I've settled in
the Napa Valley
in California. Interestingly enough,
was never on my radar to begin with. I just ... kinda ... sorta ...
wound up here. Prior to this, I'd looked for the ideal
place to live. I've lived in
the Fiji islands.
I've lived in the Balearic islands. I've lived in the Greek islands.
I've lived in
and on the beaches of
I've lived in the Austrian Alps. And I could list more ... but that
selection is good enough to make my point: all those places started off
as seemingly ideal in my estimation ... until they weren't ideal
anymore - and I left, looking for pastures new, searching for the ideal
place (it had to be somewhere else).
Life is three feet long. That part of the equation is easy. The trouble
is that being
and satisfied with life, is only two feet, eleven and
three quarters of an inch long. That part of the equation is not so
easy. There's a big gap, a satisfaction gap (if you will),
a maddening gap at that, a gap of a quarter of an inch between life,
and being satisfied with life. That gap persists - no matter what, no
matter where. There's never enough of whatever life has to offer, to
ensure total satisfaction. No wealth, no romance, no rewards, no
Bora Bora that just with its presence alone, is enough to
guarantee satisfaction ongoingly, unflaggingly, forever.
We look for satisfaction everywhere. We arrange, re-arrange, and
and the people in our lives, in our
craving for satisfaction. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't
work. But even when it works, it's only temporary. Dis-satisfaction
follows hard on the heels of satisfaction. It always waits, coming
soon, coming next. No matter what we try, the satisfaction that life
offers is temporary at best. It starts. It ends. And we, not accepting
that blindingly obvious fact, keep looking hopefully
for the ideal place somewhere else (with all this
there must be a pony - as James Kirkwood may have said -
is a favorite refrain).
but there ... is ... no ... such
... place. There's no place that's ideal. And if there's a place
that seems ideal, it's short term. It's never ideal in the long term.
There's always some inconvenience, always some drawback, some
pitfall in each and every place. Even the most mesmerizing
come with their own load of trials and tribulations (there's nothing
a hurricane or a
your ideal day basking in the sun on fine white sandy lagoon beaches).
We find that out, especially if we stay long enough. Reality dictates
there's always something that eventually gets in
of any particular place being the ideal place.
It's clear even the quaintest towns are plagued with it. The most
idyllic beaches have it in spades. It's perniciously present
everywhere. And what I'd like to distinguish in this
conversation, is what all our (projected) ideal places have in common:
they simply are what they are ie whatever they are
(intrinsically, no place is ideal in and of itself). Listen: what they
also have in common, is whatever experience we have with them when
we're there ie whatever experience we bring with us to them
there (there's nothing ideal that's somehow embedded permanently in
their geography that can't be found anywhere else, which we can only
partake of when we're there).
This next distinction is critical: what they also have in common with
regard to what we bring or could bring with us to them there (or what
we don't bring with us to them there) is that final
quarter inch on the satisfaction scale. Without that final quarter inch
on the satisfaction scale, all places are imperfect, all
places soon prove to be dis-satisfying, no place is ideal (it's
And with that final quarter inch, all places are perfect,
all places are satisfying, and all places are ideal like a
Look: the final quarter inch is transformation. So
to find the ideal place, is to bring transformation with you to it ie
to find the ideal place, is to be it.