Sunday, February 10, 2008


"The morning sun rises from beneath the Carribbean Sea,
its yellow light dances among the clouds"

I stand on the bleached white sands of the Yucatan coastline, and die.

I have found paradise.

The Sun greets me on the beaches of Tulum,
to chase away the night-long ghosts of the ancient Maya.

My spirit is free, not from the mortal confines of human flesh,
but in the absolute overwhelming beauty of momentary experience.

What was suppose to be an adventurous academic field trip became a trip into ontological catharsis.

I did need seek this; I was destined to stumble upon it. I am lucky, and blessed.

In the moment of my death, I was listening to my all time favorite film soundtrack on my iPod Nano: the score to "1492- CONQUEST OF PARADISE" by Vangelis. For personal reasons, this score represents my greatest dreams wrapped neatly in auditory narrative. I listened to it during my greatest highs and hardest lows in life, and it carried me through. Little did I ever know that i would be listening to it at my death.

I never saw it coming. The academic field trip was exciting, enlightening, thrilling, and overwhelming. We had made our way through the history of the Maya, from the Pre-Classic to the Post-Classic, as we traveled city by city through the lowland Yucatan. We took a brief respite in the coastal city of Tulum to enjoy the scenery, and the local nightlife. Just to our north awaited the Mayan city of Tulum, now long abandoned and undergoing tedious restoration. Tulum, at the time of the Maya, was the first city to see the morning Sun. The set and setting of my overnight stay in a cabana on the beach compelled me to awaken early the next morning to gaze upon the Sun as the ancient Maya had. I had no choice.

The sand seemed as salt, laced with ripples frozen in time and heavily pitted from the previous evening's rainstorm. Molecular armies of Carribbean water rushed at the shore in a gradual conquest over the land. The land around me had seen its own great conquests as humans from a far off worlds arrived on hemp and wind powered boats to slowly erase the cultures of the New World. I walked on Holy Land that morning, a land of shifting history and sharp irony. I saw the Sun.

The music of "1492" resonated with that early morning sunrise of Tulum, and I died. It was not painful, but euphoric. It was not pleasure, but purpose. It was not death, but life.

I haven't been the same since. I have been reborn.