From the Midwest, to the mountains of Zürich, the rough streets of Johannesburg, to my final destination: picturesque Cape Town, South Africa. How silly of me to think it would be as it was before. The mountains still stand, clouds rolling over the top of Table Mountain like waves, the lively streets are the same, the familiar shops greet me, but it’s different. I’m different. I play my own movies of what was, feelings of another time, I know this change, in fact I’m aware enough to expect it, but now I feel it. Continue reading “Water”
What did I get myself into? How did I end up here? Providence, Rhode Island. Brown. Reoccurring thoughts cart-wheel through my busy mind as I kick up crispy orange/yellow leaves scattered about the old New England campus. The truth is – it’s hard. I’m struggling. When I’m having a hard time, I don’t write. Because what if you knew that I doubted myself? That I questioned if I’m smart enough and capable enough to be here? Maybe I am if I believe I am. Some days I do and others I don’t, but I show up anyway. Continue reading “I Think I Can”
My intention was to get a coffee, an accomplice to my escape from a 2 week-old-not-quite home, my retreat into Massachusetts to meditate. Pay attention, or you’ll miss it – Shelbourne Falls snuck up on me and completely captivated me. It has a desolate, quint, yet charming nature that immediately drew me in. I practically jumped out of the car to walk down Main Street, taking in the antique shops offset by magnificent trees standing tall on mountains in the background, historic decor beckoned to me, inviting my imagination to join it, as if walking through another time. Continue reading “Shelbourne Falls”
What a strange feeling to have an unfamiliar home. To unpack all your worldly belongings in a space you’ve just seen, and call it home. I’ve had this idea I’ve nurtured for a year, plans I’ve made, a picture I once saw from a thousand miles away, and accepted as my future home. I’ve unpacked all the pieces of me as quickly as I could, as if the faster this unfamiliar space becomes adorned with my belongings, the swifter I’ll adjust and become comfortable. That’s not how this works you know, can’t fool a pro – I’ve done this before. Comfort, along with familiarity comes with time, the former is fleeting, the later lingers, mutates, and can remain in some ways even for a lifetime. Continue reading “The Road to Providence”
Vipassana – to see things as they really are.
I sit on a cushion in a low lit room with my eyes closed. My whole body tingles and I am weightless, completely unaware of the outside world, and even the other 30 something people sitting around me. What am I feeling? Change. Everything changes, constantly. I feel the particles my body is made up of change every second, my thoughts change, my feelings change. Non attachment and equanimity is what I’m seeking. Equanimity with every sensation I feel, not attaching to it, not avoiding it. Continue reading “Vipassana”
The sun has long ago set, the shops have closed, city life is subsiding, but I can’t bring myself to go in. The night is too perfect, the weather too beautiful, and I’m acutely aware that my time here is about to expire. I sip my tea, aimlessly roaming the streets of Warsaw, mesmerized by the cobblestone, the perfectly lined colorful buildings, and find myself at a castle in the old town. I can still hear the faint music of performers in the old town square, also savouring every last-minute of the perfect Polish summer night. Continue reading “Wandering Warsaw”
A rust colored dirt path leads me to the rock formations I’ve been so determined to see- Tsingy. Tsingy means to walk on tiptoes and it’s been said that Malagasy people crossed these jagged pointed rocks on their tiptoes (no idea if that’s true). I’ve spent a few sleepless nights googling these limestone pillars that point up to the sky and now I’m just a few kilometers from them.
It’s been a long, hot day as finally arrive in Spitzkoppe. We are staying in a very remote place tonight- no bathrooms, showers, or water- but we do have Bushman caves, bright stars, and some really amazing rocks- with art painted on them thousands of years ago- not just any rocks. Despite the circumstances, this is one of my favorite nights of the trip.
We discover trees with leaves so fragrant they are used as perfume, another with bark so dry and flakey it’s used as paper. Nature possess so many functions if you look in the right places, if you are aware. Everything has a purpose. We explore the red/ orange paintings of the Bushmen long ago- people, animals, art. I slowly trace my fingers over a rhino somebody painted- art as a form of communication from thousands of years ago.
I climb up a rock wall, over massive rock boulders and discover a natural pool made from rain water within the rocks- a pool in the sky. We take a dip in the cool, swallow rock pool and wade amongst the hundreds of tadpoles swimming in the clear water- an occasional shriek emerging as I feel they might be poking at my feet. My hand sweeps the bottom of the pool, emerging with green rocks that resemble emeralds.
I sit in the rock l pool with girls that have become like my sisters, completely at peace. A moment of serenity as I watch the sun set over the hills in the distance- a memory I can reach for on a day when my mind is so busy that I forget to enjoy the moment. We lay on the heated rocks, warmed by the setting sun and allow them to warm us, the breeze acts as our towel.
My mind is quiet as I lay in my sleeping bag under the stars, listening to stories of animals around a campfire. I fall into a restless sleep, waking up as the wind blows my hair in the night, smiling at the shining milky way above me, sleepy pleas for bugs not to crawl on my face as I drift back asleep. Is there anything more natural than waking up to the sun rising? Than sleeping underneath the stars?
Namibia is hot- dry hot. Most of the country is uninhabited. The landscape is stunning and always surprises me as I drive up through the Namib desert into the skeleton coast. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the population of 2 million in the entire country, compared to the 8 something million in New York City alone. The two places couldn’t be more different- in New York it’s impossible not to run into someone, in Namibia you must go out of your way to do so. Continue reading “From NYC to Namibia”
Sand dunes and the ocean have the same effect on me- I have this inner bubble of excitement and overwhelming desire to run straight to them, like a child witnessing something extraordinary for the first time. I had not expected the striking beauty of Namibia, the sprawling land a thousand shades of brown, and the sky a light clear blue, the sand dunes that appear from the cracked dusty ground, suddenly replacing the mountains as we drive towards the coast. Continue reading “Dunes”