I love Santa Cruz. My city possesses stunning beauty on every beach, in it’s surrounding mountains and redwood forests. This city also, as our favorite bumper sticker “Keep Santa Cruz weird” proclaims, possesses a lot of weird. One of the reasons I appreciate this town is that it displays the reality of our collective human condition. We possess that which is stunning, at the same time we possess much that is weird. In short, we are loaded with contradictions.
Last Friday Aleta and I were outside with our youngest son Josh. We were hanging out over the cliff at the 3rd street beach near the lighthouse just to watch the power of the storms. As we pulled in I looked over to my right and saw this guy in his truck enjoying his morning in the most Santa Cruz way you can start your day – taking a long drag on his bowl. Then I looked at the side of his truck and saw the sign “Freedom Recovery Services.” Just perfect. I had to take a picture. Sadly he pulled his hand down right when I snapped the picture, otherwise you would have seen his pipe and his recovery sign in the same photo. This photo captures the essence of human contradiction. “Heck yeah! I help people find freedom from addiction through my recovery services and I take a hit at least once a day.” I see the same contradiction when meth-heads only accept organic food when we distribute food with the 2nd Harvest Food Bank, or when whole food agro-vegans stand outside of Staff Life taking long drags on their cigarettes. As easy as it would be to point fingers and laugh at others contradictions, the truth is I too have ridiculous contradictions within myself. So take a look at this picture. Have a laugh, and then ask yourself, “How am I a walking, talking contradiction?”