LIFE IN ARAMBOL BEACH, GOA (INDIA)

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The Arambol beach has a different look in the morning than it does in the evening. Usually my wife and I went to the beach at daybreak. The sun had not risen yet behind the hills, and the fishermen strained to beach their heavy boats. Sometimes I helped some of them with that hard effort. Some people enjoyed jogging, while others did Tai Chi. I noticed that a great many had themselves tattooed. An old man even had a tattoo on his face, while other tattoos on his body depicted barbed wire and scenes of violence.
Each person seemed a separate world. It happened that a man who brought his chessboard to the beach invited me to play with him under the scorching sun. I didn’t feel like playing chess at the time and kindly declined his invitation, but I later saw him playing with someone else.
What struck me was the solitude of many people in Arambol. I observed the solitary souls in the early morning at the beach and in the evening at the restaurant.
“I would not be able to spend my holidays alone at a beach resort,” my wife said.
“Me either!” I answered.
Indeed, during my youth it was quite unusual to see a person walking alone in the streets; a lonely person was considered mad. In the summer when I wanted to go to the beach, I was careful not to leave Enna alone. I feared that if someone from the town saw me alone they would have pity and say, “Look at poor Vincenzino. He is alone like a madman.” Therefore, I was never alone, and it didn’t matter if my fellow traveler was smart or cheerful. The important thing was that I had a companion. One year I went on holiday at a seaside resort with a companion who wasn’t very intelligent, just so that I wasn’t alone.
In Goa, I had the opportunity to see the absurdity of my previous behavior. There is a basic distinction between solitude and loneliness. The former is free choice, while the latter is feeling, usually linked with melancholy or sadness. You can be in solitude without feeling sad. Many people in Arambol were living in their freely chosen solitude, but I didn’t get the feeling that they felt alone.
Walking along the beach, I saw a lady that danced before the sea, a man playing the flute, and a group of Indian young men who played cricket. As for us, my wife suggested saluting the rising sun and imagining that its golden light pervaded our entire bodies, healing and purifying them.
In the evening, the atmosphere was completely different. Many people walked along the beach. It was like being at Belvedere in Enna during the summer, where people enjoyed strolling on the crammed public walk. Little by little daylight gave its place to night, and every now and then the disgusting smell of marijuana wafted in the air. It happened that some drug peddlers approached to try to sell us marijuana. I was looking for natural paradise, not an artificial and transient pleasure like that given by drugs, so I refused.

This is an excerpt from A Hidden Sicilian History by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

HUMAN ISLANDS

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Everybody has his or her inner world, but it is different from one another.
The same went for my wife. Even though we had been married for a long time, our inner landscapes differed. My wife had the good habit of keeping a diary since her school days. She writes down everything she sees and what happens to her every day. When we compared our writings about Goa, we discovered that we had written and portrayed different things and situations. I had written about human behavior, while she had focused her attention on love. She had noted down the inscriptions that many lovers drew on the moist sand. There were a lot of details in her diary that I hadn’t noticed.

“I am sure,” I said to my wife, “that if we ask each person in Goa to write their impressions, everyone will note down something different. Some will focus their attention on the sun that dives into the ocean, marking the end of the day. Others will talk about the evening star that gleams a few minutes after the sun has set, or they will describe the ebbs and flows and the small fish that come near the shoreline and then dart towards the ocean. Some will focus their attention on the hang gliders that depart from the hill, or about the sky lanterns that fly across the beach at night, while others will tell of the many stray dogs on the beach that seem to be familiar with tourists.
“Why there is such a difference in the way people see places and situations?”
“It happens because we are all different from one another,” my wife answered. “There is a difference, a veil of incommunicability that separates all living creatures. Love and understanding are the bridge that makes communication and dialog possible.”

This is an excerpt from A Hidden Sicilian History by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

WALKING ON THE BEACH OF ARAMBOL, GOA (INDIA)

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Many people lay down to get a tan or chatted in the bars in the afternoon. Most tourists were Westerners, many of them from Russia. It seemed to me that they were all leading an existence devoid of goals. They chatted, played on the beach, swam, and took pictures. There were two ladies who enjoyed being photographed close to a bull lying on the beach. Sometimes I asked myself if it was me who was the real outcast, someone who persisted in searching for a goal in life, while life actually has no end.

Over the days, I noticed that not everyone who spent their holiday in Goa was devoid of inner content. In the yoga class there were youngsters who looked very learned in the spiritual field. At the break of day the shore swarmed with people doing meditation, yoga, and other spiritual activities. Some played the flute, others the drum. Others did walking meditation, which is a kind of meditation based on watching one’s own steps. Others did laughing meditation, which is obviously based on laughing. From this I inferred that no one on Earth is devoid of spirituality. Everybody has his or her inner world, but it is different from one another.

This is an excerpt from A Hidden Sicilian History by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo