LEISURE LETTER 83: UNDER THE WAVING FROND

Picture yourself beneath the Waving Frond. A small spot of shade on a vast stretch of beach. Sweet, sweet seclusion. Here is the oasis that we seek – and as in all seeking, perhaps there is an element of escape . . .

Escapism is an art, a delicate dance of the mind that whisks us away from the mundane and anchors us in a world of endless possibility. Under the waving frond,  the whispers of the wind and the gentle sway of palm trees conjure dreams of distant shores. Here, even far from paradise, we may explore the essence of this art, unveiling techniques to help you escape the confines of daily life, allowing you to immerse yourself in the lush landscapes of the imagination.

Start by creating an atmosphere that breathes the spirit of the tropics. This isn't merely about physical transformation; it's an alchemical process. The air should carry the scent of deep tropical lands. Light a candle or two, letting the fragrance guide you. Surround yourself with verdant greens—a monstera leaf here, a palm frond there. These simple touches open windows to a world where the sun always shines, and the horizon is just a heartbeat away.

Let’s assume there is in this art something to be learned and perfected. In this case we’ll take a hint from Jorge Luis Borges, who “always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library." And while our concept of paradise may differ just slightly, the vast compendium of world fiction certainly has the ability to transport and instruct. In the realm of words, escapism finds fertile ground. Sink into the pages of a book that paints the world with broad, vivid strokes. Hemingway’s "Islands in the Stream" or Michener’s "Tales of the South Pacific" serve as gateways to other worlds. As you read, let the rhythm of the prose lull you into a trance. Words become waves, sentences the ebb and flow of tides, carrying you to distant shores where reality blurs and dreams take root.

A splash of nectar would be nice. Just don’t forget the ice. While it’s unlikely for a drink to change the weather, it just might transform your state of mind. Experiment with ingredients to embody the tropics—a blend of lime, coconut, pineapple – the usual suspects. In fact, it could be best to keep on a diverse supply of fresh fruit – the more vivid in color, the better. Feel the cool glass in your hand, the crystal condensation. Each sip or bite may be a journey, a voyage across sun-dappled waters, reminding you that paradise is not a place but a state of mind.

Nature, in its profound and timeless majesty, offers the most exquisite escape. Step outside and attune your senses. Wander through a park or garden, and let your senses luxuriate in the beauty that surrounds you. Feel the solid earth beneath your feet, the varied texture of the world, communicating the boundless and ageless wonders. Each moment spent in this serene embrace renews the spirit, inviting a deep and contemplative appreciation for the endless elegance of the natural world.

Physical activity, too, holds the key to escape. Envision yourself engaging in movements that connect you to the essence of the tropics. Picture running along a deserted beach, each step sinking luxuriously into the warm, golden sand. Or perhaps practicing yoga with the sun as your guide, each pose a graceful salute to the elements. The body, in motion, discovers a new freedom; the mind, in exertion, finds serene peace. In the tropics of the mind, even the simplest exercise transforms into a poetic dance, a sublime celebration of life.

In the dance between reality and dreams, creativity becomes our passport. Imagine splashing a canvas with vibrant hues, each stroke a daring adventure into the unknown. Pen a poem that hums with the cadence of the ocean, where each word rides a wave of whimsy. Assemble a necklace from seaside treasures, each piece a story whispered by the tides. These creations are not just pastimes; they are magical doorways, where reality’s grip loosens, allowing your inner sun-torched self to find expression.

And who knows? – one fine day, you just might be surprised to wake up and suddenly find yourself . . . Under The Waving Frond.

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