Before I forget, I was in the airport tonight and I passed by this room called ‘the meditation room.’ I recognized the room itself. A few years back it used to be called ‘the airport chapel.’ Wow. We’ve come a long way, for better or worse. Things are different now. I decided to head on in and see what it was all about. gone are any signs of ‘churchness.’ Instead its just this room with some chairs and a glass sculpture on the wall in front. the glass sculpture has a bunch of planes on it. I guess we’re all supposed to be praying to airplanes now. who knows. no religious symbols at all. the chapel is no longer the chapel. It’s no longer a Christian or a Jewish place of worship, but rather just a quiet room. And then over to my left I notice on the wall the air conditioning thermostat and underneath typed in a big bold 24 point font the words “EAST.” So that must be for the Muslims or the Jewish people. times have changed.
The liberal in me felt good about the changes to modernity. But the kid in me who grew up as an American Christian felt a little weird about it. America doesn’t necessarily belong to the Christians anymore. At least not on the surface. [the elaborate Reagan funeral certainly showed that in our hearts we are still deeply a Christian country.] Better of course. After all. America never did belong to the Christians. For thousands of years it belonged to the Americans, an entire race of people we pretty much wiped from the face of the great land we now call home. we Christians have only been here for a few hundred years. and now what? I guess we have to start making room for everyone. Honestly without all the religious symbols the room didn’t feel too spiritual or religious or even meditative. Just seemed like a quiet room. Maybe that’s what we’re headed for.
This reminds me of something I have been meaning to write about for the last few weeks but just haven’t had the time. on the road last month I happened to read this book called ‘Miami’ by joan dideon. A famous read.
I am so tired from moving all day today that I’m just going to fly through this and get down the ideas. I learned that Miami has always been a sort of rest haven for exiled Cubans and ousted dictators and guerrillas. For over seventy years now Miami has been the kind of boot camp for rebels looking for money resources or a rest spot on their way in or out of Cuba or any number of other Caribbean or South American countries. That’s just the way its always been. At the same time it has always been the home away from home for northeastern and Midwestern older folk. Mostly Jewish people. a retiree town.
O.k. starting in the fifties Cubans really started pouring in after Castro’s guerillas took over the country from the current, one of many, dictator of the time, batista. Some Cubans were happy with the new authority and some people were very unhappy. the unhappy ones fled to Miami.
[as a relatively serious cigar fan, I at first was very confused how there seemed to be “two” cigar branches for all the famous cigar companies. There were the Dominican companies and then there were the Cuban companies but they all had the same name. what I eventually l learned was that when Castro and crew moved in, they immediately took over all the companies in the entire country, as communists are known to do, including the cigar companies. So the families that owned the companies grabbed a few of their beloved tobacco plants, hands full of seeds, and packed some suitcases and bolted out of their home country. they soon re-started their ages-old family businesses in other countries, mostly the Dominican republic. So what we have is all these fake tobacco companies in Cuba using the names of real tobacco companies who are now relocated in other countries. So for many of the most famous names, such as hoyo de Monterey or Romeo y julieta, there are two totally separate companies going at the same time.