PathNorth Libre - Cuba

PathNorth friends!

What an incredible week we had in Cuba! We truly wish we could have brought all of the PathNorth family to Cuba—to hear the music, to dance salsa, and to ride alongside the coast in vintage convertibles. We met with local Cuban peoples, artists, and musicians and got to see how they have interpreted their life in such creative and expressive ways within a socialist country. Everything about this country was a surprise! This was truly a life changing experience for us all. You were missed!

Summarizing the experience fully, I refer to the poem below by a member and attendee, Robert Franklin. Similar to what he did when he attended the Orient Express, Bob expressed what he was seeing, learning, and hearing in a poem. Please read his beautiful words below. 

PathNorth Libre
By: Robert Franklin

Journeys are for memories, so we set out on Memorial Day, the longest short day, much too short to remember all the sleeping patriots, brave and good patriots of both shores.

The shortest long journey.
We are there yet.
Same time zone but set your clocks back a half century.
I landed three decades ago, the midpoint of my life so far and shook the hand of El Jefe Fidel, while the world watched every hand he played.

We begin long days with reflection, poolside philosophy and beloved community, we conclude with dancing guitars and cigars.
No one does it quite like PathNorth.
Californians build bridges, so Dave and Ginny built this bridge.

How we love to travel; even a short walk across the park takes us to a gallery of skulls on a wall and then back across that park to the voices of dancing angels. Jose Marti smiles upon us, back and forth.

We travel, transforming mojitos into go-hitos and boys compare cigar ash lengths around the world.
(So wrong yet so right.)
Passing rice on the road, bananas and mangos, dominoes and rum.
Yes, that is, that was your father's Chevrolet...still rolling.
Sassy's shutter clicking.
Maravilloso.

We dedicate this next song to Doug.
Who is Doug?
He gets that all the time.

An orchestra of young strings under moonlight.
They play as another distant angel, one called Maya, enters God's kingdom of poetry and song.
The Fuster feeds us heavenly soul food in his magical village of color.
There is plenty of paint for these buildings.
Fantastico.

Memorial Days: We remember 13 days the world stood on edge.
Secretary Dalton is now on the bridge, an officer and a gentleman surveying Cienfuegos' empty bay.
Fidel and Che never expected this.
And a wise guide remembers from another vantage point how in these very waters the gun boats rumbled and growled and then turned into the sunset.
Jorge, the king of pain.

We did not plan it, did we? ...Memorial Day, skulls on the wall, six feet of land enough, Amish grief, legacies still being written.
The rumors of our deaths are exaggerated.
The rain falls as the sun shines.
God whispers sometimes about our finitude.
We are not ready to die, we shall never die because we believe and we have more to do.

Listen carefully and you will hear us beating swords into plowshares, missiles into pencils.
Dynamite into Peace prizes.
Making legacies, minting memories, plotting paths north and far, far beyond.