The last two days have been adventuresome. Yesterday we went shopping at a whole foods store called “Sprouts” for groceries for the week, and picked up a bouquet of sunflowers to offer when we visited Samina’s friends Heather and Marco. Their beloved 19-year-old kitty, Sunflower, was on her last legs, and for her final day on Earth she was holding court regally over a moving and tearful celebration of her life, as friends gathered to honor her. Deaf for the past few years, she sat enthroned on a cushion as a slide show behind her projected images from her long life. To our dogs and cats, we are the immortals, living for generations of their kind.
Marco had read about me in “Drawing Down the Moon,” and had to explain to folks who I was, and my role in founding and fostering the Pagan movement. Samina mentioned that I was on Walkabout, and planning on spending a month in Guatemala, at the LaKazonA Lodge eco-resort on Lake Atitlan. Marco had grown up in Cancun and Tulum, where Dona and I were in January. But he was very familiar with Guatemala and Lake Atitlan, and recommended them highly. He and Heather want to have me over for dinner next week, so we can talk about life, the universe, and everything.
After our visit with Sunflower, Marco and Heather, Samina took me to the Venetian, where she works four days a week as a singing gondolier. We went to the new “Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire” in the Void which was an amazing hyper-reality experience. We put on equipment similar to that for laser tag, but with a virtual reality helmet that took us into an awesome walk-through video game adventure as rebel infiltrators disguised as stormtroopers on the lava world of Mustafar…sometime between movie Episodes 3 and 4.
We explored a few of the many art galleries in the Grand Canal Shoppes, and talked with the artists of some truly fabulous works. One guy created ingenious steam-punk kinetic sculptures we could animate with cranks. Others had fantastic paintings and sculptures far beyond anything I’ve seen in museums. So inspiring! They asked me if I was an artist too, and I felt almost embarrassed to say I was, as my work isn’t anywhere in the same league as theirs.
This morning we drove up north into Mount Charleston and went hiking for a few hours at Cathedral Rock with Samina’s giant 9-month-old puppy, Jester (American bulldog and bull mastiff), followed by outdoor lunch at the Lodge. Three different people (including a Park Ranger) called me “Santa Claus,” and one guy had to take a photo of Jester.
This afternoon we went to the comfy-chair Galaxy Theater to see the new Jurassic World movie, “Fallen Kingdom.” It was quite entertaining, except that the volume was turned up so loud we had to stuff tissue in our ears.
Tonight Samina is making seared tuna salad for dinner. She’s a pescatarian, and I love seafood.