The Eternal Light of Fort Kochi

There are a lot of things I try to do while traveling - but more generally in everyday life. I try to get myself into a headspace that is a mixed cocktail of wonder, curiosity, compassion and action. It’s hard to maintain that train of thought for many reasons. For one, humans have a propensity to the predictable, safe and comfortable. In the primordial history of humankind - and even further into our common descendents - stability and predictable events lead to a way to control their external environment; in this control we found longevity and safety.

Humans live a very different life than our biological wiring expects. We, in the western world, are for the most part comfortable and safe. We have medicine, and we have an ecosystem of material comfort. Nonetheless, when you’re at the top of roller coaster you experience visceral emotions - one of which is raw, primal fear.

When I travel, I find it infinitely easier to exist in this headspace - the monotony of routine fades away, and the inspiring element of the new involuntary inserts itself into perspective. And things like this help too.

For the last few days we haven’t had any light. It’s been overcast and generally dull, weather wise. On the way to Kochi we noticed that the sun was emerging so we made a sprint for the beach. When we arrived, I couldn’t believe how incredible the sunlight was. There was hundreds of people standing at the edge of the beach just… looking.

In that moment we all experienced this mixed cocktail of powerful and strange human emotions. Millions of kilometers away, a massive nuclear explosion eternally releases immense quantities of energy which is responsible for all life on Earth. Our regular lives were taken out of their element by the heat of the sun on our face. People from around the world, brought together by the sun!

As the sun set, we realized that there was a festival in Kochi that night and people were out and about.

Portrait of Married Life

Portrait of Married Life

We had some time to stay in Kochi so we found a sweet place to eat after talking to the most nihilistic shop owner I’ve ever seen. Seriously, this guy didn’t care. It was awesome. So we get to this Italian restaurant owned by Thomas. He spent lots of time in Italy and Canada as a chef, so he moved back to Kochi to operate this place. He had a server who worked there, her name was Sharon. I asked her what it was like to be who she was in a place like Kochi or India in general. Her experiences are clouded with people throwing hate and constantly reminded her of how much they don’t want her to fit in “their” society. In spite of this, she let us into her life and reminded me of the underlying elements that bring us together rather than divide us.

Thomas believes that time spent away from the hyper-commercialism of certain areas is good for the mind. He lives a fun life in Kochi, cooks - creates food - is surrounded by beauty. Is he right? Can we avoid the constant pressure to belong to an image, an idea, a group, or an object?

Endlessly, we search for belonging. Some call it love, others call it a job and still others call it friendship. It is the underscore in the title page of humanity. So, overtime we have created institutions to follow, ideas to champion and status to uphold. The world was divided: some lead, others follow. Somewhere along the way we forgot that a leader without followers is just a man going for a walk.

Peace and Love
Sandro

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