A Busy Week For Savusavu

C3482B64-09B3-4437-ADE0-89DDA7D214FAA Busy Week For Savusavu

Since my arrival, I have seen Savusavu as a small town hidden in the quiet, picturesque beauty of the bay but this week the town came alive with activity.

An Australian cruse ship arrived in port on Thursday initiating a great deal of excitement around town. The craftsmen and women lined the main street with their makeshift booths. Most of the salespeople were from surrounding villages and the town’s population immediately doubled. The arrival of a cruse ship for this town is the equivalent of the holiday shopping season for retail outlets in America. A person can bring in enough money in one day to support them self and family for a couple of months or until the next ship comes into port. The residents were extra friendly as one would hear more “Bulas” than on a normal day. The main items for sale were the local black pearls in ornate designs, hand woven items from handbags to rugs, traditional woodcarvings and of course the local foods. Many of the tourists took  buses or taxis to the local beaches and resorts in the area. There was also a large presence of police officers to assist with the traffic jams and to insure the safety of the tourists. It was a busy, hopefully profitable and definitely a fun day for all.

The next day as I checked my mailbox, I heard the sound of drums coming up the street and turned to see a parade of students walking behind their school banners. It was National Library Week in the Fiji Islands and the students who read a certain number of books were permitted to march behind their school’s banner. This is considered a high academic honor here in Savusavu. The local town’s people greeted the students with cheers and applause and the local library was extra busy with patrons.

And if these two events were not enough, the Carnival was also  in town for the weekend. It was held on a small lot across from the bay and just about everyone in town and the surrounding villages was in attendance. It was packed the entire time. There was no admission charge and the rides, of which there were three, an auto merry-go-round for the kiddies, a mad teacup ride and a ferris wheel were one  dollar each. On Saturday the carnival had traditional fire walkers going barefoot across the burning coals and a marching band. But for me the main attraction, as with any carnival, was the food. Food booths made up over two thirds of the carnival area. I even went back a second day to sample more of the delicious Indian and Fijian dishes and I only made it to about one third of the booths. If I had ever wished for a larger stomach this was the time. I did manage however to take home a few doggie bags for the coming week.

All in all it was a great time for Savusavu. The tourists had perfect weather, the tide was in and the sea was warm. The locals had a chance to earn some additional income and everyone, young and old enjoyed the carnival. It was an absolute blast. For this week at least, Savusavu was the center of the world.



Directory The Writings Of Tao Writer

A – B

A Brief Encounter

A Busy Week For Savusavu

A Cup Of Tea

A Dialogue On God Part I

A Dialogue On God Part II

A Hotel Citizen

A Little Yellow Wagon

A Magical Christmas Morning

A Matter Of Time

A Measured Perspective

A Meeting With Myself

A Pharmacy In My Front Yard

A Room Of My Own

A Serendipitous Occasion

A Soul Reader – Oliver Sacks

A Speck Of StarDust

About Last Night


Acceptance & Forgiveness

Acceptance – What The World Needs Now


Alchemy Of Love

Alive On The Edge of NowHere

An Accident

An Interview With Myself Part I

An Interview With Myself Part II

An Island Perspective

April 30, 1999

Artist Of Life


Be Still And Dance

Being And Nothingness

Being In Love

Beliefs Part I

Beliefs Part II

Breathing UnderWater

Brothers – Hermanos

C – D

Christmas Time In Fiji


Date With Solitude

Day One

Deceit’s Tangled Web


Does Life Get Better With Age?

Donald Trump Is A Tyrant — Beware!

Dream Of Dying

Dream of Execution

Dreams Of A Kiss

E – F

Enlightenment – What Is It, Really?






Faith & Hope


Feasting On My Life

Find Your Own Shtick

Flags As Symbols Of Racism And Genocide

Foibles Of Fiji

Free To Be Me


Friends In A Different Realm

G – H

Go Wild & Bloom!




Gratitude II

Growing Old



Happy New Year From Ecuador

Hate – The Word

Here We Are, Again

Here, Dreaming Of There

Hey Nigger – The Power Of A Word

Home Coming

Hope A Parable

How Did I Get Here?

How Does One Know God?

I – J

I Am Here!

