“I'm gonna make my world a better place…”
Dateline: Mystic River, Boston
I believe in,
The core of stuff.
No highfalutin, fancy pants, know it all words.
Just brown bag language.
The essence of life, the aroma of living. Not the theory, but the grit.
Believe it or not I do have the education bon-a-fides. Stunk it up in the lower and middle educations of grades K-12…wrote a “composition” in 9th grade that what I was getting wasn’t actually an “education,” but an “indoctrination.”
Schooling went pretty much downhill from that point.
I learned the Dewey Decimal system, and left.
Plumbing class was filled, so I got a degree in Bartending at trade school…my first venture into being an “-ologist.” I was a certified “Mixologist,” and “Drinking-it-ologist.”
Moved up the education list to Higher…snuck in the back door of college and declared myself to be a major in a variety of “-ologists” studying a never ending supply of “-ologies.”
Could never keep a straight face in class.
I gave it up when in my entire semester spent majoring in Sociology…no one ever talked to each other. The professor just would walk in and tell us what book to read…then left…never looked at us.
My final “paper” for the class was called, “Why Sociology, Isn’t Social.”
Schooling went pretty much downhill from that point.
My “-ologist” career ended before it started.
I wrote my way through the university, and left.
I had one degree, two student loans…one for books…one for a great stereo system…and still a feeling of indoctrination not education.
Until one day when I picked my daughter up from her school in Fresno, Calif.
It was actually daycare, but we called it “school” to make it easier for Barb and me to drop her off there.
So I go to pick up Ashley, take her out to lunch, slow story day at KFSN. And as I’m standing there looking at the “school work” pasted up on the wall at about the 2-foot level, I see this one sign up there at the 5-foot level…adult land.
And the sign in Ashley’s Pre-Pre-School said exactly…EXACTLY…this:
“WE SHARE & NO BITING.”
And the more I looked at it, the more I thought, “….damn…that’s it.”
We share and,
And all this time I been a wasting.
All this “-ology…” junk.
We Share & No Biting…finally…an education.
Been keeping it simple ever since.
“…I'm gonna keep that smile on my face…”
His name is Haaby.
Actually, it is not.
It is Xavier Gonzalez-Mestre, M.D. H.S.A.
“Call me Haaby, db…simple.”
I do, simple.
Simple, does not mean stupid, there are a ton of very smart stupid people, but it is the smart simple people you need to pay attention to.
Anybody can make something so complicated that you have no idea what they are talking about…that doesn’t make them smart…it is just complicatedly stupid…but…you take something complicated…and make it simple…that takes smarts.
Take all the “-ology” out of it.
Take life down to its quick.
And it is, you.
And it is, me.
It is what we do for each other.
It is what we do to each other.
That is life.
And computer issues.
So last year, I’m sitting in a hotel at wherever last year’s Federation Nation Championship took place…161 days on the road cause for some road blurs…and this guy with a very complicated name tells me to keep it simple and , “…just call me Haaby.”
So I do.
And this guy named “Haaby,” starts talking to me.
Turns out he is from Spain.
I’m thinking there must be a soccer match somewhere nearby.
Turns out he is some bigwig medical/health administration guy over there in Spain.
I’m thinking….”Rut Row” an “-ologist…” just snuck up on me when…
…”You know, db, I started the first Bass club in Spain in 1974….”
“…I’m the President of the Spain Federation Nation B.A.S.S. club….”
I’m just looking at him so I have nothing in truth to quote right here.
“…and now…next year…our club is going to fish the Fed Nation Eastern Divisional in Boston.”
During the past year, Haaby and I have become friends…through email. I learned recently of the death of his brother…read please how he told me of his brother’s passing:
After the passing of my brother Santi, himself a B.A.S.S. Life Member, a couple of months ago, while recalling all the places we fished and enjoyed together, I understood why he was my closest brother, (third of nine): my pal in the endless search of our fishing Shangri La, that magnificent Outdoors, always dreamed, never found.Now that I think of it, I'm sure you and my brother would have connected at first sight. He was an architect that hated to work in cities, or crowded surroundings. His "métier" was full of open spaces, and he enjoyed to build something that did not break the natural harmony of the landscape. And if there was some kind of flowing water around, so much the better!
I wish I had met Santi, I wish I would meet more people who worked simply, worked with, not against, what was there.
Allowed for life, to be.
Allowed to be part of the flow, not an obstruction.
I stood on the dock this morning and gave my friend, Haaby, his flow…did not want to be an obstruction as his dream floated on the Mystic River before him.
I watched as the first B.A.S.S Federation Nation Spanish competitor came through take-off.
Later, in broken English from Haaby, “I so very, very thanks to be here.”
“I…I dream this for 31 years…31 years…”
When a man tells you his dream, you wish him well.
When a man shows you his dream, all you can do is say thank you, thank you for bringing another dream to life.
To life, that is, you.
That, is me.
Because it gives life, to our dreams.
“…I'm gonna make myself a better man…”
Life, as it should be.
Life, as it IS at its core.
Without the politicians.
Without the rulers, and kings.
With just us.
One on one, one to one.
We have here competitors from 7 different states…and two countries.
Take their jerseys off…make them all stand naked.
And they are just us. Us in our naked ugliness, us in our naked beautifulness.
Different skin, same species.
When Haaby stood on the dock today smiling as his team from Spain came by, he had on the same smile, the same exact feeling I did as I watched the team from Connecticut go by.
As the “us” who watched the team from Vermont float by.
As did New York.
As did New Hampshire.
As did Massachuttes.
As did Maine.
As did Rhode Island.
Last night I wanted to get a photo of the two teams from outside of America…Canada and Spain.
I told them to line up for the shot.
And they did.
But how they did it took my breath away.
They didn’t line up as Team Spain.
They didn’t line up as Team Canada.
They lined up as Team Us.
Together…mixed…all mingled like.
Like we should be when it is just us figuring things out.
That photo will be one that will hang in my office, forever.
And printed on the photo mat will be these words from Haaby:
“A La Medida Del Hombre”
“Size Of The Man”
Haaby told me that if we could shrink the size of the world so that it fits the people in it, “you would be able to reach each other.”
And when we reach each other, we will find out that we are all us.
And once the competition is over, I will send Haaby a copy of the same photo, and on the mat I will write this:
“We Share & No Biting”
Life, at its core.
“…Am I gonna make it
“A Better Man”
[see db's photos of the Spain team here.]