We write about the Journey. We see everything as a Journey. We are told in popular culture that it is not the arrival to our destination, but the Journey to that destination itself.
Certainly it makes sense that the Journey is the analogy of life then death, esp. for us confirmed Atheists.
E.B. said some time ago in the past :
“If you don’t know where you are going, it doesn’t matter what road you are on…’
The journey is forefront in our themes of what we write. It is hidden in our dreams and sometimes may not even be visible until long after we have passed the signposts.
The journey, the metaphorical journey, is used in literature old and new and in new of describing the old. Recently while describing the possible start and end of the Journey, the main character Trent muses about two Journeys: His own and the young Buddha.
“ When Trent was old enough, maybe old enough to think he could think, he was plagued and troubled by imagined thoughts that when he was born, when he began his life, the World and all Reality began; and when he died, all Reality would cease to exist. Later, his belief system evolved, and Reality evolved into an enlarged bubble that followed Trent wherever he went.
He kept this “Bubble of Trent” going until he heard the young Buddha had cleaners that would clear a path of all ugliness that the young Buddha might encounter on his path. Beggars, decomposing animals, limp plants, and even browning leaves were hastily removed to keep Buddha’s world just right! And happy was kept and all things unpleasant were removed from his sight along his way.
No wonder, Trent mused, that Buddha perceived the world to be so perfect, so cool. As long as Trent only could envision a world of Perfection, then only a World of Perfection would exist. It would be like if he and Buddha lived out their entire existence at Disneyland.
Only Disneyland would exist!”
(from the 1% Solution: a Mystics Tale)
Our journey is as small as completing a meal or as grandiose as completing a million generations of a species. A journey knows no boundaries, but like life, it has a beginning and it has an end. Like the walls defining our home, imaginery lines defining our city and county and state and country.
We rarely perceive when it began, and it is even rarer (Is that even a word?) that we are aware when it has ended.
Some maybe reminded by others to
“Stop and smell the roses”,
“Find your way to the little out of the way places”,
“The roughest path leads us to the greatest reward”
and from Lao Tzu utterances of
“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”
And even President-to-be Donald Trump immortal words
“Do you mind if I sit back a little? Because your breath is very bad. “
We all have our AAA journey maps, and we all try to stay the course even if we don’t know what the course is or if we are even on one.
Recently a friend successfully completed a stroll from the border of Mexico and California, along the mountains and valleys, up to where the trail ends when Washington meets Canada. I am not even sure she knew she was on a journey. Through-Hikers tend to live in the moment as a means of survival and don’t perceive the journey until they collapse exhausted at the terminus of the trail’s end.
She now has taken the personal challenge of hiking again, this time the Appalachian trail, over Smokey Mountains, through ancient passages and drowning in torrential rains while being chased by bears.
She stopped long enough to chat along the trail and recounted this in her blog:
“So today I was already to pack up and hit the trail. But my new English friend Allister told me I needed chill and enjoy the experience more. He really does and convinced me I should. (Besides i was not to excited about hiking in the rain, again.) So I stayed another day in Hot Springs much to my enjoyment. I spent the afternoon and the evening getting to know my fellow hikers. Sometimes i get so focused on the miles I forget to socialize, sad but true.
The thing about thru-hiking is you get to meet people that you typically wouldn’t. People from other states, all around the world, from different walks of life. We are all on the same trail but all on different journeys, just as in life. (Basically, we’re all crazy enough to think we should walk to Maine) Once connections are made it’s hard to part ways when you know you may never see each other again.
What I’ve come to learn is that each person that enters our lives brings something special, embrace it, no matter how big or how small. From this point on many people will be leaving the trail for many reasons, speeding up, slowin down.
My wish is for everyone in our hodgepodge group is for everyone to get as far as they need to or want to.”
…from finding my path through the vines |Trail connections | wandering chardonnay
Although I know it not to be true, she writes of the journey, of pausing along the path, of embracing the moment as if she has just discovered the journey. She is perceptive enough of her world and all that surrounds her SELF to realize, she is in the midst of a journey, at the beginning of a journey, the completion of a journey as well as in a infinite amount of signposts along the journeys route.
Ironically, I will add when I met her, she was at a dusty intersection, directing traffic, turning around those that were lost and sending those on that seemed to be on the right path.
Another close friend sent a message to me and although it doesn’t spell out or address the metaphorical journey…it is obvious that like all of us, he is on one. It is his unique journey. He may reject it. He may not accept the existence of the journey, but this perception of his world came from somewhere. It originated from some collaboration of experiences.
He may be moving forward. He may have paused for just a moment. I treasure his love of music, his passion to surround himself with those who are moved to dance, his humour and his friendship. But we are different in many ways.
I think he sat up, looked around like a thousand prairie dogs and screamed aloud what was happening to his world.
But he lives in a different place.
This post has angry adult language. Read it at your peril of offense. He is responding to recent American political events and how we have been overrun by our media and technology.
“All I can say ’bout the JFK thing is that if the Miami Herald had put out such a story about Trump’s father, the sad truth is that Cruz would have undoubtedly wasted no time whatsoever using it against Trump. Nothing at all surprises me anymore.
From my eye it’s all such an unfortunate repercussion of this ‘information’ age we live in, all the total crap that people conveniently believe to be ‘news’ cloggin’ up the blogosphere, along with all the stupid fuckin’ tweets and twats and instagrams and selfies and twats . . . technology’s backfired on us and made us a stupid society full of hardened assholes who really don’t know shit and no longer know how what it means to play by what we used to call the ‘rules’ . . .
I’d have to wholeheartedly agree, the ‘new normal’ sucks donkey dick, and with all that, I’m happy to just be a stupid little luddite, hangin’ out in the dark corner, tryin’ my best to just hold back my puke.
I’m just sayin’ . . . .”
I love both of these travellers. They are both important and have been alongside me for much of my personal journey. I respect each one for different reasons.
And yet they may end in very different places. They may have travelled different paths and seen much different worlds. Who is to say which will reach their journey’s end with a broad smile or which will slide over their final finish line, worn, beaten, bloodied and weak before they collapse, every cell of their life-stuff exhausted and spent.
In their own way, they both SEEM relevant.
But then who am I to judge? Who are you, the reader to judge? Does our judgment even matter in the scheme of things?
I doubt it
I could write volumes about the journey, but then the journey is each moment, each passage of time, the stringing together of events, everything that occurs from the moment we see the light from between our mother’s legs to the last flash of light and color at the moment of our life’s conclusion.
And greater yet, the journey, the first Lao Tzu step began when time shook itself into action, acknowledged its own existence and may end when the final light is extinguished.
And maybe we learn not to judge, but acknowledge the path.