I Am Here-The Poem

I Am Not Me Anymore, At Least I’m Not The Same Me I Was

I Am Selfish

I Am…

I Know You Have A Beautiful Body

I Love Therefore I Am

I Remember

I Want

I Will Write All Day


If I Should Die Before I Wake

If I Were King

If You Had Ten Minutes To Live

If You’re Not Outraged…


In The Absence Of Time

In The Midst Of Amazement

Inside The RainBow



Invisible Hands

It Doesn’t Matter Who You Love

It’s Fiji Time

January 6, 2002

K – L

Keeping Memories Alive


Know ThySelf

Land Of The Free

Language — The Tower Of Babel

Layers Of Memory

Let Us Not ForgetJanuary 6, 2002

Let’s Not Say Good Bye

Letting Go

Life, Death, And Creativity

Life Under The Influence

Life’s Greatest Gift

Life’s Greatest Loss

Life’s Greatest Transition

Life’s Last Day

Life, Death, And Creativity


Live In The Layers

Live Your Life

Living In Different Worlds

Loja Mágica — A Wanderer Going Home

Loneliness And The Solitude Of Aging

Love Simplified

M – N

Mad As Hell


Manifesto For Living



Milestones Of Age – What Is Real?

Mix With The Infinite


Morning Dance

Mother’s Day


My Best Friend, Solitude

My Dinner With Kamal

My Father’s Son

My New Perfect Roommate

Never Kiss And Tell

New Beginnings

No Escape

NoBody But MySelf


O – P

O’ To Be Human

Of Love, Remembrance

On Being A Witness

On Being Human

One Word


Please Do Not Call Me African American

Preparing For The Unexpected

Proust Questionnaire

Q – R – S

Race And Political Posturing

Rape And White Privilege In America


Reading Poetry At Three O’clock In The Morning

Remember To Remember

Resolutions – An Assessment


Resurrection – Life UnMasked

Rollo Del Tomebamba I – Tell Me What It Is…

Rollo Del Tomebamba II – Cuenca Parks

Rollo Del Tomebamba III – Destruction And Life

Rollo Del Tomebamba IV – The Raging Waters

Rollo Del Tomebamba V – Silence

Rollo Del Tomebamba VI – Think With Heart

Rollo Del Tomebamba VII – Street Art

Rollo Del Tomebamba VIII – Balance

Rollo Del Tomebamba IX – A Dialogue With Anger

Rollo Del Tomebamba X – A Transitional Man

Rollo Del Tomebamba XI – Fitting In

Rollo Del Tomebamba XII – Parque Paradiso

Rollo Del Tomebamba XIII – Detachment

Rollo Del Tomebamba XIV – I Am Happy

Rollo Del Tomebamba XV – Inspiration

Rollo Del Tomebamba XVI — Time

Rollo Del Tomebamba XVII —  Sacrifice

Rollo Del Tomebamba XVIII — A Moment Of Silence

Rollo Del Tomebamba IXX — Colony Collapse Disorder

Rollo Del Tomebamba XX — Out Of Balance – Butterflies, Monkeys And Morphs

Rollo Del Tomebamba XXI — Beauty In Death

Rollo Del Tomebamba XXII— A Life Examined

Rollo Del Tomebamba XXIII — A Dialogue With Life

Rollo Del Tomebamba XXIV — “What If…?”


Room With A View



Say It

Seduced By Moonlight


Shooting Star


Some Wounds Never Heal

Song Of The Cricket

Stand Undiminished – The Essay

Stand Undiminished – The Poem



Sudden Insight

Sunday Morning


T – U

Take Me Death

Thanks Giving

The Artist Of Being

The Crushing Weight Of Good Bye

The First Time We Touched

 The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration  — Socrates Black

 The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Chapter One  — Anaïs Nin

 The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Chapter Two  — Rainer Maria Rilke

 The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Chapter Three  — Emily Dickinson

 The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Chapter Four  — Alan Watts

 The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Chapter Five  — Simone Weil

 The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Chapter Six  — Simone de Beauvoir

 The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Chapter Seven  — Stanley Kunitz

 The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Chapter Eight  — James Baldwin

 The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Chapter Nine  — Henry Miller

 The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Chapter Ten  — May Sarton

 The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Chapter Eleven  — Ursula K Le Guin

 The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Chapter Twelve  — William James

 The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Chapter Thirteen  — Virginia Woolf

 The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Chapter Fourteen  — William Blake

 The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Chapter Fifteen  — Steve Jobs

 The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Chapter Sixteen  — Mary Oliver

 The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Book II Chapter One  — Oliver Sacks

 The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Book II Chapter Two  — Gaston Bachelard

 The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Book II Chapter Three  — Susan Sontag

 The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Book II Chapter Four  — Martin L King

The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Book II Chapter Five — Seneca

The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Book II Chapter Six — Albert Einstein

The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Book II Chapter Seven — Iris Murdoch

The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Book II Chapter Eight — Bertrand Russell

The Golden Age

The Grace Of Small Gestures

The Growing Racial Divide In America

The Hour Of Man

The Knock At The Door

The Last Time We Touched

The Path Of Uncertainty

The Ritual

The Road To Ecuador

The Routine Of No Routine

The Sum Of My Life

The Uninvited Guest

The View From My Window

The Wild Mushroom Omelette

The Written Word

There Are No Niggers Here!

They Just Don’t Understand Me


This Hollow Emptiness In My Soul

This I Believe I Know

This Love That I’m Feeling

This Time Alone

Three O’Clock In The Morning

Time As A Point Of Reference

To Dream

Unplug The Machine

Until Now

V – W


Want Ad

What Goes Up…

What Love Is…

What Matters

What Shall I Do Now?

What’s In A Name?

When Memories Are All That Remain

When Paradise Is No Longer Affordable

When You Get To The Mountain Top…

Where Do Poems Come From?

Who Am I?

Why Ecuador?

Why I Write

Why Is Life Worth Living


X – Y – Z

You Are The Fool!


The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Chapter Sixteen — Mary Oliver

C800F41C-FEEC-4BDD-BB52-00B80B69269FChapter Sixteen — Mary Oliver

“Good morning Ms Oliver. May I address you as Mary?”

“Yes. Please do, Mr…?”

“My name is Socrates Black, but please call me Socrates. Welcome to the Inn Of Inspiration. I am the Gate Keeper and the one who invited you here. I know you have many questions and I will do my best to answer all of them in time.”

“I thought I was cured of the cancer. The last thing I remember was lying in my bed. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. My lungs burned. When I opened my eyes again I was here in this beautiful place of nature. Is this heaven Socrates?”

“No Mary. There is no heaven or hell in actuality. They exist only metaphorically. The energy that is you, your life, to use the term loosely, is still alive in this place of transition.”

“For years and years I struggled just to love my life. And then the butterfly rose, weightless, in the wind. ‘Don’t love your life too much,’ it said, and vanished into the world. Am I now a part of that world? Did I love my life too much?”

“Yes Mary. You have always been and always will be a part of that and this world. They are different and the same as are you. As far as your second question, the answer is no. You inspire in others the ability to love their lives and themselves more. In the end we all must learn to let go.”

“In the beginning I was so young and such a stranger to myself I hardly existed. I had to go out into the world and see it and hear it and react to it, before I knew at all who I was, what I was, what I wanted to be.”

“You not only whet out into the world. You created worlds. You saw the world with poetic eyes and then translated that vision into words to assist others to see the world differently, with different eyes.”

“I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass, how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields, which is what I have been doing all day. Tell me, what else should I have done.”

“There is nothing else my dear poetess. So many people miss so much because they do not pay attention. They are too busy being busy with their lives to notice the fragile leaf or pattern of the butterfly’s wing”

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work, is it not Socrates?”

“Yes it is Mary.”

“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms. When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real. I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument. I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”

“You partake in this world much more than most human inhabitants Mary. You commune with the life of this world be that life a bear, a butterfly, a duck, or a grasshopper. You reach out to them with your life’s spirit, they receive you and give back to you themselves.”

“The end of life has its own nature, also worth our attention. I don’t say this without reckoning in the sorrow, the worry, the many diminishments. But surely it is then that a person’s character shines or glooms.”

“Unfortunately for most people it takes that long before they come into their own being. They glide along life’s surfaces never choosing to go deeper into the world of which we all are an integral part. I remember the last stanza from your poem The Journey which I read during my time at Esalen and which became a personal guide in my own life. ‘And there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own, that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do —  determined to save the only life you could save.’”

“You read my poetry Socrates?”

“Yes, Mary. Your words are a gift to the world. I am honored to say I have read most of your body of work and I look forward to reading the poetry you create and inspire here. In fact, I would like you to give a reading for the guests some evening. Stanley Kunitz, May Sarton, Emily Dickinson and many more have been awaiting your arrival. They know I extended you an invitation.”

“Are you a poet Socrates?”

“Yes Mary I am. At least I think of myself as more of a poet than an essayist. I do both. I think the poet requires a gentle spirit which we both share. The poet writes not to influence the reader, although that is often the end result, but simple to share a part of his/her vision and experience of the world.”

“I feel the same Socrates, but If you are too much like myself, what shall I learn of you, or you of me? Perhaps in either case you will share your words with me someday?”

“It will be my pleasure to share my poetry with you Mary. There is still much we can learn from one another no matter how similar our natures are. I find, and perhaps you do also, that the creative process for the poet or any creative person requires an amount of solitude that the non creative person does not understand. I want to assure you my dear lady, your time here is truly your own. You will be able to create without outside interruption.”

