Bringing The Ocean To The Desert
July 13, 2017

Surf3

Artwork I just finished.

The Old Man
February 25, 2010

 

I was seventeen and I was on board the Empress of Canada. I was on my way back home after spending ten months hitch hiking through Europe, part of Asia and Africa. A purser showed me to my bunk below the water line. There was an old man in the room when I got there and we exchanged pleasantries. He seemed like he wanted to talk, but I excused myself because I had met someone on the ferry ride to the ship who had invited me to meet the entertainment crew. I remember it had been a long ride to the port of Liverpool from where I’d left in Scotland and I felt tired. I really just wanted to rest. I felt a little overwhelmed from all the travelling and sightseeing and I was also looking forward to just going home. It was the beginning of the seven-day Israeli war and you could cut the air in Europe with a knife. It was this event that had determined my reason to return.

Over the course of the seven day ocean trip back to Montreal, the old man continued to ask me questions and would begin to strike up a conversation. Each time I made an excuse and would leave or say “I was too tired”. One particular time I came into the room and he had a photo album out and he was thumbing through pictures. He asked me to look at some of the photos and started to explain how he was an important figure in the peace agreements of the arab communities many years before. There were heads of states and arab leaders all dressed ceremoniously, copies of the agreements all on these orange brown faded photographs. He had so many things and stories he wanted to tell me. But again I faded fast in interest. I just wanted to be home.

Too often, opportunities present themselves and we’re so pre-occupied in our future, we miss the moment. This incident has always bothered me because of my selfishness. I’ve always carried the feeling that there was something to learn from this old man. What could I have learned that I missed? Would my life have changed? That’s my regret. I’m older now and I think, will people listen to what I can tell?

%d bloggers like this: