I honestly cannot believe its already been two months since I left Boulder and began this pilgrimage. There is still an excitement and an energy that pulls me towards new places and activities that often renews me, allows me to continue learning and exploring in different ways and looking ahead. I’ll admit that there is a terrible home-sickness that comes over me on occasion. The rhythm I worked so hard to establish in Boulder – work, friends, fitness, climbing, diet and meditation has all been set aside while I seek fulfillment from a road-less-traveled. I miss my friends, my lifestyle and the comforts of home,climbing on Saturdays in Eldorado Canyon with Sal or weekday afternoons in Boulder Canyon with Diane. Time with my sister Carrie in Denver or sitting quietly in my favorite spot next to Boulder Creek. I really miss baby Eva, and her parents too of course 🙂 .
Fulfillment isn’t quite the right word – its really about the questions. The big ones. Answers are too easy. Once you have them you don’t have to look at the questions anymore. Cultivating the ‘don’t know mind’ (saying of a Korean Zen master Sueng Sahn), is more accurate. I’m working on things such as cultivating calmness in the midst of unknown and uncomfortable circumstances (think every day when on the road in third world countries), compassion and understanding towards cultures and people that I am so completely different from. I’m looking for my passion, figuring out how to tie my abilities to my strengths to ultimately find a fulfilling vocation in this world. Certain areas I find myself failing – regular exercise or yoga, waking early and meditating, sometimes zoning out, far away from this moment. Not learning or developing my intellect is hard for me – my entire life I’ve been in school or in a career where there is an element of learning and development. There are ways to do this while abroad and traveling, I just have not taken the time to make them happen. I’ve yet to REALLY connect with a place or culture. There is a constant dance going on between interested observer, spectator and participant. I’ve yet to dance much as the participant. I’m not directed or pulled enough to volunteer or remain still in a single place. I often feel selfish and unaccountable as my existence appears so easy – eating, drinking and wandering.
I better stop there – I needed that little rant. I’m clearly judging myself a bit, seeking answers (contradicting what I said above!), and not letting go of old hang-ups around achievement, ambition and success. For the first time in my 30 years on this planet I do not have responsibility, clearly defined goals and calculated plans for the days ahead. Uncharted territory really. Its scary and its beautiful. Some would say I’m experiencing my Saturn Return as one should – putting myself out there, listening to myself through the mysterious presentation of the universe. Is there any other way?