Babies learn about the world by putting everything into their mouths. I have learned what I've learned about the world and people by bumping and jumping into things - sometimes without looking. This summer I did a blind experiment: rappelling into three new cities with three different languages and cultures without doing any research - apart from learning how to say 'hello,' 'please' and 'thank you' in Portuguese and Croatian (I already speak Español decently well). While this way of being feels liberated and fluid - and is the way I like to roll, - bumping and jumping has also catapulted me into suffering on more than one occasion.
Badass Croatian children
Three cheers for free-spiritedness. . . it has both inspired and served me in my travels. Travel has helped create a liminal space - a space which I use to work internally, to find new ways of seeing the same things. It is this free-spiritedness - a decision to plant my feet and my expectations firmly in the air from time to time - that has also brought suffering upon me. . . suffering that is inevitable when I ignore warning signs - it's a shame they don't appear as a label across the forehead - or when I lie to myself about what I can and cannot handle. Suffering occurs when I am intoxicated by potential - potential that exists primarily in my own magnificent imagination. Suffering occurs when I ignore disclaimers in favor of my own delusional projections, allowing myself to be seduced by blank lines, empty space, possibility.
My brilliant and beloved friend, Nupu
The Blue Cave and an underwater land bridge Hope is the taste of the sea The Alcazar - Seville, SpainThe Iberian Peninsula, where Spain and Portugal reside and with its history of Moorish occupation, is covered in decorative tiles - which, some argue, are a visual response to the fear of emptiness, or 'horror vacui.' This kind of visual over-population or crowding is also associated with art made by artists who resided in psychiatric hospitals and prisons. We seek to fill the emptiness - the empty stomach, the empty heart. In Buddhism, the space of the empty mind is actually a goal. Personally I'm afraid of words that are empty - words that have ceased to hold any shared or enduring meaning, leaving our communication as little more than lobbing beautiful iridescent bubbles back and forth. Love. Friendship. Truth.
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