The Earthian

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One of the nicest things about living in Wicklow is the chips one gets in the local chipper. Linas  chipper, aside from having the trademark Wicklow Town polite pleasant friendliness, cook some of the nicest chips I have tasted since my time as a little boy eating the chips from the Aprile cafe on Richmond Street Dublin City (I wonder if it is still there). Last Friday I went up to get a bag and outside the takeout there stood a man with a sign saying he was an Earthian, travelling the world and he was accepting donations of food. I felt a little odd, indeed, I always feel a little guilty not giving donations but I walked past this person, looking down and seeing he introduced himself as an Earthian, a word representing a concept I regarded as interesting, mainly because I have something of a lifelong interest in science fiction. His eyes were clear, calm and observant. His teeth and skin were in excellent shape. He was dressed in a reflective coat and a heavy belt (which looked new). He wore a white rimmed hat, no sunglasses, heavy socks and a pair of formidable walking boots. This person was not however your typical walker. He greeted each person that passed him rather calmly and courteously. He also didn’t seem to care whether or not they greeted him back and there was an air of calm about him I liked. I didn’t greet him, and I avoided his gaze. I don’t remember whether he greeted me. I went home and ate my chips and mentioned that odd fellow who was looking for food donations outside Linas Take Away in Market Square.

The thing was I met him again. The following Sunday, Iza and I went to a barbecue at the Dominican Ecology Centre at Bayview Wicklow Town, literally five minutes walk from our front door, and once again outside the Domincan College and Ecology Centre (apparently 70 acres in size). And there he was. 

Earthian

Again he was greeting people and occasionally people were coming from the organic shop and giving him food. Everyone who gave him food got a hug, something I liked to see but made others rather jittery. He apparently doesn’t accept any kind of money. I wondered how he paid for medical expenses or tickets or suchlike. I asked him how he got past airport security since he doesn’t have a passport, doesn’t have a name, and no country of origin. I do believe though he comes from the middle east.  The name, in other words referring to himself as Earthian – a citizen of Planet Earth, a planet with only human borders and political entities and blocs that have been fought over for millennia, wont get one through very highly guarded regulated monitored borders, especially airport security. He smiled and said he doesn’t use airports. I said that’s a good thing, because if you don’t present a passport you tend to get sent back. He smiled again, and he said – sent back where? I mean, he said, if you don’t have an address where would you get sent back to?  The holy naiveté made me smile, and, well its a good answer, one he very obviously had given before to many other people living in the paranoid post 9/11 Earth.

Earthian’s thesis, if it can be called such, is that if a sufficiently substantial movement could be generated to remove the notion of borders on this rather small planet, then one of the prime motivators for war and conflict would simply evaporate. I agreed in principle with him, but considered it rather unlikely this would ever happen, seeing as much of the planets economic systems are run on the notion of private property, capitalism, and profit, which is how things are and not in any way, to my mind, an evil in themselves – just not something that hugely interests me, and definitely interests Earthian rather less. his worldwide travels began after the economic crash in 2008, when, working as a computer engineer, he took the decision to allot eight to twelve years of his life to travel all over the world with a message of peace and certainly with all the hugs he was distributing, love, an acknowledgement of the ultimate unity of the planet despite its many deep divisions, the need for caring for the ecosystems that make it up, and a striving for an end to war. I pointed out he was only one person. He pointed out this proverb which made us all laugh.

If you think you are too little or too small to make a change you obviously haven’t spent a night with a mosquito (African Proverb)

I hope never to spend a night with a mosquito, but I do know that my hero Socrates used refer to himself as a stinging fly (a mosquito certainly comes under that description), someone who used ask the awkward questions which showed up the hypocrisy and self deception of the greedy and the thoughtless. Then again lets not pursue that analogy to its logical end, considering what horrible things happened to Socrates. Anyway we talked for a while and then we wandered into the organic shop inside the Domincan grounds and Earthian (I still cant get used to calling him that) stayed outside. we wandered round saying hello to people, talking, and visiting the animals, most of whom were going to be slaughtered ( its always disturbing to see creatures fed the finest foods, looking exquisitely beautiful, in the best of health, only to know they only exist in such a state to be  devoured by those who care for them) After a while I returned to Iza to see her sitting with our friend, engrossed in conversation about his travels. There is hardly a country he has not been to. I believe he is going to England next, and then to Iceland, a difficult place to get into. We offered him money before we went our separate ways. He refused. We asked him what he would like. He said whatever we wanted to give him. We went into the organic shop and bought him some goodies, and gave them to him after he came back from the toilet. He hugged us both.  And then he was gone. An interesting person. I kind of miss him now.

Walking the Driving Range

A walk on a Perfect Day

A couple of days ago I went to deliver a letter and got struck by a car. I was more or less unhurt, save for a bruised shoulder and a leg that still remains a tad stiff. It will be a few days before I can go back to the gym (you can’t work out on a bruised shoulder as it can worsen the injury), so for the most part I rested up and basically was as lazy and unproductive as the excuse of being thrown up on the bonnet of the car can give you. I did yoga, took pain killers, slept and ate, and today I went for a walk along the coast with Izabela, who took this tiny clip right here:

© I Titefka 2014

It was one of those perfect days, the sea sparkled like as though there were little bits of silver floating on the surface of it, and yes the air really was fresh and sweet and the grass was dry and the sun shone from a cloudless sky and though my leg hurt and my ankle ached and my back hurt almost as bad as my shoulder, it didn’t matter a damn and we sat on top of a small cliff and looked down on the waves and the diving sea birds who had this preternatural gift for riding incredibly high waves dangerously near the rocks and the waves clipping the little birds as they disappeared down and reappeared sometimes with a fish sometimes with nothing, and it was like something out of a dream and the area was  filled with other walkers and dogs (the people of Wicklow Town are huge animal lovers, the place is filled with Cats and Dogs, and birds, and shops selling animal feed and bird houses and seed bags – the town even has its own much adored pet bull seal called Sammy who is fed twice a day by the local fishmonger)and and tourists and students sitting out with sandwiches and we moved on down the coast for about half a mile onto the golf course and then you saw the putters and the drivers and we kept an eye out for seals but didn’t see any. We sat out on a high outcrop and I let my legs dangle over the cliff face (a very small one I might add) and the waves roared and grumbled and the golfers behind us went swish and crack and moved as if they had a purpose. We got thirsty and tired and went in a homeward direction and got into a load of trouble with the aforementioned grumpy golfers as we had to walk in front of their driving range. They started shouting   for us to move out of our way, which we didn’t, and they started simulating golf swings directed at us, which made us all the more stubborn and as we passed  the cranky golfers we commented loudly how golf just ruined a good walk – using the immortal words of Mark Twain. What a great day.  Annnd, here comes Wicklow Towns newest celebrity: