Sunday, November 16, 2008
i just finished a great book called letters to my son, by kent nerburn. lately, i've been hopping from one book to another and i feel so blessed to have read so many good ones these past few months...and to have the time to do so. i found myself turning down corner and after corner on pages that i wanted to refer back to later. this book was full of inspiring words. though it was written from the author to his son, it is indeed a book that carries a timeless message(s) for all.
here is a quote that made me think of where i am and what i do, that being 'travel'...
"this is the magic of travel. any travel. you leave your home secure in your own knowledge and identity. but as you travel, the world in all its richness intervenes. you meet people you could not invent; you see scenes you could not imagine. your own world, which was so large as to consume your whole life, becomes smaller and smaller until it is only one tiny dot in time and space.
you return a different person.
all you need to do is give yourself over to the unknown. it doesn't have to be on a vast, dreamlike artic plain. it can be on a gentle stroll through a Wisconsin forest or on a street corner in Nairobi. what matters is that you have left the comfort of the familiar and opened yourself to a world that is totally apart from your own.
...to be a real traveler you must be willing to give yourself over to the moment and take yourself out of the center of your universe. you must believe totally in the lives of the people and the places where you find yourself, even if it causes you to lose faith in the life you left behind.
you need to share with them, participate with them. sit at their tables, go to their streets. struggle with their language. tell them stories of your life and hear the stories of theirs. watch how they love each other, how they fight each other. see what they value and what they fear. feel the spaces they keep in their lives.
become part of the fabric of their everyday lives and you will get a sense of what it means to live in their world. give yourself over to them - embrace them rather than judge them - and you will find that the beauty in their lives and their world will become part of yours.
when you move on, you will have grown. you will realize that the possibilities of life in this world are endless, and that beneath our differences of language and culture we all share the dream of loving and being loved, of having a life with more joy than sorrow."
i want to be a traveler, not a tourist. i want to leave my world behind...at least for a moment...long enough to experience the lives and places of someone and somewhere new. i want to return a different person.