Suddenly it seems my iPod is setting the soundtrack for my trip. This time Ben Harper off Lifeline in a very Neil Young flavored track, “Lord, I’m a fool for a lonesome train with that lonesome whistle in the rain…I tried to say goodbye, but never got your name…I know it sounds crazy, but I’m painfully sane…Lord I’m a fool for a lonesome train…” Appropriate since listening to the previously mentioned soundtrack, the scene of Alexander Supertramp’s Alaskan realization plays in my mind. Experience is meaningless without being able to share it. Truly what inspires me to sit and write and share this with you, my friends. I know there’s at least one of you here with me. I know there are many. I remind myself.
“True happiness is having wings,” thank you Ben for that reminder as well. What a balancing act. Add it to the list for this free-spirited Libra. How to have wings and connection, how to soar and sit, how to travel and root, sound like a “How To” book that’s not yet been written. Perhaps this is the beginning… It all started at 296 kilometers an hour on a train to Madrid. Inspiration came to find luminosity under a clouded ceiling, to find a bridge between satiation and hunger, to establish again that translucent definition of what is, what was, and what will always be…
Hmmm, hell if I know. I mean, I was born knowing it all and I’ve spent the rest of my life trying to remember. Being in a foreign country, Spain for example, holds such mystery and intrigue for an English speaking homeboy from the mountains of America. Yet, the remembrance from being here: water is water, land is land, and people are people who just don’t understand each other. This is superficially evident when speaking different tongues and profoundly evident with those able to correspond (take American politics for example). The beauty of life is connecting with those you do understand, those you can look in the eye and just know, without exchanging a single word. And when the words flow; joy.
There is no doubt I enjoy, even thrive on inspiring others. I have often found it difficult to express myself when I hurt or when I’m insecure or when I am in need. Likely from a childhood full of suffering and trying to protect loved ones from worry. So please don’t take on my anxiety when I say I have held only transitory moments of happiness on this trip. It’s a strange phenomenon that the exuberance of anticipation is too often replaced with contention in the reality. But I think I understand why. And I know there are others that understand.
Why did my inspiring friend Annie, an amazing one-legged cancer survivor, up and go to Africa to help the malnourished? Why did my beautiful friend Beth, another colon-less wonder, push herself to hike the Appalachian Trail? Why are there so many magnificent stories of people striving to do the unconventional, the motivational? Perhaps, motivating others is just a byproduct of the experience. Those who truly observe themselves overcome struggle heighten their sense of self-awareness. There is power in that discovery and purpose in the plight. There is a desire to go deeper and this often means creating your own discomfort. Creating your own challenge. Creating your own rabbit hole. Creating a personal conquest. Giving a meaning to IT all.
In an earlier entry I stated that I am not traveling to find who I am, I am living it. Here’s where my latest struggle resides. I was born with an innate sense of independence and my own conquests, chosen and not, have intensified it. The thought of packing up and going to Europe by myself is a much simpler prospect that it would be for most. So I did it and with it carried (as I usually do into everything) an ideal perspective of what it would be. I know better than to expect something to be as I expect it. That’s silly. What I truly expected was to carry that sense of self that I have been infused in for months. The flow of living in the NOW, the know of knowing how. I truly feel like the growth I’ve gone through in life has bloomed into a true understanding of self and my higher purpose. I’m not finding how this trip fits into it.
That sense of looking someone in the eyes and just understanding, well I’ve got my own eyes to look into. And when I look lately I don’t get it. Or have I really been looking? Quite possibly my start to this trip rocked my confidence and I haven’t been able to look squarely since. The challenge I’ve created for myself is to exist in a world of foreign strangers, where my verbal communication skills are slight (I’ve found it pointless to ask questions in another language because the catch is understanding the answer), as the upright and confident expression of me that I AM. And I suppose, therein lies the purpose of this trip, at least a significant part of it. Survival is easy, flowing with confidence and ease, that’s next.
There’s no question in my mind that there’s a point to these travels, even if it’s just for the perspective of what I’ve got. As all growth experiences go, you don’t reach the heights without first wading in the shallows. So I keep groovin’ on, writing the words to my own song, sharing with all who want to come along. Much love too you, and me.