| 8 Apr 2008 @ 15:18, by David Bartholomew|
[excerpted from DoingIt!, June, 2005]
“Let the World Change You…
and You Can Change the World.”
-- from the DVD menu of “The Motorcycle Diaries”
Place. A sense of place can impress itself upon us whenever we give it a chance. It can be a familiar spot we visit each day, or one faraway, but it needs a still and willing audience to allow it to do its magic. Place needs to be in partnership with one willing to see things differently, one willing to hang out with those differences for however long their significance takes to reveal itself.
“In the Soup”. A place I feel myself consciously walking through on occasion, when numerous related or unrelated events are working, swirling, congealing, sometimes inter-connecting like random puzzle pieces, some passing through consciousness without perhaps tying into the whole, others striking certainty broadside, most not the moments or snippets one would believe would be the life-altering ones.
It is a space I feel coming on slowly, as a reality or awareness incrementally dissolving into the fore, as pre-conceived notions, in agreement, fade to black. Food I eat, paths I walk, stimulus I feed upon—all are dictated by “the soup”, and my willingness to comply, built on the trust that this process has always yielded consistent value, benefit and context to my being. Sometimes these bouts lead to epiphanies and changes in the contours of the map that is my life; others glance off and veer tangentially, having served as feints, teases, the odd red herring… or time-released conclusions only to achieve their maximum strength and effect at later dates.
The symptoms of oncoming or ongoing excursions “in the soup” can include: lightheadedness, flashing light from hidden corners of the mind, the awareness of a deepened heartbeat, a lump in the throat, welling of tears of any sort in the corner of the eyes, a steadfast and reverent breathing/walking/ attention, ever-cautious of continuing to “get out of the way of it”. They can portend of exhilaration, resonance, clearing; dark emotions resolving themselves into new dawns or starry skies; stillness in the face of awe or a knowing that any movement—physical or mental—might upset the delicate balance needed for fragile and tentative meaning to slip from whatever other world into this, from the sigh of potential into wispy existence.
Here in the beginnings of the 4th full day at home upon return from a two-week stay in France, with jetlag, irregular sleep working on me; between tuggings from unknown places there and concerns back here; I am aware I am in the soup. I feel myself walking through my life, through duties and appointments and physicalities, but I am not fully back yet. I know the soup is simmering.
I can feel reality as a bit spongy—with the handle of the gas hose not as solid in my hand as I pump fuel into my vehicle, food not as solid in my mouth, the pain of returning to stiff physical workouts after more than two week’s off not as searing as it “ought” to be.
No, a part of me knows it is functioning from that other place—from the surface of the thickening broth and consciously sinking deeper into it.
William Gibson, in “Pattern Recognition”—the key book I read while on the trip, and its own contribution to the current status of soup and synchronicity—detailed the theory of protagonist Cayce that jetlag is simply a result of the physical body traveling faster than her soul can keep up, and is that interim period awaiting the rejoining of all soul parts. That feels like a good start.
Something about a foreign place that opens up dormant sense abilities in each of us, like a re-awakening of those added learning mechanisms we had as children that shut
off with disuse over time. An openness-- out of survival or whatever—to process information…
… language, labels, signage; the expressions of people we can’t quite understand from a normal, practical level but somehow comprehend out of that connection from a different place… of wanting to understand and be understood, of wanting, needing to relate…
… directly, without translation through the middleman, broker, shorthand abbreviator of English.
Something about returning from that other place that allows the door to stay open for a time and us to process our own place from that more fluid place of non-judgmental witnessing and receiving.
My high school German teacher, Herr Becka, always drilled into us that the way to really understand the world would be to read the news from different countries, in their own languages, donning the mindset of each particular culture, and factoring in whatever particular bias might be in effect in each case. This would ultimately lead to a clarity of what is really going on.
Taken further, one could work diligently to go beyond the
“listening” of particular cultures… to particular individuals… onto that of all individuals…
… a comprehension of all of the facets of how this world is seen… and ultimate understanding, epiphany, enlightenment of “the way it is”.
Travel is simply a metaphor for attempting to understand more of one’s world, and (done right) from more diverse and greater perspectives.
Do you have to leave home to do it? Not on your life.
I suggest you are DoingIt! when you allow yourself to dip “into the soup”, enter new places of “listening fully” with all senses and all of your being, and feel the world from a
different place… from wherever you are.
“A journey is like marriage.
The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.
-- John Steinbeck