I’ve traveled to many countries in this world but I’ve never met more respectful, hospitable, thoughtful and kind people in one country than I have in Jordan. The people I’ve come to know here are dynamic forces of example of the human potential for kindness. In other words, they appear to have acquired the divine art of living, the highest art of all. My hope for humanity has been restored and I plan to take this hope home with me when I return to the States in two weeks.
While walking the other night I stopped by the Potato and Salad shop to say hello to the “men.” After saying, “Hello men!” I was offered a seat on a bench and we began one of our many philosophical discussions. The topic for the night was, “What does the expression knock on wood mean to you?” After hearing six different versions of the meaning, and knocking on all objects within reach, I inadvertently announced that I was no longer taking taxis other than to go to the airport. To solidify my decision we all knocked three times on the plastic table top and I left.
The next night Zohreh invited me to a dinner party at her apartment. Getting to Zohreh’s requires taking a taxi. After undergoing an inner battle about riding in taxis, that I lost, I rescheduled what I had planned and took a taxi to Zohreh’s. We all had a wonderful evening and delicious food while discussing movies and parasites. Before departing I brought up the subject of “knocking on wood” and asked for the input of everyone there.
After hearing different versions of the meaning of ‘knock on wood” I said my goodbyes and Julie, Christina and I headed out the door to find a taxi. After hailing a cab, I sat in the passenger’s seat next to the driver and Julie and Christina sat in the back seat. On the drive back to Paris Circle I realized I didn’t have my seat belt on and visualized the time I was in Mexico when the jeep I was riding in rolled three times and landed upside down in a deep, wet gully. The driver of the jeep ended up with a broken arm and I ended up with a slight concussion, barely escaping a crushed head from the roll bar. While visualizing the mosquito infested gully, and leaning towards the center of the cab to fasten my seat belt, wham bam, a car driving 35 mph smashed into the passenger’s door. Knock on plastic, I wasn’t resting comfortably against the door. I’m looking forward to sharing my taxi experience with “the men.” A possible topic for our next philosophic conversation could be “paying attention to one’s inner voice.” How exciting! I can’t wait to hear their stories. What better topics are there to learn about the “art of living?”
By the way, the Seven Keys + More exhibit received some positive attention from the press and television. The following are links to a few of the articles: