Sky Tower is a cross between the Seattle Space Needle and a Russian
rocket ship. It is 1,050 feet high. It is part of a large downtown
development with hotels and casinos. Of course for New Zealanders this
isn’t enough. You must also jump off the damned thing or walk outside
high above, along a narrow walkway, tethered of course. It does provide
great views seen only before by people in flying machines, from which
Kiwis also jump.
the tower to the wharf is a short walk. Boats of all sizes bob in the
water. Folks eat lunch at the surrounding cafes. Corporate bank offices
display large sculptures. The tower can be seen from most angles. It’s a
good reference for the sidewalk traveler. After viewing boats I went into a downtown department store, the Warehouse (think Walmart
on steroids). Some boys were playing delightful Christmas music on a
guitar and stand-up base while staring intently at sheet music. Santa
strolled around with good wishes and candy. It was 80 degrees and no air
circulation. I became sick. The
pain was so bad I thought I might die. At first that frightened me.
Then as it became more intense I felt there would be no more suffering
and that buoyed me. The ironic situation, in its dull haze, confused and
delighted me. Here in abject agony, possibly on the verge of death, I
was balancing the event with the Dharma, the Buddha’s teaching. Who said
the end of suffering was going to be easy? Breathe.I made it back to the hostel where I drank fluids and rested. I had pain in my chest and a very tight abdomen. About 10:30 at night I had a massive bowel movement. That changed things. I started to feel normal, but just.I canceled my meditation retreat. I’m resting. Merry Christmas. Ho Ho Ho
John Fabian, the author of the blog Mile Post 2.0 and AoteaoraDispatches, died 2 days later.