Thursday, January 08, 2009

Ed Rowe Travel Biography

"I have done magic. I have controlled emotions with a wave of the hands. I have silenced with a look; caused enchantment in the eyes with the right words. Am I talking the occult? No; simply classroom teaching. A place where when thing go right, you can't walk any finer, but when things go wrong, you have no idea how long a second can be." Ed Rowe Travel Biography

So starts the writing of Ed Rowe. I just read about his death and thought he sounded familiar. I'd seen Ed on the downtown mall many times. I actually talked with him once outside Mudhouse. I was hooking up with our new intern to do a never done before and so far not repeated "man on the street" interview with folks on the downtown mall about their faith & doubts. I was hanging out on the bench at Mudhouse waiting for David and the "card reader" sat near me and spontaneously shared a bit of his story. Honestly, he kind of freaked me out, but in retrospect I wish I had had the guts to interview him. Now after reading his biography, I see it was a missed opportunity.

I'm glad he left his journal. His writing is a hodge-podge of ideas, experiences and thought experiments and I can't track it all, but he definitely gives a rare view into what our society looks like from the bottom. Here are a few of the gems I found:

"Existence is a classroom, God is the teacher and we be two year olds and he wants us to play nicely in the sandbox! What is the mantra of the two year old? "If it looks like mine it's mine, if it used to be mine it's mine, if you got it it's mine, etc. Look at any behavior you see on the street; it's more refined, it's more polished, but it's still a two year old, "I want!"."

"We all have a choice between freedom and safety. ... We all yield to our fears of the unknown and stay in a miserable situation rather than try something new. It's safe! It's tied to our memories of the past and how we perceive it. It is tied to our anticipations of our hopes and our fears. It is what you want, but more especially what you settle for. But there is no safety! The job can disappear, or the pantry closes. People who assume anything end up whining. It is the people who can face the unknown who do well. Because there is only freedom and it is our perceptions that make us slaves."

"You have everything you need to overcome every obstacle and achieve every goal, but you hesitate."

Ed Rowe Travel Biography

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