July 4, 2010 Sasha
I'm sitting in bed, mosquito net overhead, in our room that is about 10 feet by 10 feet with a small bathroom and little porch attached. When I shower, to dry off I stand on the porch in my towel looking out at the rain forest. You can hear the cicadas and cricket from my bed as well. A stone pathway and about 5 minutes takes you to the reception/restaurant area which kind of looks like a tree house because all of the furniture is carved wood. The walls of our room and the floor of the reception/restaurant area all have leave prints fossilized which adds a nice touch. We are not foodies normally, but here each meal and drink is served with beautiful flowers decorating the plate/glass.
We arrived here yesterday morning after getting off the overnight train and driving a bit. The first activity we did was go for a hike in the national park. I've never been "leeched" before, until yesterday! We all freaked out, paranoid in the beginning, but it really was no big deal. They start off skinny and black like an inch worm and then latch
on, bite, suck, grow bigger and inflate to about the size of the top section of your pinky. They don't hurt at all though, nor are they bad for you. Bleeding is just never that much of a good thing really. After that we had lunch, then went tubing down the river. It was refreshing and relaxing. Pennelope Traveling is about stepping out of our shoes, literally before you enter a Thai house and metaphorically being out of your comfort zone. The thing about traveling is it gives you the mental/physical space to explore "stop, look and listen" to what is really going on. Question and evaluate all the "truths" you know as facts. and to pick away at the layers of the edifices we've so carefully erected, question what they are made of and why we built them. Is the fabric sound, and just? We do this on a personal and universal level. We are questioning the stereotypes we use to judge in these exotic foreign lands. And from within, why and what these are based on and how does this permeate other aspects of our lives? Shaun and I have been working hard on this all
year. Questioning the myths of our lives, the comfort zone of our historical familiar carelessness holding them up and seeing how they are crafted and if in fact they are working for us. It is an effort in subtlety, licking the flavors, trying things on for size, looking at all the stuff in our life and checking out their fit. How do things work for us? And do they? The WHY in our case is almost irrelevant. "It is what it is" is our new mantra and though neither one of us has officially bought the tickets for the journey, there is no doubt in the space and silence of our year together that we haven't been on one. For me at least, it has been a gift, the illusive "silver lining" everyone always talks about - the yellow brick road. Sometimes you don't even recognize that 1) you have stepped off the beaten path & 2) that you needed to.
And like boarding a plane, train, boat, or bus, there are never any guarantees where it'll lead you. Sasha and I have taken so many "spiritual journeys" India, China, Tibet, Thailand summer 09, shell shocked, gasping, staring off
into the black hole: summer 2010 Sri Lanka. But I think this trip from the pedestal of Boston, my independence and reinvention, this perhaps will be our most powerful yet. Although Shaun is not physically with us, he does seem so more than ever as he is clearly "coming to his own" this year.
We could easily fall back into the pace with our old ways. But, just as my skin is drooping, dropping and expanding, the old ways no longer fit and it is with awe that we can look back and say this newly created route is good too. May not be what we expected, but it is good too.
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