journey… a blog

Tue. June 11, 2024 – shifting
Every time I get ready to travel, it feels like it is a shift, like I’m changing, or going to be changing. Like moving to the next something, without necessarily knowing exactly what that next something is. In spite of all that could be gained, sometimes it feels scary, as in uprooting and losing what I had built over the past… months or weeks or even days, losing connections and bonds I was experiencing, and going to the unknown. Unknowns are not fun for all.
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay
Sun. May 12, 2024 – languages
We have so many languages, and so many scripts, it is hard to believe. We take pride in them. We make them up and change them along the way, and invent new words. With scripts, scripts evolve from older ones; others we make up intentionally to serve a need. It is just as amazing to wonder how long it must’ve taken to evolve each language into what it is today. Not a few years or decades or centuries… thousands of years.

I’ve come across a bunch of languages. Many share words, and scripts, but still have characteristics specific to them. Some have a ‘good morning’, others don’t, many have a ‘let’s go’, and most have different ways of expressing a salutation, a ‘hello’.
Image by Sabine Kroschel from Pixabay
Wed. May 1, 2024 – travels
Travels can liberate. They encourage us to adjust, and re-adjust. They make us dislike our surroundings, then question our reactions, and re-orient, and appreciate.

Traveling can be liberating from comforts and long-lived misconceptions. From how and what to eat, to how to go the bathroom; from how to get around, to what is important.

An apparent downside… long-term traveling weakens relationships :(.
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay
Sat. Apr. 27, 2024 – mountains
Something about mountains!
During a couple of weeks between and around mountains, I recalled how special they are. They draw awe, and peace; inspire to be ‘higher’ (no pun), and content.

I remember a spiritual leader saying, you don’t have to be on a mountain, alone, to be spiritual or to meditate. Maybe true, but I still think it’s different on a mountain.

That was last week. Now I am in a different region, steppes, flat and long and can see for miles, short grass and little yellow flowers. Winds howl. It’s cold, starts around 30 and gets to 55 or so degrees (-1 and 13).
Image by Alicia from Pixabay
Fri. Apr. 12, 2024 – focus/goal
Still at it :).

Over the past few months I’ve been visiting people, making new friends, and touring cities, ruins, and sites I have not been to before. These meetings, journeys and excursions have been illuminating and challenging, helpful and fun.

After a couple more trips, a couple more months, I’d like to decide on a goal and a focus. If traveling, I’d like to travel or visit a spot as part of a step toward that goal. It would have to be a strong goal, something with which I have a strong connection, and in which I have conviction. Otherwise, I worry that I would quickly lose interest, and then roam again.
Image by sunil kargwal from Pixabay
Sun. April 7, 2024 – running away
I’ve been staying at a site that I’m not liking all that much, so have wanted to leave; but, I also feel that my reasoning is not sound, that I would be choosing to escape rather than allowing myself to adjust and learn. In fact, the place is good, and the people around are kind and helpful. My reasons for the dislike are related to wanting respect, wanting to feel like ‘somebody.’ Too egotistical. So I am going to stick it out, on the basis that I ended up here for good reasons and should allow the circumstances live their course.

This respect thing, in my case, might be an issue related to self-worth. I should be utterly happy with myself, and trusting, such that I would not look for or need respect from others.
Image by Dmitry Abramov from Pixabay
Tue. April 2, 2024 – meditation
Did a 10-day mediation course, silent meditation. No phones or texting, no writing, not even eye contact. This was following recommendations at different times from a couple of friends. It was good, but also hard, physically and mentally. The silence was good… a good change of pace; but the sitting part, in lotus pose, for prolonged periods, was a challenge. Besides that, it was a great practice to take in sensations, and thoughts, as they are, and not to react to them. Awareness, and Equanimity.
Wed. March 13, 2024 – trust
I’ve rarely trusted. I think trusting others is relatively easy in comparison to trusting… the ‘universe.’ I’ve found it hard, probably because of how things, big and small, go wrong.

But, when I’ve managed to just consider it, like dipping a toe in a pool, it was a tremendous relief, with evasive lightness and happiness in sight.

Trusting that it is right, that ‘I am’ in good hands, eludes many of us, certainly me. But, I think it’s important to work on it. Happiness is within reach, if only we trust that all is right and good. This alone leads to a lot less worrying.

