On the Occasion That You Get Robbed

On the Occasion That You Get Robbed

Courtesy Photo

On the occasion that you get robbed, they will take your camera and its extra lens. This will include the $10 lens cap you just bought at the start of your trip.

Inside of your camera, will be your SIM card, holding memories of Salmon Creek, Crater Lake, vast California vineyards, the violence of the Washington coast line, the Northern California lighthouse and beach side—full of fossils, face-shaped rocks, black mussels clinging to the steep crag below where your lover sits, gazing into the monstrous clashing of water. Stolen files include the redwood trees, various city life, and the San Francisco farmers’ market—at least 8 blocks of fruit sampling (strange fruits too: hybrid pears, tart mangoes, avocados the size of your head), amongst plenty of other market goods. They will steal photos of the market-stand that seduced you the most, the date-stand, all varieties on display, laid out in flat brown boxes, labeled Medjool, Maktoomi, Khudry.

They will take your laptop and your purple journal (wet-ink pen attached), memories and notes starting in Canada, where you experienced your first-ever yoga festival. Lessons don’t have to be written, you decide, the ones you were ready for are the ones you are contemplating and practicing now, even without written proof. One lesson in particular: a tall man gave a lecture about health of the mind: “Think of a diverse forest,” he said. “There is death and budding, sunshine and rain, silence and disaster. A healthy forest is a diverse forest.” There are so many facets in such a community, he said.

You pictured the shades, shapes, lineage, all mingling in one grand system, hoping to survive. In your purple journal, you had concluded the metaphor, starring and bolding: allow a similar natural process to take place within the mind. Let the mind be, let it be diverse — the good and the bad, let both be — and therefore healthy.

On the occasion of getting robbed, your passenger window was smashed in. Your Honda Accord, tattooed bumper stickers and Arkansas tags, sat parked on the streets of San Francisco. They took your laptop. You backed it up before you left home but the thousands of recent road trip photos —the landscapes and animals captured to use for gifts, the ones taken to remember details that the wandering mind cannot always recall, photos to remind yourself of the scenery sometimes hard to digest in the moment. (But why? Is it our flighty senses, eyes are only one means of experiencing, why do we rely on them?

In Tacoma you went into the home of a man, a doctor and gardener, who had no sight — surprised to find a clean, perfectly detailed house. Cat wandering, sunroom, self-built fire pit. Life’s value based on an individual’s perception.) Loss of self-glory, this hurts too, for you will never flip through each photo, never explain the contents to others. Though, everything has still happened, whether or not a file-record exists.

You wonder, are photos a means to getting stuck in the past?

On the occasion of getting robbed, you will come to terms, swallowing the fact that you’d never see these possessions again. At this acceptance you will feel a strange sense of lightness.

Without the brand-name “Kavu” purse (gift from your father), without the faux-leather wallet (present from a high school lover), without saved coasters and stickers from places in the West you’ve visited so far, without photos proving your memories correct, without a journal of thoughts and scribbles, without small buttons labeled “I<3TOFURKY” & “SAY NO TO GMOS,” somehow you will still find yourself as exactly the same person.

Possessions, suddenly realized as just things, were the easy way to define experiences and the self. You will consider the middle-path, the path of letting go, the path you have been studying, concluding, “this path— does it not teach to let go of self-ideations, of the ego?”

Days later, after the occasion of getting robbed, you will contemplate your goods, hoping that perhaps learning hands found their way to your camera, curious minds got hold of your journal, and an eager spirit picked up your stolen translation of the Tao Te Ching.

As for you, you will be left with just the necessities, left to find wisdom within yourself alone. You will learn to rely on your center, a sacred place that no one can rob you of, a place of infinite wisdom where you recognize that this body, and all belongings, are only temporary.

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