I am winging my way toward Bali with a brief layover in Singapore and am having one of those days of crystal clarity that I wish came more often, but am unspeakably grateful for when they do come. I cannot remember a time ever in my life when I was more content, more full of joy. When I am in this mode everything affects me so deeply. I am overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions and when they come at me like this – fast and furious – I just have to get them out. The only thing I know to do is to write because it is my peace, my devotion, my solace, my great desire. So, here are some random thoughts. There is no common thread running through them. They are just rumbling through my brain.
Having eaten nothing but a simple fare of rice and vegetables for the past two weeks I splurged in the airport gift shop and bought a tin of sesame encrusted cashews. I offered some to the fellow sitting across from me and he took one, then declined more, so I voraciously devoured the rest of the tin. The next time he looked up from his studies I was licking my fingers. “Did you eat that whole thing?” he asked, incredulously. “Yep,” I replied. He laughed. You snooze, you lose.
I was nearly brought to tears by the beauty of the hair clip that held back the long black mane of the Vietnamese woman in front of me as we boarded the plane. I kid you not.
For the last two weeks I have been eating everything with chopsticks with absolutely no problem, so can someone please explain to me why I kept spilling my food all over my lap on the plane when I was using a fork???
I realize that something is beginning to shift inside of me. I am taking each day as it comes and staying in the moment. I am not dwelling on the how or why; only on the what. The how and why will work itself out.
I know that many of my old friends, new and old alike, are reading this blog on a daily basis because they have left comments. I am gratified that people who know me are following my adventures but I am really surprised about the number of people I do not know who have written to say how much they are enjoying it. Ellie has sent it to her friend Karen. Jamie has sent it to her mother. I now have almost 500 readers on a monthly basis.
Of course my biggest fan is my father. He reads each of my posts three or four times and has actually saved all my photos and posts to disc. Dad really didn’t want me to go on this trip. He worried about it for months and cautioned against it. Eventually he realized I was going no matter what, so he just accepted it. Since then, he’s really gotten into the whole round-the world trip idea. He purchased a huge world map and hung it on the wall of his utility room. He plans to have the grandkids draw on it with magic marker – a sort of connect-the-dots map of my route. And he’s staying about 2 days ahead of my itinerary, doing research on my destinations and emailing me with information along the way. It’s sort of like having my own personal travel agent. It’s hard to put into words how much this means to me. You see, we three girls never had much of a relationship with my Dad when we were growing up. He was busy working two and three jobs just to make ends meet. Even after we all grew up and moved out, Mom was the one we talked to. If we called on the phone and Dad answered, he’d say hi and immediately hand the phone off to Mom. Well, Mom died a few years back but the three of us continued to call home. Dad put us on notice that he wasn’t much of a talker and we shouldn’t expect to have long phone conversations with him. That’s pretty funny, when I think about it, because I call my Dad all the time now and rarely is our conversation less than an hour long. We seem to have so much to say to one another these days. While I miss my Mom dreadfully – hardly a day goes by that I don’t think about her. I also realize that if Mom hadn’t passed I wouldn’t have this wonderful relationship with my Father. And I know, this very instant, that Mom is smiling down on me. She would have really liked the way this turned out.
I am reading the book “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s a true story about a young woman who goes through a divorce followed by a second failed relationship with a man she describes as her soul mate. She decides to spend a year traveling in search of self – four months in Italy (eating), four months at an Ashram in India (praying) and four months in Bali (loving). She could be writing my story; there are so many parallels between us. Her narrative touches me deeply every few pages, especially when she is lamenting the loss of her soul mate and a fellow resident at the Ashram has the following to say about soul mates:
“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it.”
I have been blessed to know my soul mate in this lifetime. The first time we met I recognized him at some deep level, as if I had known him for many lifetimes. And yes, I did confuse it for love in the beginning. But I came to understand that he was my mirror. He held it up in front of me and showed me what I needed to work on. I will always love him for this and am eternally grateful that he has been a part of my life.
I started this post by saying it was going to contain a lot of random thoughts, but in reading it over it’s clear that there is a common thread of gratitude running through it. So I’ll just close by saying thank you to the Universe, to my loving family, and to my many wonderful friends for everything I have been given.