“Thank you Socrates for inviting me here. In my life so often I am at my desk. It is a silver morning like any other. Then the phone rings, or someone raps at the door. I am deep in the machinery of my wits. Reluctantly I rise, I answer the phone or I open the door. And the thought which I had in hand, or almost in hand, is gone. Creative work needs solitude. It needs concentration, without interruptions. It needs the whole sky to fly in, and no eye watching until it comes to that certainty which it aspires to, but does not necessarily have at once. Privacy, then. A place apart — to pace, to chew pencils, to scribble and erase and scribble again is so important to the creative individual. There is no other way work of artistic worth can be done. And the occasional success, to the striver, is worth everything. The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”

“You will find no such individuals here Mary. The air here is rich with the energies of inspiration and creativity.”

“I believe I know myself rather well Socrates and my loyalty is to the inner vision, whenever and howsoever it may arrive. If I have a meeting with you at three o’clock, rejoice if I am late. Rejoice even more if I do not arrive at all.”

“You will find Mary all of the guests here share your view. It is one of the reasons we do not have time in this pastoral place.”

Mary continues her thought. “But just as often, if not more often, the interruption comes not from another but from the self itself, or some other self within the self, that whistles and pounds upon the door panels and tosses itself, splashing, into the pond of meditation. And what does it have to say? That you must phone the dentist, that you are out of mustard, that your uncle Stanley’s birthday is two weeks hence. You react, of course. Then you return to your work, only to find that the imps of idea have fled back into the mist.”

“Here at the Inn Mary, all of your external needs are taken care of with just your thoughts. Your imagination replaces, if you wish, the habits of your physical existence. At one time during my life I had an encounter with a patron at the library where I worked. After I assisted her with her book selection, she started looking in her handbag for her car keys. O’ here they are,” she exclaimed. “Just where I always put them. When you reach my age a good habit is better than a fading memory.” For her it was absolutely true. Your transition will take some time, but I believe you will eventually find yourself free of most unnecessary habits.”

“The different and the novel are sweet, but regularity and repetition I find are also teachers… And if you have no ceremony, no habits, which may be opulent or may be simple but are exact and rigorous and familiar, how can you reach toward the actuality of faith, or even a moral life, except vaguely? The patterns of our lives reveal us. Our habits measure us. Our battles with our habits speak of dreams yet to become real. In the shapeliness of a life, habit plays its sovereign role… Most people take action by habit in small things more often than in important things, for it’s the simple matters that get done readily, while the more somber and interesting, taking more effort and being more complex, often must wait for another day. Thus, we could improve ourselves quite well by habit, by its judicious assistance, but it’s more likely that habits rule us.”

“I completely agree with what your say Mary. Our habits are also teachers. Perhaps the issue here is one of semantics. Here at the Inn you are free of the habits which ruled your physical life. I like the word ceremony or ritual over habit because a ceremony requires attention, while most habits are automatic. At the Inn, the automatic is taken care of for you. You are freer to engage more in the ceremonies supportive of your own creative energies. You asked about my own poetry. Perhaps this simple poem will explain what I mean. ‘The Ritual’ is the title.

It seems
the way I step
across the bench,
face the sky,
squat down,
adjust my hips,
straighten my back,
and breathe deeply.
All to just sit—
and listen
to the sea.

“Yes Socrates. I understand. You are a poet. It has frequently been remarked, about my own writings, that I emphasize the notion of attention. This began simply enough: to see that the way the flicker flies is greatly different from the way the swallow plays in the golden air of summer. It was my pleasure to notice such things… Attention without feeling, I began to learn, is only a report. An openness – an empathy – is necessary if the attention is to matter. In creative work — creative work of all kinds — those who are the world’s working artists are not trying to help the world go around, but forward. Which is something altogether different from the ordinary. Such work does not refute the ordinary. It is, simply, something else. Its labor requires a different outlook — a different set of priorities. Ritual is a part of the creative process whereas habits may sometime be a distraction from the creative process. Thank you my new friend.”

“It is my pleasure always Mary, but please tell me now, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life now?”

“O’ Socrates. Only the philosopher poet would ask me that question using my own words. I am still eager to address the world of words – to address the world with words. There is instilled in me this deeper level of looking and working, of seeing through the heavenly visibles to the heavenly invisibles.”

“Again. Welcome my poetess. Shall we join the others?”

“Yes, by all means let us do so.”

7A2F0935-3F80-4CE9-AC1E-D9B998A32827Book Two of The Gate Keeper Of Inspiration: Chapter One — Oliver Sacks will be available March 03, 2019.