'a good traveller has no set plans and is not intent on arriving' lao tzu

i never really got it.

i’m on a train from montreal to new york city. we’re travelling through the adirondacks. and i’m kicking myself because all i want to do is write, but i look out the window instead and want to look out the window but write instead. it’s an unnervingly beautiful paradox i find myself caught within. the train sounds. 

graaaaaap. graaap graaap graaaaaaaaaaap.

i don’t want to get off this train. i don’t want to arrive. i am happy and comfortable and still, for now. i know the next few weeks won’t stop. i know i’ll be all tied up in the bustle and the busy days and the getting from here to there.

but how exciting that will be! nights of four-hour sleep, stiff muscles from cramped spaces, new city smells and faces, the change in the air, in the everywhere. 

and i’m not headed for anywhere, just riding minute by minute today and here and now on this train with the shaking and the moving and the graap graap graaping and the sweet simple thoughts of one day in montreal and kissing a boy, just a stranger just before.

i’m not wishing this to end, i’ll happily stay aboard until it stops. and every second i fall more in love with each second floating by and it comes in one big perfect wave of everything that starts from one small blood-red drop in the oceans of our hearts.

tobermory

i fell asleep to the sounds of gusty wind and sam reciting australian poetry from memory. i fell asleep in blissful exhaustion. with the smell of the campfire and the sickly, satisfying sweetness of burnt-to-a-crisp marshmallows in my belly. i fell asleep thinking of home but dreamt of nothing i can remember. i fell asleep last night, in a tent, alone, in the canadian countryside, so lost in heart and mind.

i woke to a sunday morning clouded in glaring grey. i woke to green tea delivered right to my tent. i woke with warm breakfast. i woke with the squirrels and the birds, new friends and one very old.

i slept and i woke, like any ordinary day, but this one, well this one seems a little different.

off i go, the morning is slowly slipping away, the grey remains. but i’m a little less tired and a little more found in all the smells and sounds of this canadian campground.

lost at lost lake

[photo: lost lake, oregon]

i dive into the lake. a snow-capped mount hood stands majestically, she doesn’t even notice me here. underwater now, i’m taken by surprise as i open my mouth and taste clean, bland, fresh water. you’re not by the ocean anymore! it shouts all over my tastebuds. it’s cold and goosebumps send chills through my blood, beating warm just minutes before. 

this doesn’t look real, i tell her later, it’s as if i’m dead and dreaming. it’s as if this all rose up from my imagination, creating a scene from scenes unseen and seen before. but, really, it’s incredible.

i’ve never known anything like it. and everyday challenges that, and everyday i say the same. everyday i feel the difference. i wonder if that would ever end. 

we leave and take the old, snaking road back to the valley. i sit in the doorframe of the car as it winds through tall trees, so dense, that smell like the earth, open air and christmas. the wind hits me hard in my smiling face and dries my gums. i laugh and breathe so deeply. oh, this is living. yep, this is living well.

is that so much to ask?

and all these things i’m coming up on, all the streets i’ve yet to walk and people i’ve yet to meet, oh all those streets and people may be the most significant and important of my time away so far. and i’ll think about them in the future as if they’ll be here tomorrow and i’ll find a place in a place in a dream in a place, and i’ll make my own way and you’ll never know what you did to me or how i hated or loved you for it and how i pushed through agony [that really never was] and found ecstasy [which i always only had] and the effervescence of the dreams i try to hold so tight become me just clutching clutching clutching at thin air until i feel what i think is the place that holds the secrets to the world inside my heart, and i see it for a second in my hands. and then i let it fly when i realise that the pull between the agony and the ecstasy exists only in my mind and everything else will come and go as moments of insignificant clatter that make me only think it’s the way i only think it is.

bring me along, unattached. forever on the fence between green and greener. life is too mysterious for me to be tethered to your plans [mind, it’s you i fear]. let spontaneity and flights of fanciness tickle me and set my heart on fire, set it loose to float with clouds and fly with bluebirds. that’s all i really want to do, live my life so dreamily aware of all that’s wonderful and lovely.