Doesn’t mean we don’t do the work, or jumping off something thinking actual wings will grow immediately.

So what does it mean, exactly? Admittedly that is hard to articulate, but how about simply, I, you… are on the right track?!
Tue. February 6, 2024 – kids
Spent about a month and a half primarily with kids, teaching them, and also learning from them. Patience for sure was one characteristic. Some were extremely active in classes; some naturally had their own ideas of what they wanted to do. Most loved writing on the board, and erasing, regardless of what I planned for the class.

One commonality: their smiles. Absolutely incredible.
Fri. November 10, 2023 – freedom(?)
Not just traveling, but living almost nomadic days, hopping from one spot to another, staying put for only a few weeks. Not quite nomadic, not living in tents… but also not attached to a house, or to one specific job. It feels like detaching from those chains. It feels good. Is it freedom?

Coming across friends who are in their later years. They know loads, and still do loads. They are more capable than many with fewer years; yet, watching them, and their uncertainties, often on their own, allows fears of age to surface. Old age, and solitude, seem scary. These friends started free, and are still free, with few attachments.

Freedom is scary.

Tue. October 31, 2023 – climbing trees
Some weeks ago I decided to visit an olive farm in Italy, and to help with olive harvesting. But collecting olives manually is part stripping from branches while standing on the ground, and part stripping while on the tree…. meaning climbing trees was likely. My first thought was I don’t climb trees, likely will not and would find some other way. But when it came to it, I climbed, and climbed, as high as I could go. I watched a clear sky from the top; came across a couple of bird nests; watched branches move with a breeze. One time in particular I was so surprised when reaching the top and looking at loads of deep purple olives waiting to be collected and be part of the harvest, it was like finding a treasure while on a hike.
Sun. October 16, 2023 – pesto
Learned it. It’s incredibly simple, and also fun to make. Basil, some nut (usually pine nuts… but this part is strange because pine nuts don’t grow in Italy), and olive oil.
Delicious!
Sun. October 16, 2023 – a feeling
Every now and then a strange feeling comes over a person, of unease. Recently felt that, then came across a person who challenged me in some ways… felt annoyed, or offended at something they said. I think that unease is something of a heads-up, not necessarily to avoid, not necessarily about belonging or not, but maybe more about preparing to be more patient, or to listen more.
Thu. October 12, 2023 – belonging
I spent sometime with a new friend, helping with their new home. It was for about one week. During that week, I totally felt I belonged there, and wanted to be there; but, it was temporary. One week. Short-lived. Leaving was a little tough, in part I think because leaving meant severing the tie, and then starting with a new one.

I like Italy. I like its language, food, mountains, trains, olives, farms, tumultuous history (I suppose this part fits anywhere)… In some ways, I feel I belong there, because… I like it. And, again, being near olive trees. This is indescribable. But the language is new and would take sometime to pick up. Same with how things are done… administrative, banking, paperwork, politics, negotiating prices.

There is one idea that stands out, though. Feeling at ease. It’s simple, and it’s one difference between one place and another. I have felt that. Just have to make the effort, and hold on to it.
Sun. October 7, 2023 – olive plant
Working with trees is beautiful. Been clearing around olive trees that were neglected for years. Branches, vines, thorns… then, it’s just the olive tree. The wood is incredibly strong, apparently because the tree grows slowly, patiently. That’s something… a lesson.
Sun. October 1, 2023 – life, a voice, and a choice
Wondering about Abraham, yep, that Abraham. The story goes along the lines of being told to leave his life, his family, and adopt a different approach to life. To cross a river, likely both literally and metaphorically.

Imagine him hearing that voice as an inner voice.
“Go, Abram,” his name before it’s changed, “go, and believe in the One.”

What would you think if he heard something like that? What would you say, to yourself…?

“That’s crazy! Why would I go? What would I leave my beautiful land and family?”

There is a response. “There is milk and honey on the other side.”

“There is nothing but desert on the other side. It’s a death trap.”

“It’s a different kind of milk and honey, it’s a promise for a better and sweeter life…”

And off he goes. On a journey. Maybe taking it a day at a time, like we often suggest to ourselves.

The reality is that it’s so hard to know when our inner voices, our intuition, is leading us in the right direction, or astray.