Tuesday, September 25, 2012
The Barefoot Man
Tai was his name. He has lived through 3 wars, is a retired DA/lawyer and thinks religion is a farce. He believes in the good of man and living for yourself to care for others not believing what everyone else tells you to believe. He believes that running marathons is the best analogy for life and that if we could all just live in the moment of one foot in front of the other, the world would be a nicer place.
Tai was so real and passionate and full of life and he kept telling me that I should run a marathon, at first I thought, no way...but by the end I actually started to believe that he might be right...that maybe in this life the things we do in the most simplistic way are the things that really matter, like losing track of time in the middle of a day to talk to a person because you know you'll be talking to a Sage...We talked for over an hour in the hot dust and sun and by the end I couldn't wait to get home and start training for a marathon. I felt like I wanted to do it for him, but I realized he was just voicing my own words in this life...I realized I had met an older version of me, albeit a Japanese one...who has lived his life in a way that made him happy and healthy and real...not worried about money and status and what others think...
In the end I invited him to see a new Greek play I am in because that was what I could offer him and since he majored in philosophy it made sense. I felt that sharing my own passion with him was the least I could do, and his belief that Marlon Brando was and is the best actor of this century was encouraging since Brando was someone who made his own way...It was only then that we actually introduced ourselves and when he heard my last name he said that the best actors were always Italian. A fact that I had not been aware of, but probably true.
The last view I had of Tai, was him sitting peacefully on a bench that overlooked the mountains, his bare feet in the dust and his majestic aura invading the scrub brush around him. As I rode away on the motorcycle I felt I had just met someone who embodied what it was to take one step at a time in life and I was content to know that its always a good idea to stop in the dusty heat and wait to speak with a barefoot man.
Oh and yesterday I ran 3.5 miles and the whole time thought about Tai and marathons. I don't think I have ever felt so strong and swift while running....
Love and Understanding.