Friday, August 6, 2010

My Island, My Brain

A GUEST POST
by Bill Hickey


FRIDAYS POST asked last summer if you have your island. A place to go to let wisdom find you.

After seeking My Island for many years, I finally found it.

The only way you get to My Island is by riding a ferry-boat for twenty minutes to a place unsuspecting tourists hope, believe is a quaint little town at the end of the boat ride.

To me “quaint” does not mean a historic town with cute boutiques, wine bars, overpriced art galleries and restaurants with entrees that are inedible and unpronounceable. Go to Carmel, California for that kind of quaint.

My kind of quaint is 21st century Madeline Island in Lake Superior. And it is the only vacation place in America where there is….nothing to do.

Seriously.

There is nothing to do on My Island. And I hate missing any opportunity to be there.

I suspect that the local chamber is not fond of me. But, who cares. I don’t even think the place has a chamber of commerce.

There are two paved roads. A couple of okay food joints. A Robert Trent Jones golf course. A state park. A city park. A historic Catholic church. And, of course, a town dump. (Now called an environmental disposition center).

The most happening place is a burned down café, a bar actually, that smokes the competition when it comes to night life, despite the sign out front greeting patrons with this message, "Sorry, We're Open."

Other than that, there’s nothing to do.

The speed limits are horribly, painfully slow. But this gives you a chance to see plentiful, prancing deer, an occasional bear, wolves, a plethora of birds and of course the main attraction, Lake Superior.

Like the island’s effect on your speedometer, this place has a similar effect on your brain, a known medical condition -- known to me anyway -- called "island brain." You slow down with island brain. Well, you better slow down, or you’ll go nuts.

Most of us in our everyday lives are convinced we have no time for a place like this.

A place where you'll find a very limited supply of Sunday papers.

Where the chow from the food joint’s kitchen arrives on its clock, not yours.

Where an evening of entertainment is a full-color display of the northern lights, accompanied by the hoot of a great northern owl, good people and, before tucking in, a good book absorbed amid the still woods and the big lake’s rolling waves forever running ashore.

Every time I leave My Island, I hope my island brain lasts more than a few days when I return to civilization.

I hope you find your island. And, when you do, I hope you get island brain like I do. You’ll find you’re not really missing much.

You’ll find that’s the beginning of wisdom finding you.


--bill
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(Bill Hickey lives in the Twin Cities. Bill is a husband, dad, attorney, entrepreneur and former notary public. He admits to writing this piece under the influence of island brain.)

6 comments:

  1. I have the same experience with my scuba diving trips to the SW Pacific. At that moment of roll into the water, you see a brief second of bright blue sky overhead and the world we know is gone for an hour.

    The physics are different.

    The biology is different.

    I am a guest of a world that I am privileged to see, smell, and taste.

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  2. Be open to the unexpected. Embrace what emerges from the fog. Praise the wisdom that presents itself from the silence.

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  3. The island offers a rhythm that is true. Stay connected, if only from afar. The island's heartbeat is native and essential to the soul's path. Disregard all discomfort that squeals in opposition. Be intentional above all else, to the light and its goodness.

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  4. I FOUND MY ISLAND - IONA. iT'S OFF THE WEST COAST OF SCOTLAND. ST. COLUMBA WAS THERE 1,000 YEARS AGO. HIS MONASTERY STILL STANDS, REBUILT OVER THE AGES, NOW OCCUPIED BY THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND. YOUNG PEOPLE COME THERE FOR RETREAT. WOULD YOU BELIEVE THERE'S A GOLF COURSE THERE? NOT ROBERT TRENT JONES, AND YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL OF HITTING ONE OF THE SHEEP WHO GRAZE THERE. IT LEAVES PEBBLE BEACH A POOR SECOND. THEIR SYMBOL IS A WILD GOOSE. LOOK IT UP. THANKS TIM.

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  5. 與朋友在一起,分擔的痛苦是減半的痛苦,分享的快樂是加倍的快樂。......................................................................

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