“To journey and to be transformed by the journeying is to be a pilgrim.“Mark Nepo
A week from now I’ll be a year older and closer to closing in on a new decade, my 8th. THIS IS A STAGGERING REALIZATION. One I only came to several weeks ago when anticipating the women with whom I’d be traveling through Morocco. With the exception of one and our tour leader, we were all in our 6th, 7th, and 8th decades… fit, active, engaged in life, mostly retired or pursuing encore careers, well traveled, even if that simply meant in our own neighborhoods. So yes, I’m in my sixties and still will be next week, but this actually does translate to my 7th decade. Obvious for you, but a reframing that had escaped me.
Home a week, I’ve observed how this journey – traveling alone both to and from Morocco, arriving a day early in Casablanca without knowing anyone, and extending my stay in Marrakech several days once the tour had concluded and everyone else was homeward bound or extending their travels to other countries – with some of its requisite and complex inner and outer navigations – strengthened my confidence to discern and clarify boundaries, speak my truth, and not give away carefully considered intentions and plans. Embodied and illuminated by the act of solo traveling, these capacities are, too, the boon of aging, arriving at the solid ground of greater self acceptance – warts, quirks, idiosyncrasies, contradictions, and all. Able to name and claim:
“I’m not here to fix anyone.Jane_lightworker, Empath Mantras at The Soul Journey with Sarah Moussa
I’m ready to honor my sensitive nature.
Taking care of my energy is my priority.
Saying no is a healthy way to set boundaries.
Self-care is my path to attracting amazing people.
I’m a super feeler, therefore I have a big heart.
I don’t owe anyone explanations why I feel this way.
My sensitivity is my strength and a source of intuition.”
Too, how I am showing up is a deepening clarification, a further consolidation and integration of the gifts and challenges from my Camino, now approaching its first anniversary. That journey is never far from my thoughts, living daily into the truth that the Camino continues to cook one long after having reached the destination in Santiago…paradoxically, the destination that never arrives.
Today is my first time posting a Monday blog in months. When I signed off in mid January, I only knew I needed to tend to the nuances of an emerging, inner, imaginary conversation:
Once again, it’s apparent to me that the stuff of my wabi sabi life is swirling inside, needing its time to sort and settle. After my new year’s post wherein I realized – the result of another episode of early morning insomnia – that I simply didn’t know much about how I stood on this threshold, I didn’t post my Monday blog last week, and am not inclined to push myself to produce one for this Monday, or beyond. For the time being, it’s my own inner “imaginary conversation” to which I will pay my attention, not yet to be mined for here.
I rest easier knowing I’m not one to procrastinate, but rather am becoming more familiar, in an embodied way, with living in the messy inchoate middle. That place I have named “before, beneath and beyond words.” That place where I become a conscious partner engaged with Life living itself.
Yet during those months I found myself well engaged with words. While not posting longer pieces, my regular Friday photo and poem posts invited shorter reflections as I shared why I’d chosen the poem and-or what it evoked. Then I surprised myself by submitting multiple poems to over twenty literary journals, entering several poetry competitions, and refining my collection for publication. As I wrote here days before departing for Morocco, in a post titled “True to Path,” I won a contest, had a photo chosen for a poetry anthology cover, will be published in several journals, and the anthology for which I wrote the foreward and chapter section poems has been accepted by an international publisher. Now April, National Poetry Month around the world, I’ll return to my desk to write words, maybe the ones that describe travel’s gift of new impressions, acknowledge a simple noticing and attention paid, heal a wound, light a fire, bring joy.
Staying true to path.
The destination that never arrives.
Naming and claiming the birthday to be celebrated.
A new dance around the sun begun.
Much love and kindest regards, dear friends.