dream on

and how i long for that simplicity, for you to feel what i feel and realise that this isn’t happenstance, that this isn’t crazy or strange or unusual in any way. that this is what it is because we make it like it is, because we say yes or we say no or stop or go or change this way that way up down stay leave travel job money child puppy partnership priorities house home
higher stiller clearer
more less and or forever never
you
me 
we
love. 

bind your soul to the edges of my own. and feel what i feel, it won’t take you long. 

feel the rumbles and the softness of the change you can rely on. feel the pain and the hurt of the moments that don’t quite go your way. feel it all how it all should be felt, let it go and leave the rest to fate. wish upon that first bright star and find your dreams come true in explosive moments so surreal and momentary. and they’ll all become part of your very perfect future so very perfectly out of your very perfect control. and you’ll surrender to the causality, to the uncontrollable notion that nothing and everything will go to plan. and that no plan [and every plan and even every unknown plan] is, in its entirety,
the
exact
plan. 

steep your dreams in permanence. brew ideas from the deepest crevasse of your imagination. live your own incredible, immaculate life. and build it from the wishes of everything your brave beautiful beating heart desires.

the other way

you feel around in the darkness, upon the coldness of small tiles lain in perfect rows along a half-wet floor. you’ve never been there before. it’s the bottom. you’ve heard a lot about this place.

and no amount of tears seem to bring you any closer to understanding what and how or why it might be happening. and the saltiness brings no salvation this time - but it usually helps, it usually helps! you let the tears go anyway and watch as they dry gritty on the floor. the grout and the salt become one and the same. you run your fingertips across the rough. you feel bruises form on bones [indented with the squares of the tiles that cool your flushed cheeks and mind] below your skin pressed into the cold for hours, you assume, in the darkness.

and you laugh at your hopeless, simple imagination that can’t even take your mind off the hard cold salty grouted tiled floor and further from the blackest darkness on the bottom. you have no idea what time it is or how long you’ve been idle but you’ll bet it’s 3am and you’ll hope morning brings a gloomy day and the sun will stay hidden behind a blanket of clouds.

and then finally after those seemingly endless hours
you drag yourself across the cold hard floor
across the tears that dried so long ago in the darkness you now know
and find the blankets of a bed
and steal them instead.
and you wrap yourself in sheets, in your own arms, and stare at the nothing until you see worms of light moving at the backs of your closed eyes and you listen to white noise that appears as a piercing hum from too much silence and you pull those sheets up and over your head and wait anxiously for light to break through curtains that try their best to keep the darkness in
and the happiness out.

[happiness doesn’t seem to belong here right now.]

because maybe you want to feel like this. because maybe ups and downs make you feel alive. because maybe
down is really just
up
upside down.

and you know, it’s always all about perspective.

200 days

i’ve been away 
for 200 days. i’ve been gone, traveling, wandering, far from home. and i feel and sense and taste and realise the depth of all the wonderful ways i’ve grown. 

i never knew a life like this, i had only ever dreamt it. but now i see how perfect living can be, crazy, spectacular moments made of
beauty,
freedom,
magic.

but it’s all about you, it has always been you
[the places, adventure and people i choose]. 

it’s always in
magnificent things
a life made from spontaneity and saying yes and all the rest of all the beautiful, meant-to-be mess and chaos and ideas so farfetched, that just seem to work out when we push and wade through all the doubt and the struggle and the want to live the life we do, the life we’ve always wanted to.

in the 200 days that i’ve been away, i’ve found myself, my everything. it’s everyone, it’s every mountain, ocean, city street and stream. my spiritual someplace, my heart’s passionate rhythmic beating, 
my yearning for home 
for nowhere 
for everything in between.

oh these days of travelling, oh my soaring spirit, oh my soul so full and free. i’m living. i’m feeling. it’s searching and growing,
oh i am becoming exactly who i’ve always longed to be.

for all

where will we go from here?
what will we make of the lives we’re living?
what will we find in all the craziness of all the days we squeeze
and squeeze
and squeeze for all their worth?

seek out the happiness
and the hopefulness
and the humming of the whole of it.
find the measured moments
and crack them open,
with breaking limitations
and bending expectations.

with honesty, and a purposeful fulfilment of all our heart’s most treasured desires - that’s exactly what we need and that’s exactly all that matters. because as we close our eyes each night, we find all those things live so wildly in our dreams.

