The quiet spaces of our lives, if we let them, teach us profoundly. Perhaps one of the best “forced lessons” of this experience has been the time I have spent alone; reading, researching, observing, listening, interacting, without electronic devices. A luxury we do not allow ourselves in this increasingly “connected” world. I have found that the more time I have spent disconnected – away from email, instant messages, cell phone, facebook - the more I have become connected. The more I act, instead of react. The more I learn. By far.
There are so many miniscule snippets of culture we never see when we are “connected;” snippets of information, and moments of time, which are the atoms that float beneath the surface of our lives – atoms that nevertheless connect us and add context and texture to who we are – but which we fail to notice. When I first arrived here, I found out that Andres Bello, the author of Chile’s legal code, based it upon that of the state of Louisiana. How many of us U.S. citizens know Lousiana has a code? And that Chile emulated it? After dinner at a lawyer friend’s house last night, he pulled out the official code of the State of Lousiana. He was working on a case, and there was an issue, you see, with this one part of the code….
The night before, I had a simple dinner with friends whose lives have been inexorably intertwined with mine for so many years I have lost count. We communicate without having to plan, without often having to speak. Their struggles of being gay men in a Catholic country will always resound with me, teaching me things, in those silent places in my heart.
I walk home with the ice cold full moon tonight as my partner. Breathing in the spirit of the people, the wisdom, the moments of shared experience as I measure my steps. Into the silence.