As announced in the ‘About’ section, I’m about to go on a journey. I’m leaving Germany in a week to travel, volunteer and visit family in California, Oregon and New York City.
I’ve traveled quite a bit and lived abroad before, and after the mandatory excitement, anticipation, last-minute hustle and also melancholy at the thought of leaving friends and places dear to me – suddenly today a feeling of near-comfort and contentment set in. I know this about-to-go-on-a-journey state of being so well, it actually feels more like I’m re-entering a space that is familiar to me than leaving for the unfamiliar.
These past weeks, I had several random encounters and conversations with strangers and superficial acquaintances – they came to me in defiance of own social withdrawal. I have to admit that I usually try to avoid getting on the same train home with colleagues whom I don’t know well because I dread the tedium of forced small talk. But lately it was as if people were coming after me to refute my prejudices about them! And what do you know: They all had inspiring stories to tell about their own journeys and each one of them admired and encouraged my plans to leave me job in search of something “better”…
Fate giving me some support at last? The unconscious mind opening up to the world now that it’s “safer” because I’m about to leave? My conscious perception of self and world might refuse to agree to either of those propositions. Experience might tell me otherwise.
Be that as it may, my past travels have always led me to a happier and richer (inner and outer) place. I can’t wait to go out and broaden my horizon, and I wish that I’ll be able to transform that outer space into a spaciousness within which will be with me, be me, always, no matter what the circumstances.
I was recently introduced to the marvelous poetry and philosophy of David Whyte and the following poem could not be more appropriate to the beginning of my journey*:
Everything is Waiting for You
Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.
Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.
— David Whyte
*See David Whyte recite the poem at TED: http://youtu.be/5Ss1HuA1hIk