Another Island Note…
My friend, Dave, arrived on Bonaire last fall wearing a Carpe Mañana t-shirt. I thought, how fitting for the island. This was a clever take-off on the stalwart Latin phrase, carpe diem, or “seize the day”.
Now when the testosterone-laden Romans were pillaging most of the prime real estate of the Western World two thousand years ago, this rallying cry was ideal. After all, divide-and-conquer empires can’t follow some wimpy slogan like Time-Warner TV’s “Enjoy Better”. No, they needed something bold, inspiring and bullshit free. So carpe diem made perfect sense. That phrase may have even resonated with the pirates of the Caribbean centuries ago, but those bad ass marauders have been long gone. The cannons don’t thunder no more. Problems on islands today often deal with simpler issues such as, Do I choose a mojito or a banana daiquiri for an afternoon in the beach chair?
But that may be oversimplifying how life is really like down here. After all, we do have stress. Tourists clog our streets on cruise ship days exposing too much oiled skin that they would never reveal at home. Hurricanes can be a problem. Now and then, there is a lime shortage on Bonaire. At times we even hear the babble from Fox and CNN about problems on continents far away. But that’s not a big irritation. That is because someone developed the ‘off’ switch.
Which leads me to my next point, avoidance. Now many of you may disagree that this is not a healthy way to lead life, but it does have its benefits. Getting too stressed? Don’t think about the problem-drinking good rum helps with this. Got bills to pay and short on cash? Buy some time by sending payment for the phone to the electric company and vise versa. When they finally sort it all out, you will have gained over a week before the checks are cashed. Running out of time during the day? No worries. It’s always five o’clock somewhere on the island.
Ah yes, carpe mañana, seize tomorrow. By then, who knows? Maybe another Plan B will appear on the horizon. Perhaps the problematic situation that caused all the distress will have been serendipitously solved. In the very least, you will have another delightful island day probably ending with a killer sunset complete with a Green Flash. Even Mark Twain embraced the carpe mañana philosophy. As a worldkid and island wanderer he summed it up best when he said, Never put off till tomorrow what may be done the day after tomorrow just as well.