so why not make them real life? just watch, they’ll send you flying free.

homesick

home hounds me in the constructs of feelings i forget even exist. home hides behind my day-to-day, behind the insignificance of the things i occupy myself with, behind things that mean so much just for what they mean. home finds me in the moments i want to disappear, and never lets me. it pulls me back to a hollowness i know exists without all the beautiful things that home represents. and i’m eternally reminded of the stifling nature that life as i knew it brought upon itself.

i caught a plane and flew faithfully on the whimsical winds of wanderlust. i left ready to find myself.
searching for something.
anything.
everything.

i ache to feel more than i know i can feel, to believe in the magic of the universe, to experience the unknown and discover comfort in moments of unease and doubt. to learn how to float when i fear i’ll drown. how to fight my way out of the space where i fatigue and fall, how to beat down barriers and push on into the light. and then there’s home, a place where nostalgia brews, a place i dream of in waves of sickness and despair. a place that will always be there. where all my loves wait so patiently for my return.

minute by minute my spirit softens and strengthens.

home will always hound me, a gentle reminder to live with kindness, grace and purpose. so i reassess from time to time and remember why i’m here. i’ve changed the focus, changed the reason. changed what i want from this. and i’m okay with that because things change and people change and relationships change and life changes every second of every day so i relax and accept what’s happening all around me at any given moment.
i run free
fly wide-eyed
into a void i know nothing about. i fill it with love love love and memories born from purity and moments of
bliss
and joy
and divinity.

peter pan

let’s sling a hammock in the clouds, tie it to the stars and stay a little while. the sky looks like fun tonight, strewn with impressionism, with flecks of white so dimensional, so still. like a painted reality we find ourselves so helplessly standing beneath.

let’s fall into each other, the way we know how. let’s forget all the rest and just find the depth in the here and the now. because the sky looks like fun and this feels like magic and it’d be so nice to camp up there, in the clouds with birds for our neighbours, ever moving with the wind with the weather, with the wild and wonderful motions of the world.

let’s let constellations map the way to neverland. i won’t grow up if you won’t grow up.

"aia i ka ‘opua ke ola:
he ola nui, he ola laula, he ola hohonu, he ola ki’eki’e."

life is in the clouds:
great life, broad life, deep life, elevated life.

- from: ‘olelo no’eau

four letters

i won’t write about love. not today. i won’t think about the person i know it will change me into. i won’t pretend i’m waiting for love to save me [and expecting it will]. today i won’t tell myself that love is why i breathe why i write why i pour myself into all the things i do and do them only ever with love. i won’t pretend it’s not why i pull myself up and out and into life, in all those moments when i’d rather pull covers over my head and think about nothing, instead.

i’ll never admit that love scares me.

i won’t apologise for being utterly in love with being in love, for falling fast, for falling for the idea of a man instead of the man himself, because maybe i’ll fall a thousand times more. if i choose to.

i won’t feel ashamed of believing it will be soulmate big.

because one day i’ll melt into the all of you when you kiss me for the first time, the second
the third time,
and every wonderful time after that.

one day when you,
my love,
walk into, change and completely beautify my life.

linger

and so the ash falls from the memories that burn, peacefully and silently. but it becomes the ground becomes the plants and trees and all the world around me.

it becomes my feelings about life and
love and
you and
him and
them and
us
and strangers on park benches, 
and fathers pushing babies in prams through shopping centres. baristas who know your name, know the kind of milk you take. and then there are all those travellers you meet and love along the way.

in kindness and goodness and altogether loveliness, i’ll make more memories, everyday. as if it always mattered, it always does, it always will. i’ll make beautiful memories. take photos with my heart. capture conversations with my mind. flood my soul with feelings and saturate my entire being with love.

memories to ashes. so peaceful and so silent. 

wednesday

and it fell all over me like glittering sunlight dripping from the sky into the ocean where we lay
so blue
so clear.

and it raced through the millions of roadways and rivers and crevasses and mountains
within me
within you.

and it lay down next to me on a mattress made of memories made of yesterdays and who-knows-when’s
i’m too ready
to dream.

we were separated
by salt water
by space and air
by the centre console of his car.

but we remembered - we never were very good at keeping friends with any of that space between.

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