60’s

Wow, life! When I (James) was in my 20’s I remember lying in the grass on a warm Texas summer’s night looking up at the stars at the immensity of it all and saying to my friend next to me, “I can’t even imagine living after 30!” My friend exploded with laughter yelling, “Here we are looking up at the infinity of space and time and you can’t even see past 30 years? What could possibly be wrong with living your life as long as you can to experience as much of the universe as possible?” From my current vantage of 60 times around the sun my answer to her would be a resounding, “absolutely nothing!” Now granted, at the ripe old age of 24 I had already experienced a large part of the U.S., Europe and the Caribbean. I had lived through 2nd and 3rd degree burns on about 20% of my body. I had also somehow lived through a broken neck without any permanent paralysis, so my perspective on living was a bit skewed by the drama of trauma and the road well traveled. But wow, life! If I had given in to my own fatal expectations the incredible things I have witnessed in this life would have never existed at all. I wouldn’t have met my friend Dena, the most important influence of them all. I wouldn’t have been a pirate or a rock star in the 90’s in Seattle. I wouldn’t have experienced 10 hours of 40 ft following seas coming around Cape Mendocino. I wouldn’t have walked the halls of the Taj Mahal, the Red Fort or Fatepur Sikri. I wouldn’t have seen the Golden Temple or Kanyakumari. I would have never sailed in an ocean so blue it vibrated my eyes. But wow, life![…]

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