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Fear of Floating

April 16, 2023

by Dr. David Fialk, Editor / Publisher

I was at the hot springs over Semana Santa, Escondido Place. They've done some remodeling to feature their new (?) restaurant. For me, what it means is fewer available lawn chairs. But, getting there early, we had our pick.

The water is hotter and cleaner early on. And there are fewer people. I'm not misanthropic; it's just that, after soaking for a while, I go, with my snorkel and goggles, and swim in continuous laps in the outdoor circular pool, and it's nice to do that without having to avoid a bunch of bodies. The whole, lengthy, rhythmic, largely submerged process is a lot more meditative without obstacles.

While I was still soaking inside, a couple arrived, descending the few stairs into the water. He, in the lead, got in right away. She hesitated on the last stair, holding his hand, the water already up to her waist. There, before her, the wide, blue, warm bath invited her final step down, but she wasn't so sure.

I know that people have various reasons for being afraid of the water. I know also, that, as with most things, what occurred to me about her standing there, has more to do with me than with her.

The master and disciple were walking down a forest path. A tiger strolled across the trail not far ahead. Breathlessly, the disciple whispered, "It's a tiger!" Calmly, the master replied, "It's a tiger for you."

Perched there on the last step, the woman's position was safe, safer than if she had been standing on dry land. If she fell (and kept her mouth shut) the waters would catch her in their loving embrace, like a mother protecting her child.

My friend Veronica, with whom I went that day, uses two canes to walk. But she leaves those aside when she enters the baths. The water supports her. Her step is both lighter and firmer. There is no way to fall.

"She never stumbles, She got no place to fall." - She Belongs to Me, Bob Dylan

There, already embraced by the bath I thought, "Existentially, I am just like that woman, hesitating on the last step, not because the situation is perilous, but because I am not ready for the ease, the support.""

I'm used to struggling, uncertainty and short supply. I'm not saying that things have never been fat and easy, only that poverty-consciousness was never that far away when they were. Difficulty was always lingering off in the darkness, just outside the glow of the campfire.

Here is my current metaphor in this regard:

There is no doubt that I have designed the coolest, most agile internet platform in San Miguel. Also certain is that it could replicate across Mexico and around the world. Creating it has been my passion for years. I've spent thousands of hours and tens of thousands of dollars building it.

But, just like that woman entering the hot spring bath, I've been standing on the last step, afraid (there is no other word for it) to enter the bath, to let go.

Childishly (because my emotional trauma goes back to childhood) I imagined that I needed someone, a parent-figure, an "adult," to recognize my need and help. I've been looking for some wealthy do-gooders to come along, recognize that local internet as a public utility is the answer to most of society's problems, and make my work easier by donating. And while I am still very open to that - abc(at)lokkal(dot)com - I now recognize that I've got the power.

In his movie Stardust Memories, Woody Allen encounters a super-intelligent extra-terrestrial. To his queries about the existence of God and the meaning of life, the alien replies, "These are not the right questions." It's perfect: he knows, but he's not telling. Woody follows up, "How are we supposed to make the world a better place?" The creature chides him, "You want to make the world a better place? Tell funnier jokes."

I also need to "tell funnier jokes," to get better at what I am already doing, to make Lokkal a more attractive, more representative Digital Town Square. In this, recently, I've gotten out of my own way.

Solipsism is the belief that you are alone, that your point of view is all that exists, that others do not have their own inner worlds. Now, I don't go that far, but I am aware, as with my imaginings of the woman on the last step of the bath, that I tend to evaluate the world according to my own inner dynamic. And there is a certain magic, a power, to that. Now that I am more comfortable and abundant in my personal life, more authors and photographers are arriving to provide the content that improves Lokkal. It may be that I'm not scaring them off with my sense of urgency.

People like a winner. In my solipsistic universe, Lokkal's success is dependent on my feeling successful. Having cured my struggle, uncertainty and poverty, I am better at presenting the localism that Lokkal fosters as the cure for the struggle, uncertainty and poverty gripping humanity today.

It seems like it shouldn't be so easy, but it is. Start where you are. If you want to make the world a better place, join Lokkal and post, construct community and strengthen the local economy. Come on in; the water's fine.


Dr. David presents Lokkal, the social network, the prettiest, most-efficient way to see San Miguel online. Our Wall shows it all. Join and add your point of view.


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