In One Word...
Trip Start May 31, 2008
28Trip End Dec 15, 2008
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The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other's welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you have ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
- Derek Walcott
That is not just one word, but many, to describe only a mere facet of how this trip has changed me. Yet I feel like 'change' is too big a word. I haven't changed. Moreso that I've become what I've always been. Think: caterpillar to butterfly, if you want a visual analogy. I've always been very sure of who I am but this passed year has pushed my boundaries, stretching them like rubber and reminding me that even I can surprise myself. I don't know that anyone can expect to know each shadowed corner and shining inch of themselves with an intense sort of intimacy. Even after all of this, all of these things I have learned about -me- I still can't being to presume that I know everything about myself.
Life is about learning, isn't it? Not only about life but about yourself in relation to life. You vs. Life = you can't predict the outcome to every situation, you can only have faith in yourself and trust that it will turn out as it should. And with each reaction to every action, you gain more knowledge of just who you are and what you're capable of. Sounds a bit like a fantasy novel doesn't it? But, alas, try as I might and however much I wish I could - I can't fly or create balls of fire with which to vanquish my mortal enemies. What a shame.
(Refer to my previous entry "Intertwining Insights" for more details of the last leg of the trip or just to refresh your memory if need be.)
I wrote, Dec 3rd - Barry's Bay:
I've had so much time out here. So much time to hear the wind rustling the leaves, the bumblebees flying nearby; to see the sun make it's way across the sky and finally, go to sleep, only to welcome the moon and stars. I've had time to dream, to wonder, to appreciate, to think. So much Time.
Dec 4th - Le Bon Bay (aka the FARM):
What an incredible life. To be able to live and work in such a gorgeous house, raising your children in such calm peace. This is what living a dream is: perserverence, hard word, sacrifice. And in that end, it's all worth it, every last moment of blood, sweat and tears.
I think a lot of people aren't courageous enough to be happy. They find their lives safe, they know what to expect - so why tip the scale? I can understand that. I already have a job lined up in Calgary for god's sake - because I need to feel safe too. Safe inside the inevitable security that an income provides. It's sad but true.
I'm "cheap" while I travel because this isn't some Mexican resort vacation for me. It's a journey. It's my life. So I'm careful where I spend and how I spend - usually because I don't start out with much to begin with and I have big dreams for that small amount.
I don't want to be the source of anyone's envy or (worse) jealousy. I just want to lend people the courage to be happy.
Taken from a letter to a friend:
Sometimes habit takes over (when I'm taking Time, sitting still) and I have to hush myself from rushing - shhhh, there's nothing you need to be doing right now. Just sit, enjoy the moment, LIVE. That's what I'm doing Out Here. Living. I'm not surviving, struggling, toiling...just living. And it's enough. It is completely enough. More than satisfied, I am full of life though people may say "but, you're not DOING anything!" But I am: I'm listening, watching, being amazed, awed and inspired. I'm taking it all in, appreciating every bit of it. I'm living.
People keep asking me "What NOW, Kristinnnn?" I'm working on the answer to that and I would remind you, please, to refer back to something I said in Indonesia (Fugue = Wonderment) about me being addicted to challenging myself; especially if I eventually come to an answer that doesn't exactly fit what may have been hoped for.
I'm taking my own advice, given to a friend (keeping in mind this person as well as myself are good people who would never hurt others in the name of being true to ourselves):
Be true to who *you* are first. Think about you first not you in relation to others. Not how one decision will make someone else feel but how it will make you feel because you are the only person you have to live with for the Rest of your Life. So you better learn how to make yourself happy. It's not worth it otherwise.
I'll leave you with Tennyson's repeated words as a conclusion to this leg of my own journey as they fit here too.
I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known - cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honoured of them all, - [...]
[...] I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 'Ulysses'
Thank you all for being a part of this journey, I've appreciated your presence, support, love and encouragement. It has meant a lot to me to know you were listening. Be sure to let me know if you'd like to continue to be included in any other travels I may make in the future.