum with a small, practically empty cup sitting on the sidewalk in front of him. Instead of impersonally placing the money in the plastic cup, I stopped and held out my hand to the homeless man. I apologized because it wasn't much. He looked profoundly happy & made a run-on sentence out of the same repeated phrase "thank you thank you thank you".