Wednesday, July 16, 2008

On a journey...

Looking down on the coast of Italy as I flew back to the States in January of this year.


In less than twelve hours, at 4 am tomorrow, I will leave this house I love and head to the airport I love to fly to San Francisco, a city I love. (Okay, maybe the word "love" is inappropriate in this context, but I'm too lazy to pull out the Synonym finder at the moment. I apologize.)

The BlogHer conference begins tomorrow night with a "social" for newbies, those of us who have never attended BlogHer before. I'll be there - excited, nervous, anticipating the moment when I will meet several of my blogging sisters. Many hugs will be shared. Many tears will be shed.

And somewhere along the way,
at sometime during the following four days,
I want to find a quiet corner, a shadowy place,
to sit and ponder the wonder that is the internet.
Underground cables.
Distant satellites.

Far beyond all those wonders
or perhaps hidden beneath and behind all those wonders
is the marvel of the human heart and spirit.
The yearning we have to know and be known.
To love and be loved.
To listen and be listened to.
To bare something of ourselves to an invisible and unknowable universe.

To take a chance. To risk refusal and rejection.
To sacrifice anonymity and isolation.
For the chance to touch and be touched.
It is inexplicable, this urge.
It is also irresistible.

It is blissful and treacherous.
Surreal and serene.
It is the stuff not only of whimsy and fairy tales
but also of self-evident and purest reality.

Conferences such as this one, along with travel of all sorts,
unfailingly provide me with fodder for journaling, blogging,
dreaming, hoping, wishing,
along with the greedy urge to plan for future trips.

Every time I take a trip, I pull out a cherished volume entitled,
The Way of the Traveler, by Joseph Dispenza.

Here are a few gems that I return to often:

Once we begin to see travel as an inner journey, it is possible to turn every trip we take into a spiritual practice - a hero's adventure that enlivens our hearts and enlarges our souls. Travel becomes a spiritual experience for us when we are conscious at every moment that our physical transportation from place to place has a metaphysical counterpart. Understanding that, the road takes us inexorably to an encounter with the "stranger" at the heart of the journey - the transformed self.

Undertaken with awareness, travel surely is one of the most available and most effective means to nourish, broaden, and quicken the soul. The destination does not matter as much as the attention we give to the understanding that
all travel is inner travel.

The road stretches out before me. I know I will encounter obstacles. The path will sometimes appear circuitous or worse, perilous. I have fears. But still, I go.

Helen Keller wrote: Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

Taken in a rocking chair at Charlotte Douglass International Airport late last fall.

Indeed. So tomorrow, I will be off on a daring adventure.


Amy said...

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." It's one of my all-time favorite quotes, especially considering who said it.

Have fun, dear friend. We WILL meet one day, and I have the place picked out. Check out the Proximity Hotel in Greensboro (a really green place!). Maybe we can connect on one of my visits to see my dad.

Lori said...

Hey Gail, Okay, Im really jealous now. I wish I was going with you. Thanks for your blogging it has been and inspiration to my life. When you get a chance check out my blog. I have some new entries.
Have fun, Blessings Lori

Lu said...

It was nice meeting you at BlogHer!