After college I spent 2 years living in a small village in the Dominican Republic, right on the border with Haiti. The village, called Las Rosas (only occasionally have I found it on a map), was an amazing, gorgeous place. It was nestled in the mountains and the main dirt rode wove down into a lush river valley, fertile and green. There was no running water or electricity and I woke up every morning and fetched water, carrying it on my head back from the aqueduct (yes I did, and yes I spilled it once. The villagers laughed their heads off at me - with love, of course.). Every afternoon I bathed in a mountain stream behind my very, very rustic little shack of a house. I loved it.
I learned an amazing amount from the people who lived there, and who became my friends and family. For some reason though, I've been thinking a lot in particular about one tiny incident.
In a village with no electricity, full moon nights are bright and active. The whole village is out wandering and being social. New moon nights, however, it's pitch black and you can't see a thing. Everyone goes to bed when darkness hits as many don't have lamps. This was a new moon night, and my friend Felo and I were in my house playing cards. Felo lit a cigarette and made a move to flick the used match through a hole in my shoddy front door. He was at least ten feet away, and the hole was no more than a 3" square. "You really think you can make that shot?" Felo looked up at me, surprised. "You think I can't?" In that moment I realized that it had never occurred to Felo whether he could or couldn't - he was just going to do it. I was the one who brought the question into the room - and I felt bad that I did.
I think about that - what if we all just went about things without being consumed by the ideas and the fears that come along with "success" and "failure". It makes me think about Yoda (no, really). "Do or do not, there is no try." That's one sharp little green dude.
And for the record, Felo totally made the shot.