[ Written on the Amtrak train from Portland to Sacramento. It is now 10:40 PM PST on Sunday August, 1st and after many days of thought processing, wandering journeys, turning strangers into friends and appreciating the fullness of everyday life, a message on Facebook to inspire me to continue ‘to seek, to strive & to find’ has me pouring these depths of my souls from such interactions into this. ]
Let me tell you about Johann. With the human mind that exists as the vessel that has propelled our society into the modernism we enjoy today, it is a wonder how the manifestation of thought can sometimes be the biggest challenge for this immensely powerful organ. Many times a day I feel restless, other days I feel at the height of mental stimulation with ideas so far along the horizon it is sometimes hard to contain and streamline into anything substantive. In my recent musings, I have a newfound obsession with Johann Gutenberg – the inventor, innovator, thought leader behind the printing press. I cannot imagine what the state of our society would come to without the gift of reading, the precious words without interference of characteristic writing and of course, the contribution in mass production for widespread consumption and equal opportunity. Despite how little history there is left of Johann’s legacy left on earth, I’ve been reading literary works that emphasizes in every case that he was a particular man of perfectionism, a man that wanted to make something of himself for the greater good, through his feelings of universal responsibility. Imagine being in a society where when you were told, “To love the world is to hate God. To create is to accept that God is not perfect, and God is perfect”. And through this he persisted. Johann Gutenberg was a man of the earth and through this gave himself little credit for the invention of the printing press in his name as it was his purpose on earth to create for all to use. I feel inspired and humbled by his journey he took to create one of the greatest inventions of our day through accepting failure and allowing a transient lifestyle to manifest into his visions. “To know what is in you, you must travel elsewhere”.
Removing the forest from our minds. And for this, I feel compelled to withdraw from the demons we have created within the forests of darkness that only exist within our minds. Prior to this leg of the journey, I sat in the kitchen hostel amid leaving the one nation I maintained as my breeding ground for the majority of my human existence, afraid and fearful of the unknown that bewilders beyond my adapted comprehension of said potential torment. While I know that fear was unwarranted, it is one that we ingrain deep within ourselves without cause and to understand the world without fear, is to live without reason. I made the decision to pursue the journey with myself because if the decision doesn’t make me the least bit nervous, then I am perhaps not making the right decision.
The human heart is inherently good. The core of human existence is human interaction, understanding and learning from one another to serve the purpose of your greater existence on earth united by our fears, our aspirations and our visions for a greater good. The only difference is when we try to create & manifest diversity. One of the greatest lessons so far on this trip has been the contestation of a menial, perhaps sometimes equally judgmental question that delves into qualifiers of a person’s life that comes so subconsciously when dealing with new interactions; yielding perceptions of income, residing location, lifestyle without first inquiring about other more conversationally relevant topics. Try meeting someone new and not asking them what it is they do for a career; instead ask what are their interests, what their hobbies are, what inspires them – notice the difference?
Just like that. I see the world in a completely different light, in my own voice, with my own eyes and through my own lens. Miscellaneous encounters of kindness have exceeded my programmed perceptions of society that exists by first impressions, instinctual judgements. My premonitions of potential fear have been unjust and rightfully so. The way I see it, I’ve renewed my outlook on life and given a second chance at humanity, with a greater capacity for unconditional love trading the boundaries of negativity for the fairness and gentility we all deserve to benefit from. And this I trust, can only be done when you are at the point of uttermost independence from the world you are accustomed to, forced to truly trust and believe in the power of sincere human interaction without profit. And to do so, you have to put your mind through the trials of mental and physical loneliness – heightening the voice and taking action to the voice within without the comfort and plague of physical distractions.
Life as a transient. To be fully happy, is to know that despite any circumstance I am satisfied. As a transient, I could not have been happier to travel from Toronto to Costa Rica on my own two feet and the clothes in my backpack. Every day is a day I wake up to appreciating the explorations of new cities, new people, new adventures, discovering lands of water that I feel most at peace with. Hostels are by far the greatest assets for any traveller; at the heart of each new location you are amongst strangers who are not only likely to be in the same situation you are, but will be able to share valuable information about the same travels they’ve encountered perhaps not too long ago. In the last few days, I’ve met more new people than I have chatted with old friends on Facebook, all over different parts of the globe united with the same purpose, in the same community of gaining worldly perspective and internal exhilaration.
We are 95% water, 100% life. A good friend once told me, the water is like a metaphor for life – it flows strong downstream and you can either be a log that flows with it or you can be the rock at the side letting it pass you by as you lie adamant. I want to be one with water, no matter the amount of ripples, the stream will continue to flow with me within it. My life as a solo journeywoman is one that allows me to appreciate the goodness of people, to discover the intricacies of life as we know it and define it within my own individual story of life – I don’t have a sense of temporary illusion of my reality that resists the truth of my life, this is my life and my journey towards ultimate fulfillment.