Miles Traveled: 191 Miles Traveled: 8,243 Location: Cambridge, MA
Least We Forget: To my way of thinking there are three natural constituencies for the mothers and children in prison. The first is the family, the second are those elected to represent all the people and finally those women’s groups that advocate for women. My experience with the families of those incarcerated women is that all to often their lives are less than perfect and really don’t want the publicity of having their less than perfect lives broadcast to the Four Winds. Some may be willing to have their less than perfect lives made the cannon fodder of publicity but don’t had the time, money, knowledge or skill to get a program off the ground. Then there are the elected representative of the people. Their focus is on the political gold of votes and donations during electoral campaigns. If this was not the case, we would not be in this jam. Lastly and regretably, there are the women’s groups. However, my sense here is that prisons and jails are dirty business and don’t make good one liners raising money or publicity for this or that cause. This effectively puts both mothers and children in a cloak of invisibility and only allows the problem to fester till it becomes a disaster.
The best part of the ride to date: After about 5,000 miles, started getting a lot of questions about which part of the ride was the best or most beautiful. Spent more than a couple of hours on that question and then it occurred to me that this was a wast of time and effort and like trying compare any given type of fruit with another. Each has a different function and serves a different purpose. It is all beautiful. I think that on many occasions, I did regret not being able to capture the depth of some of the beauty on my camera but then I think a great part of the beauty was in experiencing it. This is like with people. You have to experience them as well as to look at them.
The experience: This was a high bridge over big lake in the mountains of New York. There was the wind and temperature that contributed to the impact of altitude which as much as I would have liked could not be captured. Tried to capture some of the exhilaration of being so high in the air while riding the motorcycle and no way could I do it. No way could I insert the feeling of adrenalin and I suspect there was some dopamine, serotonin and maybe a dash oxitocin in a two dimensional take of the photo.
My last impression of Omega: Now in almost seven decades on this planet, I was of the impression that there was not much that would ever surprise me. Well, on my way out of Omega Institute this morning, I decided to evacuate all tubes and visited the rest room of the Omega Cafe. There is a sign on the top of the urinal that it was waterless. My karma is such that I simply did not believe it was possible especially because it look so water typical. Had to wait around after I zipped up to see if it really would not flush. No way did it flush while I was there and decided this was worth a photo. Paid particular attention to the smell when I came back with the camera and there was no smell. One day when I have time, I will make the effort to understand it. In the meantime, it remains the 8th Wonder of the World.
Coming Home: there are two families. One is of blood and we don’t have much choice about who we draw as family. You can call it family of blood. Then there is the family of choice. In a sense, this is what Cambridge represents to me. I have never come here when there has not been a room and people I have know close to 20 years. Yes, the family is always changing but in a bigger sense it remains the same. The kitchen smells of good food and everyone in the house knows how the house runs. There are always one or two in crises. There are always some coming and others going. It is an intentional community built around the practice of meditation.