I left my apartment at noon on Sunday and walked toward Point Pleasant Park. It was a warm and beautiful day, one of the nicest so far this year, so I was compelled to spend the day outside. I had a pleasant walk there listening to some Integral Naked talks.
I walked in a loop around the park and then moved off the paths and wandered for a time. I eventually found myself walking amid some trees by the shore and moved onto the rocky beach. A woman and I noticed each other there and exchanged greetings before she informed me where I had been walking.
“Did you know you were just walking over a burial ground?” she asked from her reclined position on the beach.
“I was?” I asked, with genuine surprise.
“Yes, did you feel anything odd there?”
“No, not really,” I replied
We talked about some history of the park and I learned the woman had travelled here from the U.S. to take part in the designing of the rebuilding of the park (It was damaged by hurricane Juan several years ago). We talked for a while and I sat down (where I would be burning) as we proceeded to talk at length about a large number of topics.
She was a truly facinating and engaging woman who knew aspects of local history I hadn’t. I was facinated to learn of her life and insights on all we ended up talking about. I could certainly sympathize with her deep discouragement with the way America is heading; this was her second time fleeing the nation of her birth in hopes of never having to return there.
For three or four hours we shared conversation on that beach, often talking of shared political views, social, environmental, and historical insights, stories of friends we had known and our own life trajectories. The immigration mess in the US came up, which was something Gaby had been addressing in her blog. The woman’s work with the UN and immigration gave her some insight on the situation I appreciated.
After some time we started walking out of the park, as she had to leave. We went exploring a bit off the paths again, where she showed me an odd placement of stones that could indicate a grave of some sort. She mentioned finding what she thought was an aged human bone in the park one time before, and soon after that day we found another bone revealed by an uprooted tree. It was an old ring of a bone, and she suggested it might belong to a dog. After handling it gingerly, I placed it back on the ground.
I’m so thankful that I stumbled upon her that day. I had one of the most rewarding conversations I’ve had in the past couple of years and met someone I imagine I’d be incredibly unlikely to meet, let alone talk with for hours. Synchronicities like that leave me wonder-filled in the face of the Mystery.
The sunburn is rotten, terrible and wholly unpleasant, but offset by the memorable time I spent there in the sun, I have to consider it worth it. I certainly wouldn’t choose to do things differently if it meant losing out on that chance.
Later that night I met up with Brian Larter and some of his friends to see Silent Hill. The film was visually and atmospherically brilliant. I haven’t seen a creepier or more well crafted horror film before. However, the dialogue was horrendous. Moments that should have been somber and powerful were lessened by expressions that had the audience breaking out into laughter. If more effort had been placed on that aspect of the film, it would undoubtably have been a very fine film instead of one fatally flawed. I might have to watch it in a foreign language to be able to see it untainted by the Lucasian blunders.