Having been home now for nearly 2 weeks , I have a few impressions to close out the travel form of this blog. In a few short days , after stumbling around in my jet-lag induced stupor , I have come to realize a few keys points very clearly . They came in a moment of sheer lucidity , and as follows : 1) I am a result of everything that I have thought….2) This world is not as it appears ( or we are led to perceive it ) and the goodness is where we choose to find it… 3) There is time , but not as much as we think ; all entities are fleeting…4) I don’t want to spend my time here in this country where everything has become more alien to me.
During my meditations ( I am a Buddhist after all ) in Slovensko , it became very clear and real to me for the first in a very long period of practice , that if I think of only the positive – I am purely positive. There were moments when I got into jams and didn’t get addled. I settled down and counted my assets and figured a solution. I remain in that place now here , back at home. My Samadhi ( or concentrated focus ) is to return to a physical place of comfort.
I met some of the most wonderful people ; it was a true joy to listen to some of the bits of their lives that they freely shared with me. I was hit by a golden sledge with how common and similar our struggles and frustrations were. Retired school teachers from Britain and Switzerland , and working-class Germans and Swedes ; we all had the same concerns. The Slovaks that I met , their young nation poised to make a new line in the sand of history , were optimistic and guarded at the same time. I receive e-mails daily from my new friends in Europe and we exchange news of our lives , gains and losses, ups and down , and the constant shifting of fortune. I miss our kava and beer sessions on the patio below Orava Castle. The cool manner the wind blew us together and partings that came with the same winds of constant change ; the quickness that it was begun and ended , along with the promises to stay in touch and meet again in geography and time. We always talked about the world of our parents and the lapse between their world and ours…” where did it all go so wrong ? ” I was always the devil’s advocate , pointing out that the world has never been ” right ” , and that we are condemned to a constant struggle to retain the comforts of our past amid the challenges and sacrifices of the future. They are true hearts and I hold them close , if 7000km away. I am so thankful that their goodness crossed my path and we were able to meet and share some time together , no matter how fleeting.
As I sit here finishing up and relating impressions of my trip ( and to some degree , my life ) , I’m listening to Sandy Denny and Fairport Convention sing , ” Who Knows Where The Time Goes ” ; A smile is permanently etched on my lips as I watch the short film of the trip in my mind. As it was happening , the time seemed to crawl , and in the last week it ran fast. On 11 July I had to say good-bye to my best buddy Roy , our English Mastiff. He was 7 years old , and although I knew they didn’t live as long as a smaller dog , I wasn’t prepared to part with him so quickly. 7 years ago he was a small puppy with a black mask and heavy body , and grew into a 200+ pound puppy with both a serious and goofy nature. He will be missed and I am eternally grateful for him lifting and ennobling my life. This life has a strange way of moving alternately fast and slow. It is not of our choosing when it does either and it leaves us feeling helpless sometimes. I have come to the realization that it is simply just the rhythm of the universe and not a reality that is either ” good ” or ” bad “.
Going forward , I have set out to seize the moments and do my best to live in my Samadhi , to stay focused on what is important. We are , after all , responsible for our own happiness. In the end , nothing would give me more happiness than to return to that place on this planet that gives me the most gratitude , and centers me the most. I traveled alone and it was only in a few moments here and there that I was lonely ; not alone. That too would pass , as it does here at home , surrounded by those that I love and love me. My not-so-secret Samadhi goes where I go….