Tuesday, October 29, 2013

i was inspired by a great conversation with a friend over six afternoon cups of tea.  for a long time i've been unclear about things beyond this world, namely matters which exist above the sights and sounds in front of us which are obvious.  in essence i've wondered about god and what god is or perhaps if god even exists.  at a young age i wrapped myself around what i previously thought to be a cop out and i told people that i believe in the universe.  in places like turkey where people are generally quite religious i find this to be a safe response to questions of my deism yet i never knew exactly how deeply i do actually believe in this thing called the universe (perhaps it is after all what one might call god).

i've known for a long time the importance of living a virtuous life and by that i mean a life which does not step on the toes of others, as i say.  i do not want to interrupt anybody's journey through life and i don't wish to interfere with the processes of the universe.  *this is about to get hippy, i'm sorry.  i believe in vegetarianism for this reason.  i don't like to support the interference with life and i believe that all things have a right to live.  i lie when i say that i'm a vegetarian for health reasons, actually i believe deeply that life is sacred and humans should have no place above other animals on the food chain because of our advantages technologically.  i find that because i often surround myself with people who poke fun at others for their alternative views on life that i occasionally hold back my true beliefs but i'm getting to the point where i do not want to hide them anymore.

although i did not create the wording of this thought, i do believe it truly and deeply.  we are the imagination of the universe.  the planet jupiter, or the respiratory system, or lotus flowers, or sesame seeds perhaps, all of these things are items of great imagination that have come to be by a great series of chance and improbability by which each and every person have been manifested in similar manner.  i believe the universe is a great artist and that we are works of art and creativity.  we cloud our thoughts constantly by feeding our ego ideas that bring us unhappiness.  it is not the walks of life which hold us back but the thoughts in our heads which lie to us.  i wonder sometimes if the thoughts of humans have become too abstract to understand the simple things, like love, or sesame seeds, or jupiter perhaps.  lately i've taken my imagination to another level and i've begun the practice of viewing the world from the perspective of a lover of art.  i'm absolutely tickled by the creative things that our universe has provided before us.  sometimes i can't wait to wake up in the morning because there are so many beautiful things to take in out there and i'm thankful for every step i've been given along the way.

i also want to add that it really goes a long way to walk with your head up.  there are so many things out there trying to hold us beneath the waves but the world really looks different when you look at it with parallel perspective.  my travels are thick and the world is not a small place.  it is true that i cannot wait to see what is next but for now i'm enjoying this moment and smiling widely at the creative pieces of art left behind by a strange and mysterious universe.

Friday, October 25, 2013

"The soul returns to earth in a body similar to its last one and has similar talents and inclinations." – Plato

a few weeks ago i was walking to my apartment and i caught the glance of a familiar stranger sitting by the street.  he was wearing a red shirt with a polish eagle on it and he smoked his cigarette in a way that i swore i knew from somewhere; like he pinched it between his thumb and forefinger in the way one would extinguish a match causing his hand to almost cover half of his face.  i knew he wasn't turkish and i knew that i had met him before so i called to him in plain english.  we played the game of 'where do i know you from' for a good minute and i think it hit us both at the same time where we had met.  i knew this guy from a trip through honduras i had taken a few years ago.  we last saw each other in a very small, obscure seaside village called trujillo and in an even more obscure sense of chance we have crossed paths in this corner of istanbul some five and a half years later.  

seeing someone from my past is like hearing an old song and they get stuck in my head for days.  i've learned long ago that these coincidences (or lack of coincidences) are encounters that are meant for us to be delivered a message.  perhaps i failed in my run-in whereas i am still not sure what the message was for me this time but i do know that it made me really realize how strange the mechanics of this mortal world operate.  

i wonder if i've been here before.  i wonder how old my soul is and if the pieces of carbon that make up my body have traveled through this world have surfaced in another incarnation at some other time.  it all seems so familiar to me.  

my travels are thick and colorful with the pieces of happiness that i have picked from nature all around me.  i'm on to something, that i have always known, and i'm getting closer.  perhaps this is a new level of consciousness or a better understanding of the world around me yet i do know that one day my story will come to an end and like many books i will remain forgotten.  i'm not worried about leaving this world because it is in all of our destinies to leave this place but i do know for sure that i'll not spend my time wondering what is out there.  i've seen the light and beauty of this world first hand and i'll continue to explore with eyes wide open, thankful for the gift of sight and the patience to take in all that i am blessed with.

i went to lebanon last week with alice (my faithful green backpack companion) and i told her in my thoughts that one day she will come again with me to africa.  being on the road again felt good to me and i know that soon enough we will be in a far off an mystical place once again.  lebanon is truly fantastic.  it reminded me of the wonderful people i've worked with when i was a teacher in usa who are from lebanon and how they always told me they wish i could see their country.  now i just wish that i could tell them how i've kept an old promise.  

i hope my friends are proud of me.  i once sat on the floor of my kitchen in an old house in detroit passing bottles and talking about how i'm going to leave one day to wander this planet.  they always believed me and for that i am truly grateful; i don't know if i would have ever attempted this without them.  my friend once said he wanted to change the world and i said that i wanted to teach people how to do so.  i remember feeling that this is what set me different from those close to me and i still wonder to this day if i've kept my end of that claim.  teaching is a blessing and a curse in that sense because you very rarely see the fruits of your efforts as your students wander away often to never be seen again.

i'm going to stay local for a while saving money and studying the roads which i plan to travel next.  i know that this will be a big adventure and i'm actually getting much better at planning.  i hope the world is well and my family and friends are healthy in body and soul.  if i haven't said it lately i want it to be known that i am eternally grateful to whatever forces of the universe have created this beautiful planet and given me the opportunity to explore it for a little while.  bless.