An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
of June 26, 2011
written at Mayan Beach Garden Inn 29km north of Mahahual
on the Yucatan Peninsula's eastern coast just north of the Belize Border
in the state of Quintana Roo, MEXICO


For over a week storms broke out all along the Nicaraguan Caribbean coast, but the system generating them never organized itself enough to be called a tropical depression, much less a tropical storm. Forecasters dismissed it as a "disorganized zone of disturbance," explaining that it'd never amount to anything because of high upper-level windshear and low humidity toward the north. Eventually the disturbed zone drifted northwestward, toward us, and last weekend it moved across our area.

All day and night showers and downpours swept in off the water, and the next day and night, too. After so many look-alike perfect tropical days, what a change was all that wind-howling, those angry-acting waves, the raw chilliness in the wind whistling around corners, whirring among radio-tower wires, beating the big yellowish-green Coconut Palm fronds against windows, the windows themselves knocking against latches, and wind-driven rainwater bubbling beneath the windows, running down walls into shiny pools on tiled floors.

Two days and nights of agitation, of wetness and darkness, but it was all like the Bougainvilleas. I mean, in the subdued light, the Bougainvilleas' flowers exploded with eye-popping crimson heaving and slinging against the self-possessed chill greenness of everything else. I mean, when wind howls and thumps and screams, the call of a lone gull at sea is more plaintive than any other sound. I mean, when the sea rages and you walk along it exactly where the waves can't reach, and a crab is there in its den gazing out over the water, just like you, there's no other little brother as close to you as that crab in his den of cozy shifting sand.

So, "disorganized zones of disturbances" have their value, and I count myself as a connoisseur of them, if not one actually addicted to them. All evolutionary impulses root in disorganized disturbances. All rainbows, poesy and moving music starts out as disorganized disturbance. In fact, I myself aspire to a permanent and glorified state of disorganized disturbance.

That, even though I know that all disorganized disturbances are almost by definition unstable, and unsustainable. For, ever so easily such a zone abandoning its Middle Path in favor of too much disturbance drifts into gratuitous destruction. Or, if it abandons its Middle Path in favor of too much disorganization, it dissipates into deadening mediocrity.

But, how beautiful to be an eyeball on the beach as a "disorganized zone of disturbance" approaches, runs right over you, and heroically departs inland. How fine to be all ears when the howling commences, reveals itself as orchestrated genius, and then departs, diminuendo. How grand to be exactly here recognizing a "disorganized zone of disturbance" when I see it, and being ready to walk to the beach laughing to greet it. Facebook Icon.