Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More

Celebration In Essaouira

La Plage de Mogador, Port d'Essaouira, Morocco

March 11, 2011

This essay, Celebration In Essaouira, is the tenth in a group of sixteen about my daughter Alexandra:
  1. Alexandra
  2. Babe On The Freeway
  3. Light In The Night
  4. Alexandra II
  5. Santa Barbara
  6. True Gold
  7. Goleta Beach
  8. Getting Into Your World
  9. Fly Baby Bird!
  10. Celebration At Essaouira
  11. The Woman She Creates Herself To Be
  12. City Girl
  13. Vocal Prowess
  14. Lost And Found: A Tale Of Ownership, Loss, And Triumph
  15. Girly Girl
  16. My Baby Girl, Now A Bride
in that order.

It is also the third in the quadrilogy Morocco Series, March 2011:
  1. Marrakech With A "C"
  2. Dancing With Life
  3. Celebration In Essaouira
  4. The Boogie-Boarders Of Casablanca
in that order.

I am indebted to my daughter Alexandra Lindsey Platt who inspired this conversation.

It was a celebration enough for me when I first learned, after much coaching and practice, to pronounce its nine letter name comprising an extraordinary six  vowels and three consonants. It's "Ess ... soo ... air  ... rah", the native Berber  tribal name which means "the wall", a reference to the fortress walls which originally enclosed this coastal city, many of which still stand today. My daughter Alexandra and I are walking in Essaouira: from the old port harbor along the seashore, or la plage de Mogador  as it's known in French - Mogador Beach.

Our mood is so light, so easy going, so relaxed it's as if we're taking a vacation from being on vacation. What makes this special is what we're doing is nothing. We're just being here, just being together, just being alone  together on an almost deserted beach in North Africa. It's been quite a while since I rolled up my jeans and took off my shoes and socks for a stroll on the beach. How ironic is it that I had to travel all the way from California to Morocco to do it.

The beach sand, slightly reddish in color (given the color of the Moroccan desert sands we saw from the air flying here, it's no surprise) is a much finer grain than I've seen anywhere. It seems to pack itself flat, as if it's been tamped down or even steam rolled - also the first time I've seen this anywhere. We're tempted to swim. It's certainly warm enough. We just don't know what the traditional Arabic regard of visitors wearing swimsuits on their beaches would be. So rather than unintentionally offend anyone, we pass on the idea. This isn't a culture either of us are familiar with. But noticing many women walking around almost completely covered with robes which reach the ground, and head dresses which cover their heads leaving almost no room by design  for even their eyes to show, we aren't in any hurry to bet on the appropriateness of wearing a Speedo  and a bikini in a public place.

Alexandra is skipping along the water's edge. Yes, skipping. I'm touched, moved, and inspired by her love of Life, her freedom, and her joie de vivre. Watching her, I have no doubt  I got my job done raising her. To be sure, I also wanted her to have a college education which she's in the process of completing. But that's a relatively easy thing to acquire, compared to love of Life, freedom, and joie de vivre. Seeing her at one with the beauty of the beach, I'm deeply, deeply  satisfied with how we both turned out.

I experience a presence. It's not located in any particular place. It's not her, and neither is it me. It's not the beach. Nor is it the seagulls. Nor is it the sand or the waves. It's all of it!  Although I don't break the magic by shouting out to her, now a bit further down the beach than I am, I know  she's experiencing it too. What she's experiencing is who she really is. My Girly Girl  has grown up and is now a woman. But she's not just any  grown up, and she's not just any  woman. She's a grown up woman who knows who she really is. It (which is to say, she)  is the most beautiful, the most magnificent thing I've seen in my entire life, and it's right here on Mogador Beach in Essaouira. What she gives me when she shares her magnificence with me this way is this: she gives me my own magnificence. It's our willingness to recognize the magnificence of another which gives us our own magnificence.

Then, at this exact moment when I recognize her magnificence which gives me my own magnificence, that's when I hear Werner.

I look around the beach for a stick with which I can write in the sand what I'm hearing. But there's no stick anywhere in sight - this beach is clean. So I use what every human being has, to write in the sand with: the index finger of my right hand.

This is what I write:

Photography by Alexandra Lindsey Platt - Sand Script by Laurence Platt
Photography by Alexandra Lindsey Platt - Calligraphy by Laurence Platt
La Plage de Mogador, Port d'Essaouira, Morocco - Friday March 11, 2011

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