The tour boats full of people taking in the sights keep sliding by. The sun occasionally teases me with it's warmth, but mostly stays hidden behind clouds that promise more rain, but that doesn't really bother me; I have an umbrella for that.
I'm sitting on a cute little couch, in the parlor for a beautiful houseboat and it feels like one of the 100's of cafe's nearby. Across the river are homes that have existed more than 5 times longer than I have. At any given moment, I can see more people on bicycles than cars and boats combined and that's saying something because there are a LOT of boats here on the river and the nearby canals I can see.
The Michelangelo, one of the boats belonging to "LOVERS canal cruises" just did a graceful pirouette to turn around and head back up river. A lot of the tour boats do that right here, in front of my little home for the week and I wonder why. Not all of them though and the ones that continue down river have a very tight squeeze to get through if they want to go under the Magere Brug, the "Skinny Bridge" that is an extremely old, manually operated, wooden draw-bridge meant only for pedestrians and cyclists and even they have to be careful as they pass each other over the top.
How did I end up here? Just last week my 2 year-old daughter was to undergo a dangerous surgery to remove a chunk from her left lung where a pocket has formed that held group a streptococcus; an infection that nearly took her life. It looks like her body is finally dealing with the pocket that was leftover so the surgery was canceled, much like my life had been when we found out the doctors wanted to do the surgery. My wife Jessica and I both stopped making plans. I resigned from my latest venture; something I'd been close to doing anyway after 2.5 years of the most unreal stress and accomplishments I could never have imagined. I say that as a US Marine that's had more than a few challenges in life too. That journey took me to New Zealand, introduced me to famous musicians and made me an "Executive Producer" working for the likes of Samsung and Red Bull at the largest music festivals in North American. Hell, I got to be the first one (literally "ME") to do a major 360, live-streaming production for and to YouTube to help them show off their newest feature.
I'm just a geek that likes to learn, explore, play with technology and quietly build relationships with others of a like mind though. Few people really know my name. Fewer have any idea what skills I posess, I'm nothing close to important by the social and cultural standards that surround me, yet I find myself in a position that is about as likely as winning the lottery back home I think. I grew up poor with very few privileges save for being a white, male which lately feels as much like a curse as anything given all the resentment aired in the media from those who aren't "white" or "male" which I think is more people than not.
All I do know is that right now I've got peace and I hope that my perspective on this moment is clear and my appreciation for it is deep and complete.
Thanks to my friend Tim for inviting me to his home town to help "consult" for him and making this all possible. Thanks to Kelly for making me feel so welcome every time I see her. Thanks to Ben, Wim and everyone at VRDays for throwing a great event and showing me so much hospitality. Most of all though, thank you to my wife Jessica for giving me her blessing to go on this trip and find this moment of peace while she stays home taking care of my 3 treasured children even though I've been traveling so much and have to leave again only a day after I get back home. Without her, Andrew, Jolie and Ayla back home, I think I'd only be lonely in this moment, but instead I feel loved everywhere I go.