Given that you’re a traveler and movement all around sparks and stirs and brightens your many lives, what happens when the external action and interaction ceases? What happens when silence arrives the moment you sit still and pause from the demands of the nomadic lifestyle? Where do you take the destinations you’ve been even as your journey continues?
A traveler/blogger, most wondrously, a human being radiant with love I’ve recently met in the flesh spoke with passion about travel and its wonders and about dreams coming true and about like-minded people coming together and generally about all things beautiful. A particular and mutual contemplation led our conversation to how one arrives to the shore of clarity after traveling. That person understands the beyonds of traveling and is gifted with realizations from all the crossing and covering here and there. The aftermath contours a shape of vitality and meaning. The essence of its parts unfold when we look back on it, unconsciously we unfold ourselves and some kind of shift subtly takes place within. We are potent on our vulnerability and it is the moment that we are the most graceful in receiving. Yet the aftermath of the aftermath, being transported from the narrow mouth of the river to the vast sea, moving on to the continuous flow of living also comes with thoughts that translate to overwhelming and retracting gestures, displaced emotions, the phase of being lost and confused. They swarm and bite like unapologetic bees. And maybe it’s the phase of restlessness, of being stuffed with a discord and chaos of thoughts and feelings, or simply of not being in touch with the soul. Sometimes, darkness is as fast as the speed of light. It can’t be avoided for it permeates whenever, wherever, even under the comfort and warmth of stability.
For the most part of this phase, we ask for more. We demand answers. We want to be there yet we’re here. We crave the action we were previously prancing about and the exact senses and sentiments our travels were perpetuating. We itch for movement after movement.
But then the plurality and continuity of life is not a consistent happy state, its intensity fluctuates, its measure not achievable. Yet it is there, always, lying inside to be tapped. In between, it is also lovely and life-stretching to feel bouts of sadness that isn’t necessary miserable but ripe with wisdom that maybe waits to be noticed and harvested. We step outside our “self” and observe the traveler within the circle. We bag home priceless experiences and relationships and we’re twinkling stars when we come back. We bag home lessons from the road and turn wiser as our exposure enlargens. Yet in those precise moments of wandering, we’re not really aware of the contractions and expansions that the season brings. We’ve been everywhere literally, but in our return, the moment of stillness asserts itself and ultimately becomes the test for our growth.
In silence, essence speaks to us of essence itself and asks for a kind of unilateral disarmament, our own essential nature slowly emerging as the defended periphery atomizes and falls apart. As the busy edge dissolves we begin to join the conversation through the portal of a present unknowing, robust vulnerability, revealing in the way we listen, a different ear, a more perceptive eye, an imagination refusing to come too early to a conclusion, and belonging to a different person than the one who first entered the quiet. -David Whyte, Consolations
During brief but intimate conversations with friends, the discord was unloaded. In the emptying process, I arrived at this “prayer” for myself and for all I’ve known and yet to meet and connect in life:
I wish I could send love letters to each and every human of the planet. I wish for them to feel good about themselves so that they feel good about life. When the collective feels good, it’s so damn good to move with love and positivity, or simply to be alive. I wish we realize life is simple if we make it to be. I wish we feel pain, yet we choose happiness when we feel like it’s eating away pieces of our wholeness and we have no idea what to do or where to go. We choose lightness. We open our palms and let go. Let go. We choose water to clean us up until we’re back to basics. We choose water. In our oneness with it, we become naked and we follow our pure hearts. We choose to move into the outer with our inner intact and peaceful and awakened.
Reality met on its own terms demands absolute presence, and absolute giving away, an ability to live on equal terms with the fleeting and the eternal, the hardly touchable and the fully possible, a full bodily appearance and disappearance, a rested giving in and giving up; another identity braver, more generous and more here than the one looking hungrily for the easy, unearned answer. -David Whyte, Consolations
Also published in Brew Your Best Year by Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf