Day 1, Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Welcome to the Jack Pransky EuroTrip Blog Part II.
This trip isn’t a full-on European Tour like last year’s. This one is only a little over one month long—long enough. In this one I only go to four places: Albir, Spain; Birmingham, England; London for the Tikun Conference; and Edinburgh, Scotland, where I help bring Syd Banks back to his home town. Unlike last time I have been to all these places before. Then I go back home for a few weeks. Then Part III begins again at the end of June in Greece, Russia and Romania—all new places for me.
If you want to come with me you can follow this blog.
A tearful start
This one began with a tearful good-bye to Amy, my incredible love of ten years. Without my understanding of the Three Principles I don’t see how I would have made it. To make a long story short she needs to find herself without me, to experience true freedom; her personal power awaits. How could I stand in the way of that? I can’t. I wish her only the best. She is the greatest. She has so much to offer to the world.
So I bought a condo in Boca Raton, Florida, near the border of Delray Beach, within walking distance to the ocean. Just closed on it. I will either move there between these two trips or just after the second.
I drove four hours through the rain to Nantasket Beach, Hull, Massachusetts, to my family’s summer home where I could park my car for a month and fly out of Logan airport in Boston. Actually, the house now belongs to my sister. She just bought out my brother and me. It was the only way I could afford my new condo. I spent at least part of every summer of my life at this house, the first house I was brought to after being born. To not officially have it anymore is sad, too. But life is filled with changes. Life is change.
Wisely, I drove to the commuter boat dock first and asked the restaurant owner if he would keep my bags until I parked at my (sister’s) house and walked there. He agreed. Just as I got to Nantasket the weather had cleared. It became beautiful, so I parked and walked past the two houses to the beach. Ahhh, the ocean! My rejuvenator. The waves were roaring. Shockingly, even the typical band of rocks lining the beach between the houses and the sand was gone. It had been a horrendous winter in Boston, more snow than any previous year. Record high tides. We’d been worried about the house. The house was fine but it swept the rocks away. Amazing, the power of the tides. Amazing, the power of new thought.
I walked along the beach as far as I could, breathing in the salt air, cleansing myself, my mind taken by the roaring waves. When the beach ended I went onto the road and walked the almost three miles to the boat pier, listening to wonderful music. The ipod is one of the greatest inventions of humankind. I still can’t believe I can hold my entire (large) music collection in the palm of my hand and carry it with me wherever I go. Thank you, Steve Jobs.
I retrieved my bags. I was early for the boat, so I wandered around the pier. I suddenly realized I was standing in the exact spot my grandfather had taken me fishing, where he fished at least once a week during the summer. He would stand there, pole in water, surrounded by many others fishing, and they would catch nothing and he would always come home with enough fish to feed us for a week. Such memories! As I walked off that part of the pier I daydreamed about where my grandfather (and his brother, George’s [Pransky] grandfather) came from and grew up—Russia—a place I would be visiting in only a few months…
Ouch! Suddenly I was on the ground. The very hard concrete ground. And it hurt. In my daydreaming I had walked up a ramp, the end of which was a foot off the ground and had stepped off it without realizing it. Landed on my left elbow, then left hip and knee, then somehow right elbow. I couldn’t believe it. I started laughing at my stupidity. The opposite of mindfulness. I picked myself up and dusted myself off. But in one moment I undid the wonderful massage I’d gotten from Laura Manfred the day before.
Straining at the oars
As I stood there in some pain waiting for the boat I suddenly realized I was staring at the rough water of “the gut,” where the ocean and bay meet, staring over to Paddock’s island where once when I was about 12 years old I rowed a boat over with my brother, age 7. The ride was fairly smooth going over. It’s only a short span of water—George Washington could probably have thrown a silver dollar across it. On the other side I jumped off the boat on the rocky island and pulled it up onto the beach. Out of nowhere a man appeared. With a rifle! “Get off this island now!” he shouted. “This is private property. You don’t belong here. GET!”
Scared, I jumped back into the boat. My little brother hadn’t even had time to get out of the boat. I started rowing my ass off. But I wasn’t getting anywhere even close to where I wanted to go. In the short time between rowing across and getting out of the boat the tide had started to change. The water had gotten a lot rougher. I was being pulled out into the ocean! I rowed and rowed so hard I thought my neck muscles would burst. My brother was scared and started to cry. I didn’t have time for that. I spent every last ounce of energy. People stood on the shore yelling for me to row on, pleading with me to row harder. But I couldn’t. I was already rowing beyond my capacity. Finally with a burst I broke out of the current. I had tried to row straight but ended up at the shore at a 45 degree angle out toward the ocean, almost 100 yards to the left of where I was aiming. People cheered when I finally hit the shore. I felt like collapsing. I thought I wouldn’t make it. But I did. What does that tell us about thought?
The ferry boat came and took me to Boston. I took the subway to the airport and a bus to my terminal. I’m writing this on the plane. On this transatlantic plane there are no TV monitors on the seat in front of me. I can’t believe it! I’m bummed out! I was planning to watch the Celtics playoff game! Oh well… So I write instead. But my trip has begun. I wonder what adventures await…